Here’s How to Make it Among Germany’s Top 3% Businesses
We speak with Alexandra Kobler who currently serves as the CEO of Die Bodenschmiede - a flooring company in the building industry. After more than 20 years in management positions and most recently as a manager for KPMG, Alexandra founded Bodenschmiede in 2017 and now has 40 employees and freelancers working for the company. With a turnover of just under 5 million, the company is among the top 3 players in the field in Germany.
In addition to that, Alexandra’s passion is helping individuals and businesses optimise themselves to achieve their goals. She’s been a coach since 1999 – back when very few people were thinking about personal development. She tells us more about it.
Tell us about Bodenschmiede and the services you offer?
Our job is wonderful because we work creatively and sustainably. We work in both upscale private and contract businesses. We accompany wonderful projects – for example, we were allowed to shape the ‘Elbphilharmonie’ nicely. Or we laid a beautiful Versailles panel parquet floor for a customer’s villa where the old wood structure gave the room a special charm. Our focus is on parquet flooring and the main thing that makes us unique is our proximity to the customer and the services we provide them with. We work with selected manufacturers who are unique in their field. In this way, they fit perfectly with our orientation.
In what ways has the pandemic affected your work so far? The tight supply chains demand a lot of discussion with our clients and manufacturers. Most of our construction contracts were signed before COVID-19 hit, so rising production and transportation costs led to higher prices, which we, unfortunately, have to pass on to our customers.
What excites you about the future of the company?
High-quality consulting is always in demand. Especially in residential construction, the demand is enormous. Due to digitalisation, we are well-positioned and scaled for the future.
In addition to your work with Bodenschmiede, you work as a VIP coach for leaders. What’s your advice on how to achieve a turnover among the top 3% in Germany?
First, you have to know who you are really and what you are really burning for. Once you’ve figured that out, you must set your goals and remember that it’s never too late to start. Then it’s time to focus on the path. And giving up is not an option – no matter how tough or exhausting things get.
What are the most important qualities of a good leader?
If you want to lead, you have to focus on, above all, yourself. Many of my clients run on their hamster wheel and don´t have time to pause and question themselves and whether they are on the right track.
On the one hand, you work as a CEO, where your role is based on data. On the other hand, you are a coach, focusing on your soft skills. How do you juggle these two roles?
I still see things through market conditions. And there is no right or wrong – you need both to run a successful business. Values such as communication, respect, active listening and empathy are unfortunately often neglected in companies.