Hagen Zimer tells Julie Gould about his role as a science leader in the private sector.

How do you learn leadership skills as a researcher, and how well is science served by its current crop of leaders?

These are just two of the questions asked of scientific leaders from a range of sectors and backgrounds in this five-part Working Scientist podcast series, all about leadership.

In this episode, Hagen Zimer tells Julie Gould about the qualities and skills you need to be a science leader in industry and how he approaches his role as managing director of TRUMPF Laser, a global company based in Schramberg, Germany, that manufactures lasers and laser-processing machine tools.

Zimer says that effective leaders are good listeners who display high levels of empathy, so that they can understand individual colleagues’ fears and concerns. They also need to be authentic, he adds. If not, teams will not believe what they are being told.

Zimer says that early-career researchers with leadership ambitions should ask themselves whether they see themselves taking the lead role in a play. “If you are in the leading position, you cannot hide any more. You are at some point also alone.”

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