Name: Torsten Krieger
Organisation: PSD Bank Hannover eG
Torsten Krieger is a seasoned banking, insurance and real estate professional with over two decades of experience in the industry. Currently serving as the CEO of PSD Bank Hannover eG since September 2022, he has a track record of successful leadership roles, including CSO positions and Managing Director at PSD Wohnen GmbH. Torsten has an MBA in General Management from the University of Turku, Finland, and a Management Diploma from Frankfurt School of Finance. He speaks fluent English and German and has a passion for sports, including badminton, windsurfing, and CrossFit.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Torsten's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Navigating the intricate and ever-evolving landscape of the banking industry has been the most challenging aspect of my leadership journey. Striking a balance between adhering to stringent regulatory frameworks and fostering innovation to stay competitive is a delicate task. It demands not only a deep understanding of the industry but also the ability to anticipate and adapt to market changes while ensuring customer satisfaction and team motivation.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
My path to leadership was carved through a deep-rooted commitment to the banking sector, starting with foundational roles such as bank clerk, client advisorm and sales management. This foundational phase was crucial in understanding the nuts and bolts of banking operations. As I progressed through various roles, my exposure to diverse facets of the banking, insurance and real estate world expanded, encompassing sales, marketing, and management. This diverse experience, coupled with a continuous pursuit of educational and professional development, paved the way for my evolution into a leadership role.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
My day typically begins with a morning exercise routine, vital for maintaining mental clarity and physical energy. This is followed by waking my kids an starting the day together. Followed by a review of the day's schedule and setting key priorities. My workday is predominantly occupied with strategic planning, collaborating with teams, and decision-making. I ensure to dedicate specific periods for focused work, free from interruptions. Evenings are reserved for personal downtime, often involving a sport or leisure activity, allowing me to recharge and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
A pivotal leadership lesson I've recently re-learned is the critical importance of empathy and active listening. In a leadership role, understanding the perspectives and needs of your team is not just about maintaining a positive work environment, but it's also key to effective problem-solving. It fosters a culture of open communication and collaborative effort, which are essential for a successful team dynamic.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
"Good to Great" by Jim Collins has had a profound impact on my approach to leadership. This book emphasizes the importance of transcending from good to great leadership through disciplined people, thought, and action. The idea of having the right team in place before setting the direction ("getting the right people on the bus") profoundly influenced my approach to team building and strategic planning, reinforcing the idea that a great team is the cornerstone of any successful endeavor.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
If I were to offer a piece of advice to a young leader, it would be to remain authentic and true to your core values. Leadership transcends decision-making and direction; it's about inspiring trust and respect through your actions, integrity, and the ability to connect with people. Authenticity in leadership not only earns respect but also fosters a genuine and positive work environment.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
One of the most meaningful experiences in my leadership career was spearheading the digital transformation initiative at PSD Bank. This was a challenging endeavor that required leading the team through significant changes and fostering a culture of innovation. The successful implementation of these changes, and seeing the positive impact they had on our customer service and operational efficiency, was a highly gratifying milestone in my career. It underscored the importance of embracing change and innovation in leadership.