7 Questions with Eduard Ch.L.M. Schaepman
Name: Eduard Ch.L.M. Schaepman
Current title: Chief & Founder
Current organisation: Tribes Inspiring Workplaces
Eduard Schaepman is next to being a real family man, an inspiring CEO who dares to think and live out of the box. He is a well-known Dutch real estate entrepreneur and creator & founder of Tribes. He started his career in 1990 as Marketing Manager at Bank Mees & Hope, after which he held various Change Management positions at executive level. Among others at Robeco Group, Fortis Group, euroShell, SNT International, ClientLogic and Chalet Group. In February 2015, Eduard Schaepman launched "Tribes Inspiring Workplaces", a flexible office concept with inspiring facilities for its members. Tribes offers office space, flexible workplaces, meeting rooms, virtual offices and meeting places in Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
As a leader, you also have to deal with all kinds of shareholders. For example, you have to spend a lot of time arranging investments, for which you have to explain a lot of models and other things. I prefer to focus on the day-to-day business.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
That went very naturally. I was given a management role early on in my career, and it was only natural that I would take on that role when I founded Tribes. I enjoy doing it, training people, coaching them, managing them.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I have a very structured agenda.I work according to the Covey rules: I plan all activities, from getting up to going to bed. I start early in the morning by reading the news, then I check my email and do some exercise. Health is important to me, and a big part of my agenda. After that, I have room for internal and external appointments and I finish with mails and the planning again.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
I learned pretty quickly that you have to surround yourself with people who are different from you.It is attractive to gather all the same people around you, but you need people who compliment you in areas where they are different.
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?
Not really a book on leadership, but all the books from Yuval Noah Harari inspire me. Sapiens for example is the one I have read a couple of times. The books provide you with great insights on human beings, which is also helpful being a leader.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
Learning by doing, you'll find soon what works and what not.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
One year ago I took 2 whole weeks to have long one-on-one sessions with all my employees. I've asked them how they felt about Tribes, what could be better and what's good already. This was very valuable. And because of the special setting - I started with a session of sports together with my personal trainer with all employees, the vibe was really good. So think out of the box, meaningful sessions aren't always in the standard meeting rooms!