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Interview: How Janina Kugel Leads With Strengths

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About the Leader

Janina Kugel

Janina Kugel Non-Executive Director and Senior Advisor

  • Strategic®
  • Input®
  • Communication®
  • Arranger®
  • Relator®

As former CHRO and former board member of Siemens -- an employer of over 300,000 -- Janina Kugel has made a considerable mark on the business world. In 2018, she was named one of the top 100 most influential women in business, and Spiegel magazine designated her the most significant manager in Germany.


"There is so much more to people than we usually see at work."

Kugel believes in positioning people not just to complete specific tasks but also to bring their whole self to work. Kugel gives people the space they need to make a more complete contribution to their workplace than organizations traditionally allow.


"Do you read the newspaper every day?"

Valuing knowledge of microeconomics and macroeconomics, Kugel encourages leaders to have a strong grasp of a wide variety of issues, from politics to the arts. To achieve this, she recommends that leaders read a daily newspaper, giving special attention to the sections that don't concern economics, so they know what's going on in the broader world.


"You need to get out of yourself."

When speaking, Kugel tries to put herself in her audience's shoes to understand how receptive they will be to her message. By carefully crafting her communication and attending to her listeners' mental state, she strategizes when and how to deliver certain messages.


"I will not go out of a [high-conflict] situation just for the sake of peace."

With Harmony as her least dominant strength, Kugel is not uncomfortable with conflict, especially when it has a purpose. If a workplace issue causes disruptions or doesn't rise to its potential, she will confront it directly.