Becoming a Great Operational Leader with Mark Bakker – Episode 67

Mark Bakker

“Leadership requires you to weigh-in and weigh-over the consequences of the decision either way and how that decision affects individuals.”

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Episode Summary

Mark Bakker has had a notable and successful career as the head of America’s Supply Chain Operations at HP Inc. He manages the strategic relationships with customer channels and ensures a smooth supply chain execution. Previously, Mark was HP’s  Vice-President of Supply Chain Operations in Asia Pacific and Japan, and Director of Operations in Germany covering order management, production, warehousing, distribution and logistics as well as sourcing activities for Hewlett Packard’s Imaging and Printing business unit in EMEA.

In this Episode, Mark highlights his experiences as an Operational Leader. He describes his work with globally diverse teams, with different backgrounds and cultures and how these experiences shaped his leadership style. Mark weaves the story of his formative years which inspired his desire to continue improving processes and finding better solutions for customers and organizations, all of which are factors that have led to his success today. Mark encourages listeners to be customer-driven and discover how they can improve the solutions and services they manage. He reflects on the four elements of an operational leader and the importance of constantly learning.

Essential Learning Points:

  • [01:01] – Introducing today’s guest, Mark Bakker
  • [03:16] – How Mark was shaped personally and professionally by leading global teams/organization in his career
  • [08:51] – The Dutch ethos of free debate
  • [11:28] – Aviv’s theory about the culture of Netherlands
  • [14:12] – Mark shares his experiences in his current role
  • [17:20] – The challenges in serving changing and fast-growing customers
  • [19:45] – Working with the “New Workforce”
  • [21:22] – Mark describes the similarities and differences of his day-to-day operations and digital transformative activities
  • [25:41] – The elements of the business case on shifting from traditional to digital architecture systems
  • [31:55] – Mark’s learnings and inputs on running a large transformation effort
  • [35:03] – Critical decision-making example
  • [41:44] – Mark’s inspiration from his childhood experiences that cultivated his passion in improving processes
  • [47:02] – How Mark worked his way into his current role
  • [54:46] – What is a Great Operational Leader
  • [57:57] – Mark’s advice to his 25-year old self
  • [1:01:04] – Mark’s parting advice to the audience
  • [1:01:59] – Now it’s your turn, discover how you can improve what you manage, reflect on the four elements of an operational leader, and constantly caring for others.

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