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Sébastien has worked for the company since 2014 and is based at our Visé plant in Belgium. He received his 2020 Knauf Insulation Leadership Award for inspiring colleagues, management and unions to understand and embrace a culture of Continuous Improvement for the benefit of everyone.

SÉBASTIEN LINTHOUT - leadership award winner
Advice for a new colleague? Always see the glass half full.
Sébastien Linthout

What do you think contributes to leadership success?

Offering kindness without limit and having the courage to give feedback to everyone.

What qualities do you admire in Knauf Insulation leaders?

Leading by example. It’s very important to show the example, make the effort first, test what you’re asking to change and being consistent.

What advice would you share with a new colleague to help them thrive at Knauf Insulation?

Always see the glass half full.

What do you see as your greatest achievement at Knauf Insulation and why?

Aligning more than a hundred people on the same objective during the Continuous Improvement day was amazing and gave me the motivation and inspiration for the next steps on the journey. It was a key event that showed we are leading the culture change and transformation at Visé plant in a way that was good natured and calm.

Which leadership quote resonates with you and why?

Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, wrote:
“Gifted leadership occurs when heart and head — feeling the thought — meet. These are the two winds that allow leaders to soar.”

To win over heads and hearts is firstly a matter of defining and communicating a clear vision and smart objectives. This is the rational part of leadership and perhaps the easiest one.

The other part is about speaking to the heart of the team in order to truly engage and energise it. This is the non-rational part of leadership even more complex because it’s a regular and daily process of being emotionally connected and working with feelings.

By combining the power of these two key elements, you create trust and people are fully ready to work towards the common objective.