Tommy Buch - A Six Star finisher

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Commercial manager for Leica Geosystems Machine Control Division

Hexagon Geosystems is shaping smart change driven by people working to close the gap between what is and what should be.

To recognise the faces of smart change, we interviewed Tommy Buch, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Commercial manager for Leica Geosystems Machine Control Division, to share with us his work-life balance, career insights and his experience as a Six Star marathon finisher.

What is your role at Leica Geosystems and for how long you have been working with the company?
I'm the OEM Commercial manager and part of the Machine Control divisional management team. I started in this role at Leica Geosystems about three and a half years ago. My role is to coordinate all main activities with various OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) globally and to ensure our solutions are sold directly to OEMs.

During the past years, it has become evident that machine control solutions increase productivity. OEMs, led by major players like Caterpillar and Komatsu, have taken a leading role in implementing machine guidance and control solutions already in the factory at their production line. All other OEMs are following this trend, making their machines much more intelligent.

How has Leica Geosystems helped you in career development?
Working for Leica Geosystems, as part of Hexagon, has an international and global focus. This has helped me to better understand different cultures and to use differentiated working methods to get things moving. Furthermore, it has been very interesting for me to learn about topics like digital terrain models, data management, software and firmware, telematics, sensors, and GNSS technology among others.

What do you enjoy most about working at Leica Geosystems?
The OEM business is a challenging business where customers typically are bigger global players. Due to this, it is important for me to have a good relationship with our global selling units.

It is a pleasure to work with engaged and knowledgeable colleagues who are working hard to sell our solutions. It is rewarding to see how much knowledge we have within our organisation, both within our business unit but also in our selling units.

How do you balance your career at Leica Geosystems, your personal life, and your marathon training?
Admittedly, this is not always that easy. I am constantly travelling and spend many hours in planes, airports and customer meetings. I always, however, bring my running shoes - it's simply a question of deciding to take an early run in the morning to be able to combine business with marathon training.

I typically do long runs during the weekends, and since my three children now are not small kids anymore, it is easier to get the equation to work. In order to have time for the family, I prioritise time with my children and wife. Holidays are especially important to spend time with my family.

Can you tell us more about your "Six Star Finisher" experience?
When I started running marathons, I didn’t have on my mind becoming a Six Star Finisher. Then, after running the New York Marathon among 45,000 runners and 2 million spectators in 2008, I decided to run all major marathons. I ran Berlin in 2009, London in 2013, and Boston and Chicago in 2014. All of these marathons were special and fantastic experiences for me.

I decided the Chicago Marathon was going to be my last one since I have reached the big five. Nevertheless, in the coming years I could not stop thinking about the Tokyo Marathon. Finally, on February 26, I ran my 15th and last marathon in Tokyo together with 40,000 runners. The crowd was fantastic, and running with the Leica Geosystems logo meant that the crowd yelled "Leica, Leica, Leica."

Running Tokyo marathon, also meant I'm now a Six Star Finisher, which means I am among 1,370 runners worldwide who have completed Boston, New York, Chicago, London, Berlin and Tokyo marathons.

What are the career lessons that you have learned so far and how they have helped you to become a “Six Star Finisher”?
In my role, perseverance is key. Working with OEMs typical has longer time perspective than selling to an end customer. Projects can be normally three to four years ahead. Like running a marathon, you have to start taking one step and then one more. In the end, you have taken 42,195 steps, which in my case is a marathon distance. You can meet the wall several times, but problems are also opportunities - issues can be solved working with highly skilled people and end up in solutions you could not imagine at the beginning.

How do you define success?
Success is all about planning. In a marathon, success is individual. It is up to me to plan my pace from the first kilometre and secure what, and how much, to eat and drink before and during the race. Success in business is different, it requires much more teamwork and to use each other’s strengths and skills to create synergies. If we do this right, this is success for me.

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