Katy Broder - From the dojo to the office

Division president for Geosystems’ Construction Tools and Value Brands

Broder, division president for Geosystems’ Construction Tools and Value Brands, draws a distinct parallel between her karate training and the corporate environment. What she has learned in 20+ years of competing, refereering and teaching karate translates well into her executive leadership position.

“Karate builds not only self-confidence but also self-awareness. You gain a deep understanding of how you interact with others,” said Broder. “As you progress in your skills as a competitor to a teacher, you also grow as an individual and earn the trust of your students to be responsible for their wellbeing. This has translated well into my role as a division president and helping my team move forward.”

As the founder of Shotokan Karate Club in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, Broder teaches more than 100 students and referees about 10 competitions a year. Though she is no longer actively competing, she continues to learn in her roles as teacher and referee.

“Karate is like life; you never stop learning. You’re always growing,” said Broder. “Much like in leadership, refereering requires you to make decisions quickly and keep control of the situation. You’re totally exposed in this position, like a leader, because everyone is watching you and depending on your judgment. This has helped me to build self-confidence and stand behind my decisions.”

Fighting to the top

Much as she advanced from a white to black belt in karate, Broder moved up the corporate ranks. Starting in administrative positions in the finance and human resources field, Broder advanced through logistics to product and project management and finally to where she is today. Joining Leica Geosystems in 2011 Broder took on her first leadership role as a programme manager overseeing a small team. In this role and subsequent leadership positions, she developed a style that gave notice to the executive team.

“Katy has always been very approachable and clear with her expectations of her team,” said Juergen Dold, Hexagon Geosystems president. “As she consistently proves her abilities to move her team together toward a common goal, she is a natural choice to oversee the new direction for Construction Tools and Value Brands.”

Challenge accepted

Tasked with building the profile of Construction Tools and Value Brands, Broder is working to refocus her team on complete solutions. Since taking her position as division president in late 2016, Broder has brought increased research and development into software and new partnerships.

“I brought a wealth of knowledge of this industry with me to the position, and I know there is a lot of potential here for our company,” said Broder. “I’m bringing my team together; challenging them and having them challenge me to find our niche in the market. We’re already seeing growth and new brand recognition here, so we’re on a great track for success.”

As Broder continues to face and overcome challenges, she recommends to others looking to break through to deliver on the job.

“It’s all about the performance. Focus on the facts and bring results,” she said. “If you’re authentic and create your own space, your efforts will be recognised and the opportunities to grow will be yours for the taking.”

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