Episode 01: Leadership Advice from the Prior Director General at CERN with Dr. Rolf-Dieter Heuer
Have you ever questioned the nature of existence? Have you wondered how it all started and what secrets the Universe holds? For most of us, these matters are beyond our comprehension and yet these are questions scientists at CERN are exploring. CERN is the world’s leading research body for particle physics. Some questions asked to the prior Director General of CERN, Dr. Rolf-Dieter Heuer, is what does he attribute his successful leadership to?
“Nobody knows everything, so you have to listen to the experts but the experts don’t all agree so you need to make a synthesis and take responsibility if it goes wrong,” says Dr. Heuer.
“What do you need like competencies to gather funds in an economic downturn?” host, Dr. Katrina Burrus asks as his role at CERN shifted from physicist to diplomat.
What is the predominate culture at CERN? What is the advice you give to CERN for the next 25 years? What leadership competencies does CERN need in the future?
“Take the advice of people you trust but make your own opinion and take responsibility if it goes wrong,” continues Dr. Heuer.
Who is Rolf-Dieter Heuer?
His post-doc studies include the JADE experiment at the electron-positron storage ring PETRA at DESY, and from 1984, at the OPAL experiment at CERN, where he also became a spokesperson of the OPAL collaboration for many years.Having been offered a full professorship for experimental physics at the University of Hamburg, Heuer returned to DESY in 1998. In 2004, he was appointed DESY’s Research Director. In December 2007, the CERN research council announced that Heuer will take office as CERN’s Director General starting 1 January 2009, following the term of Robert Aymar.
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