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Interrupt the CEO? You bet!

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Eric Tveter doesn’t crave the spotlight. But the CEO of UPC Cablecom, a Swiss cable company, knows that public speaking and media appearances come with the job. “I am not a natural orator, and am more introverted than extroverted,” he says. But his low-key, conversational delivery actually makes him more authentic and likable.

Tveter, 55, credits his success to follow­­ing what he calls “the five Cs” of leadership: communication, culture, commitment, collaboration and customer.

Rather than attempt to wow audiences with spellbinding oratory, Tveter pokes fun at his soft-spoken demeanor. In 2013, for example, he appeared in a television commercial for UPC Cablecom in which a famous Swiss celebrity, Carlos Leal, keeps interrupting him.

Viewers loved the commercial. Watch­­ing the CEO of a big company get­­­­ting cut off repeatedly by a wisecracking actor made Tveter more down-to-earth.

The TV ad worked so well that Tveter has done it again. In a new commercial, he tries to promote the company’s 3-in-1 cable product. But Leal and another actor keep interrupting the CEO.

Tveter likes to draw simple diagrams to communicate his ideas clearly for audiences. In one presentation, he drew two triangles on a white board—one pointing down at the other. Then he wrote, “Balance, work – life.” He then highlighted the importance of maintaining the right balance between personal and professional priorities.

— Adapted from “Swiss cable executive shares turnaround story, leadership insights during CEO lecture series,” Susan Todd, www.business.rutgers.edu.

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