Exeleon Magazine

Reiner Lomb: A Pioneer in Sustainable & Positive Leadership

Reiner Lomb

This feature of Reiner Lomb is part of Exeleon Magazine’s 100 Most Dynamic Leaders of 2023. Check out the entire issue and listing by clicking on this link.

As businesses and workplace norms continue to change and evolve, the importance of reskilling and upskilling leaders has never been more important. Rather than looking at leadership skills solely as a set of behaviors, a dynamic approach is needed that includes the drivers and barriers of those behaviors, such as our emotions.

One enterprising leader unlocking these roadblocks, and rethinking the boundaries of leadership is Reiner Lomb, Founder of BoomerangCoach, a coaching firm focused on providing dynamic and transformational leadership development for corporate executives, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and other changemakers including those in the community and environments such as indigenous tribes.

Reiner emphasizes that just holding on to leadership titles does not make you a true leader. “While individuals with a formal managerial title can certainly be leaders, leaders can also be entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, community organizers or anyone who has a vision for positive change and makes it happen,” he explains.

This perspective holds especially true for Reiner who spent more than 20 years at Hewlett-Packard (HP). When he joined HP in the late 80s, he didn’t start out in a formal leadership role as he helped launch HP’s software business.

“I had a vision that inspired me to help start and grow a new business within a corporation. In that sense, I was an intrapreneur,” he reflects. Although it is worth noting that like entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs face a lot of resistance because the change they aim to create within an organization often scares people.

“My colleagues and I at HP experienced huge resistance when we were starting the company’s software business, including from the top executives of the company. Yet, 24 years later when I left HP, the software business had grown from a startup endeavor to a global business with over $4 billion in annual revenue. HP became one of the top six software businesses in the world. It took many dynamic leaders to achieve that success,” he shares.

His Journey Towards Global Leadership

Reiner’s earliest leadership lessons come from growing up in a divided Germany and in a small family business. The Iron Curtain, a consequence of World War II, constantly reminded him of the global forces that shaped countless lives.

Working as a child in the family business closely with his parents and siblings taught him important values, such as shared responsibility and skills. He collaboratively served for the wellbeing of the whole family, and everyone involved with the business. “I carried these values and skills into the corporate world with an emphasis on building trust and helping others succeed,” he reflects.

Later, Reiner’s experiences at HP profoundly shaped his leadership philosophy and skills. As previously mentioned, during the initial phase of HP’s software business, he led without a formal managerial title and that’s when he learned how to lead through influence. As the business grew, he took on formal leadership roles, including product management, strategy, channels, marketing, alliances, and sales.

In these diverse roles, he held global responsibilities because the software products were sold worldwide. He led teams around the world and learned the significance of paying attention to cultural differences.

Today, these experiences help him as an executive coach where he works with people from many different cultures.

Reiner Lomb Exeleon Magazine

From Corporate Success to Coaching Excellence

At the peak of his corporate career, Reiner grew increasingly concerned about the future of society and the planet as a whole. He worried about the future of his children, and people’s living conditions around the world. After some reflection, he made a pivotal decision to return to school and study sustainability.

“I felt the need to understand the issues that affect our future before transitioning to my next career,” he recounts. “Fortunately, my bosses at HP supported me in going back to school while continuing in my management role.”

Through his studies, Reiner became aware that leadership is at the heart of overcoming the challenges confronting us. Shortly after completing his MBA in Sustainable Business, HP offered him the opportunity to go into leadership development and that role laid the groundwork for becoming an executive coach.

Customized Coaching for Leadership Development

Reiner firmly believes that there are common principles underpinning leadership development across diverse clients. They include learning to “Lead Self,” “Lead Others,” and “Lead Change” within and outside of an organization.

Leading self may include finding your purpose, aligning it with your career and learning the skills to succeed and grow.

Leading others may include building a high-performance team, increasing employee engagement, and achieving better business results.

Leading change may include creating a vision for change, mobilizing people to make your vision a reality and becoming resilient. This applies to entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, executives, or any kind of change-maker within or beyond organizations.

Reiner offers tailored one-on-one coaching programs for individuals within an organization. For leadership teams, he conducts workshops, either in-person or virtually.

When multiple leadership teams in an organization are involved, such as developing a shared vision, he organizes larger retreats. In fact, he recently facilitated the 2023 Native National Partnership Retreat hosted by the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, involving the Tribal leadership and the Tribes partner organizations.

The Path to Productivity & Happiness

When Reiner moved from Germany to the U.S. nearly three decades ago, one of the first differences he observed was reluctance among Americans to take vacations. Over the years, in his personal life and role as an executive coach, he has seen many people reaching the brink of burnout, often recognizing it when it is too late.

“On a personal level, I was at risk in my corporate leadership roles, especially because of my intense international travel schedule,” he acknowledges. “I still travel, but I try to do it less frequently, and I allow for longer recovery times.”

One positive outcome that the pandemic spurred was the widespread adoption of virtual meetings, which enabled him to balance his days better.

“Another significant change I have made is starting my day with self-care, whether it is a walk in the park, swimming, biking, or yoga session before I begin my workday. Most nights, if I’m not traveling, I also try to end my day with family time. The effect I have noticed is that when I do this, I’m much more creative and productive, and I feel happier,” he reveals.

ASPIRE: Navigating Leadership with Emotions

Reiner Lomb is dedicated to changing the outlook of emotions, and reinforcing its importance in every leader’s life. Through his transformative book ASPIRE, he provides a roadmap for leadership development based on three simple premises.

First, anyone can create positive change, no matter where they are. Second, creating change requires a change in behavior, starting with one’s own behavior and then influencing the behavior of others. Third, one of the most powerful drivers of our behavior is our emotions.

When emotions act as a barrier, ASPIRE guides leaders to identify these emotions and consciously create a shift. For instance, in order to pursue a vision of a positive future, we need to feel optimism. Optimism, like other emotions, can be learned.

While there are over 250 emotions, some experts suggest that learning all these emotions can be challenging and most leaders don’t have the time. That’s why in ASPIRE, Reiner addresses the seven essential emotions for leading positive change and how they can be learned.

Through ASPIRE, readers will learn empathy, compassion, and interest, elevating them to become more caring, serving, and understanding leaders. Readers also learn optimism, inspiration, and trust, which helps them become visionary leaders who inspire others, and coordinate effective actions. Readers learn to become more resilient by cultivating positive emotions.

For more about ASPIRE, visit Reiner Lomb’s ASPIRE.

Expanding the Leadership Movement

Reiner’s vision for BoomerangCoach is connected to his broader vision for society. He envisions a world where leaders, both within and beyond organizations, are committed to creating positive change for everyone.

The mission of BoomerangCoach is to help mobilize and develop larger numbers of those types of leaders and changemakers and to help them learn how to scale their influence.

To further spread his message, Reiner plans to translate his book ASPIRE into other languages starting with the German Edition set to launch in October 2023.

“The translation of ASPIRE into German is exciting for me because it gives me the opportunity to reach more readers in my home country,” he says. In the future, Reiner will also speak to larger audiences and create scalable training programs.

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100 Dynamic Leaders 2023

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