Since June, Lugarde has had a new CEO. We would like to introduce you to Harm-Jan Likkel.
1. Who is Harm-Jan Likkel?
I am the middle one with a younger sister and an older brother. Although we grew up in Drenthe, I now live in de Lutte, Overijssel province in the Netherlands, together with my partner Angela and our combined family of five children. I am 54 years old.
2. How did you end up at Lugarde
From 2014, I was working at a company in Germany to restructure, automate and fine-tune the company there as general manager. I was approached to do the same for Lugarde/Woodpro in the Netherlands and Latvia. And so that was a perfect match.
3. What did you want to be when you were little
Police officer, but it didn’t work out that way. Later, I also thought it would be great to be a surgeon but, in the end, I studied industrial management at HTS. Managing a company is a bit like being a surgeon. You analyse the results, and then take something out or put something in to make it work better.
4. What was your favourite subject at school?
Eventually, it became mathematics and physics. I liked it and if you understand it, it’s simple but that’s with a lot in life.
5. For you, what is the definition of a perfect summerhouse?
I have seen many garden houses, but it was the quality of Lugarde & Woodpro which won me over and got me excited. Recently, I was at a party where there was a Lugarde Summerhouse. This one had been created so that the whole family could enjoy it, and it was usable in all weather conditions. That is something I love to see. The desired application combined with high quality. Now I know that, for me, that is the definition of a perfect summerhouse. So, I am very driven to keep this quality high.
6. Who is your great role model when it comes to running a business
I don’t have a specific example that comes to mind, but recently I watched a documentary on Louis van Gaal. I am not a huge football fan, but he made statements that I can identify with. You don’t run a company just with your staff. It is vital to set out a good vision, so everyone knows where you want to go. You also need to make sure you get the right competencies on board, that way each person can get into their own flow. I think the latter is very important.
7. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
One of my strong traits is my leadership skills. I want people in the company to be enthusiastic about what they do and feel empowered. In that, I want to empathise with them and give them a lot of confidence. However, if agreements are not kept, I can also be tough because I also think in the company’s interest. When I have a specific vision, I can have the tendency to want to move too fast, but if everything is not in place and people are not ready for it, that can be a pitfall, so taking a step back can be the most logical solution.
8. Where will Lugarde be in 5 years under your leadership?
By then, Lugarde will be the market leader in Europe in the high-end summerhouses segment. It will then undoubtedly be a well-oiled and scalable company that has more than doubled its turnover by applying efficiency, among other things. That is my dot on the horizon.
9. What do you prefer to spend your free time on
My family comes first. That’s where my free time goes. A good work-life balance is crucial to recharge after a busy working week. Although I can always be reached by colleagues with any pressing matters, I can, fortunately, keep work and private life well separated. That is something my family also deserves.
10. What is still on your bucket list?
A trip to the USA, a family week with the whole family, and a trip to Thailand and Bali. Those are the things I would still like to tick off my Bucket List. Other than that, I am a happy and content person.