Christof’s life is all about music as he directs and books festivals – while he’s away though he loves a unique hotel and bottle of red.
Christof Huber is festival director and booker of the OpenAir St.Gallen (since 1993), one of the most important music festivals in Switzerland.
He also books the SummerDays Festival, Arbon and the Stars in Town Festival, Schaffhausen.
He is owner of Incognito Productions AG, an event agency and books and promotes several club festivals, concerts and tours all over Switzerland.
Yourope, the European Festival Association was founded in 1998. Since 2003, he has been General Secretary of the association.
Since 2013, he has been on the board of the International Centre of Crowd Management & Security Studies.
Christof, welcome to the Leadership Interview
How do you start your day?
I always turn on the radio when I am still in bed – music and of course the news. If I have time, I’ll have a coffee at home.
What was your first job and what is the worst job you have ever done?
I don’t know if that counts, but when I was around 12, I was distributing newspapers every morning before 7am to earn my first money.
The first real job was my apprenticeship at a bank… good education, but I always knew that I wouldn’t be a banker.
What advice would you give to others about furthering their careers?
You have to find out what your skills are and in what fields you have your passion. If you know your skills and passions, I am sure that you can achieve big things. Even if it takes longer than expected.
Who inspires you and why?
I have met a few people during my 30 years in the profession who were inspirations and I love to read and watch biographies about inspiring people.
Do you think a talent to lead is nature or nurture?
I think that you have a natural talent to lead people, to move projects forward. I am sure you can learn a lot of techniques, but the natural talent is a big advantage.
How can a leader fail? Do you have a personal example?
I don’t like leaders who need to have full control about every deal and feel that they cannot be replaced.
It might work in the beginning, but I think it’s important to let go from certain duties, trust your employees and support them in their career.
In the end, I feel that the success of projects and companies is ever growing in doing this.
What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
I think I can see the whole picture quite well from all angles, judge it and give you a straight and clear opinion.
Also, I think I can make straight decisions and stand behind them.
Probably, I am not the best communicator, I like to have employees who can work on their own, like their freedom. I don’t like finances. It’s strange to say that as a former bank employee.
What do you find most challenging about being a leader?
In the early years, I felt the pressure to be responsible for the company and my employees which was quite tough for my private life.
I had to learn to take my freedom without having bad feelings and to say no.
What are you most proud of?
I am very proud how of our companies developed over the last years with natural growth and development.
We are still independent, can create new things and I am very privileged that I work with a lot of my employees for many, many years.
What’s your biggest self- indulgence?
I like unique hotels and I can’t say no to a good bottle of red wine.
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