Always 100 percent

  30 April 2021  |    Interview

On 1 September, Marco Pos became managing director at Focus Amsterdam and Chain at Business Park Amsterdam Osdorp. COVID-19 has mainly affected his personal life: he’s had to cancel his much-needed sports trips. Thankfully, he deals well with setbacks: “I just change the goal, so I can still reach it.”

Marco Pos started his career in corrugated cardboard boxes but has now been working in equipment and tech rental services for events for more than 15 years. Married with two teenage kids and living in Hilversum, he’s always on the lookout for new experiences and ways to broaden his horizons. As such, switching jobs in the middle of a pandemic was not stressful for him. Instead, he saw it as an exciting new challenge.

Do you like challenges?
“Yes, absolutely. I am very ambitious, and I won’t settle for second place. Whether I’m taking part in a cycle race, running or doing a triathlon. I always have a goal in my sights, but now that I’m older, I’m better at putting things in perspective. I had the same when I first became company director. For a long time, this had been the ultimate goal. Almost since I’d been a child – my mother always said I should become director. Ten years ago, the moment finally came, and it turned out to be not all that exciting. These things help you to put matters into perspective.”

When you do sports, is that quite solitary?
“No, not necessarily. I do like doing sports on my own, but it’s even better to go with others. Every year, me and some friends go for a cycle race in the mountains; I really look forward to that. Of course, I want to be the first one to reach the top of the mountain – I remain competitive! I train the whole year so that I can be the best of the group at that weekend . But once we’ve reached the top and we’re having some wine, I can really switch off. This year, the trip sadly didn’t happen because of the coronavirus.”

So what happened with your training sessions?
“Of course it was a disappointment that the trip had to be cancelled, but I’m quite good at dealing with setbacks. I just adapt – I change the goal, so that I can still reach it. I always make sure there’s something on the horizon to strive for. Now I’m training out in nature, and my goal is to run a marathon.”

Are all your vacations centred around sport?
“Yes, if possible. We go skiing together as a family every year, and for about 15 years, we’ve been going to Lanzarote in the Christmas holidays. Many friends of ours live there and I can really relax and reset when I’m there. Cycling in the mountains, enjoying life. For a moment, I can really let go of work. Another trip that sadly had to be cancelled – shortly before we were supposed to go, it was designated a risk area. I really hope we will be able to go this year. The plan is to move to Lanzarote in a few years’ time and become a bicycle tour guide.”

Is it important for you to clear your head every once in a while?
“Yes, sometimes I need to take a step back and get some peace. I once took three-quarters of a year off before starting a new job, travelling with the family through Europe with a folding caravan. In that time, I started up an old hobby again: restoring old bicycles. I find that really fulfilling. Sometimes it’s good to get back to basics. I always put 100% of my energy into my work. By taking a step back, I can regain some of that energy. I need that. I can only work at full speed ahead – I give my all to my work and the people I work with.”

How did lockdown go in the offices of Chain and Focus?
“Better than at some other companies. Our building at Business Park Amsterdam Osdorp is spacious, which means that most employees could come to the office to work there. I think that was ideal. Social contact is really important to me. You need to have a bit of a family feel at a company, that’s imperative. You can create this in a number of ways. At my previous company, for example, I set up a cycling club. Separating work and private life is not something I feel I need to do. The two can go together very well.

As a company, we have adapted to the current situation in a very flexible manner. We don’t need to downscale. Much the opposite – we’re buying struggling companies, such as Van der Veen in Rijswijk, which caters to events and fairs. They had gone bankrupt and we acquired it. On 1 October, we started it up again with a part of the workforce.”

So you haven’t experienced a decline in profits?
“Focus has, because events such as Tomorrowland and Mysteryland have been cancelled. But Chain mainly does lights and audio for the broadcasters in Hilversum, and that sector is really busy, as more programmes are being made in the studio. Beau, Jinek, Veronica Inside – these are all programmes where we do the lights and audio. The profits at Chain help keep the rest going. In addition, the holding, Rent-All, is a healthy business. While other companies have had to let many people go, we invest in retaining people. Some employees have a reduced workload due to COVID-19 measures. I talk to them to try to find out more about their skills and areas of interest, so we can find other work for them temporarily. I always try to put myself in the position of whoever I’m talking to. The thing is, they may well have another interpretation of the conversation. I graduated in economics, but in hindsight, I would have preferred to study psychology. I find it so interesting to discover what motivates people and where their talents lie.”