Eric Bartsch: The Attributes of an Authentic Leader

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Erik Bartsch, VP exploration at Shell, addressing students of YLDP Houston.

By Preethi Srinivasan

HOUSTON: On January 16, the students of YLDP had the privilege of hearing from Erik Bartsch at India House. Bartsch is a geologist and the Vice President for Exploration North America. In sharing his experiences on leadership, Bartsch successfully conveyed the importance of his career, and the attributes essential to becoming a respectable leader. As a Shell employee, he aids in finding oil throughout the nation, and manages over 80 employees directly. This proves evident that he is an extremely capable leader in his field.

In his presentation on the importance of his job, Erik Barstch stated that in the upcoming years the population of the world will increase dramatically, and thus the necessity of oil and other energy sources will escalate. For this very reason, Barstch’s job has become even more critical. Science and technology are fields that continue to grow exponentially with the industrialization of humanity. To be a well-endowed leader in this fast-paced environment, there are many skills one must have. Bartsch describes them as authenticity, growth, collaboration, performance, and trust. A good leader must have a vision that he or she can put into action, and to do this, they must build strong relationships with others. Also, the head of a company cannot be without personal integrity and a sense of trust. For others to have faith in a leader, they must be reliable and approachable, not self-interested.

By the end of his speech, Bartsch impressed the students of YLDP. But, what I enjoyed the most was learning about his personal experiences like traveling abroad to work with people all across the globe. It is fascinating how Bartsch has received the opportunities to experience other cultures and work with people with completely different views and ideas. This, to me, just emphasizes the importance of his five key leadership attributes, since Bartsch is a first-hand example of their credibility. In essence, Bartsch is not only an incredible geologist, but also he is a very successful and humble leader, and the students in YLDP really appreciated his presentation.