The world is changing and so are leadership styles. What traits are most important to IT leaders today?
A quick Google image search for the word “trust” will yield pictures of people being thrown in the air, people hanging off the edge of a cliff, and also a lot of handshaking. It shouldn’t come as a surprise as Merriam-Webster defines trust as, “One in which confidence is placed.”
For Magnus Åkerlind, Director of Global IT Coordination, Loomis AB, trustworthiness is like a secret code sent to customers, “When you promise something, make sure to deliver on it, because your faithfulness will be felt by your customers via the people who directly reports to you.”
While Åkerlind talks about indirect trust, Ann-Charlotte Arnshav, Business CIO at SAS AB, is hard at work gaining direct trust, “You need to be able to trust your employees and feel confident that they know what they’re doing. This can be accomplished through delegation, which is something that I’m working very hard towards because I actually have a great team.”
Rikard Andreasson, IT & Strategic Change Director (Norway) at Trygg-Hansa Försäkringsaktiebolag, echoes both sentiments, “The people working for me say that I’m both trustworthy and trusting. See, I really believe that my people come to work every day to do their best. For me, a good leader trusts and delegates, and they don’t always think they know best.”
It seems that the days of top-down leaders are numbered at least according to these new breed of inclusive leaders. “I try to be inclusive and I work cross-functionally. One of my strengths as a leader is my ability to include people and create high performing teams across the matrix,” shares Rikard Andreasson.
If Andreasson is thinking in terms of performance, Ann-Charlotte Arnshav is into forging deeper trust, “I’ve a leadership style that’s very inclusive. I try ensure that the team is a part of the discussions and the decisions that are being made, because I think that’s very important in making people trust you.”
Just like Andreasson, Jouko Mäntylä, IT Director at Tamro Oyj, sees inclusiveness in light of the end result, “I place importance in working together, because when people are working towards a common goal, they tend to give their best into seeing it through.”
At the heart of every goal achieved is focus. “I have an extreme drive, which comes from being passionate. For me, it doesn’t help anyone if you don’t enjoy what you do,” shares Aniruddho Basu. While some people are inwardly focused, Jouko Mäntylä is the opposite, “I try to talk about my ideas out loud. I use the audience to think my ideas through.” Still others express focus in terms of being immovable like Rikard Andreasson who ends with, “I stand by what I say and always deliver on what I promised.”
The interviews were conducted at the 600Minutes Executive IT, Sweden, March 9, 2016, Nordic StrategyForum Internet of Things, April 14-15, 2016, and 600Minutes Executive IT, Finland, March 16, 2016. For more on our upcoming events, visit the Event Calendar»
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