Leadership is about courage.
Anna-Karin Flöjt started at Semcon in 2006, six months later she had become the department manager for Product Information Stockholm.
Get to know the leader who lives according to Semcon’s leadership promise “Being leaders who put people first – every day”. She values courage and actively seeks new perspectives, whether from colleagues, customers or the diverse circle of friends at the gym.
I aim for openness and courage to be the common thread in my leadership. It can manifest in many ways, such as attentiveness to others: It is easy to believe you understand how someone else is reasoning or why someone is acting in a certain way. I would rather see that we ask and share our own perception of a situation. Being brave and daring to deal with the uncomfortable are important ingredients in leadership: When there has been an issue, the solution has always been to bring it to the surface, since understanding each other’s roles and starting points helps us grow empathy for each other.
Being straightforward is another characteristic I honor in leadership: Since there are many ways to achieve a goal, it is important to have a shared view on what that goal is. At first, my directness can come across as a bit scary but once people notice that I have their best in mind, it turns into an appreciated quality.
An open leadership style also means daring to try new things and letting go of what does not work. We try out a lot of new ideas to develop how we collaborate and boost engagement. Some initiatives do not work at all and are discontinued. But many have been successful. One example is Open Space, where the whole department suggests topics related to Semcon. Then we select three of them, and discuss them in different rooms. Another concept that we have created together is PI Foresight, where we cook dinner together and share our thoughts on future trends within technical documentation.
I have always been curious about other perspectives in addition to my own: Although I do not consider myself to be an “exercise and fitness person”, I do spend a lot of time at the gym. There, I have gotten to know people who share my interest in weight training, that I never would have crossed paths with otherwise. Thanks to the gym, I have found a context where we all have different backgrounds and roles.
It is important to create an open climate for real, so that it does not become a cliché – and it takes deliberate work. You should feel safe to own up to your limits, dare to ask about something, or ask for help. I much rather have short check-ins as questions and challenges pop-up than saving everything to meet once a week. Oftentimes, it is me who reaches out to colleagues to learn more about something they are experts in. In essence, it is about helping each other, being available and making your good intentions apparent, within Semcon as well as towards our customers.
About Semcon Stories
A series of articles for everyone wondering what it’s like to work at Semcon. With Semcon Stories our employees get to highlight certain exciting aspects of their jobs.