What have you learned about wise leadership, Lars G. Nordström?

Lars G. Nordstöm is Chairman of the Board of the power company Vattenfall and Board Member of the shipping company Viking Line and the financial group Nordea Bank, among other positions he holds.

Riitta Sirén, 31.10.2012

He retired as President and Group CEO of the postal company Posten Norden (now PostNord) in 2011.

What Does It Take to Exert a Positive Influence on a Company's Desion Making and Management?

You must have extensive business knowledge and work experience from various business areas and positions if you want to contribute to the company’s success. For me, having worked as CEO and as a board member at the same time in different companies has helped me to grasp the big picture. You must also have a genuine interest in the company, what it does and what it wants to achieve.

What Are the Most Valuable Career Decisions People Can Make?

Challenge yourself to change roles and job descriptions. Spend some time working for the headquarters and then apply for a position in a business division or unit. It pays off to see the company, the business and the industry from multiple points of views. You will be a more valuable asset if you know your craft inside and out.

What Has Been Most Instructive for You During Your Career?

I changed positions quite often. I did not have my career path exactly mapped out in advance; I took on new challenges when they were presented. Work itself has been one of my best teachers. I have also always been more interested in the content of the job description than the title or position. I suppose my transition in the 1990’s from one bank to its biggest competitor raised some eyebrows, but the job interested me so I took it. One thing I can say, though, is that the ability to create size and to work in environments where size, scale and scope matter, is one of the most valuable skills I acquired.

What Wisdom Would You Like to Pass on to Future Business Leaders?

Question the conventional balance. Plan less, do more. Emphasize tactics rather than strategy. Think more about the how, when and by whom than the what. Plan more for the short run; do not obsess over the long run. Naturally, you should always have long-term plans in place, but in order to reach your long-term goals, you should start acting right now.

PROFILE MAGAZINE 3/2012 page 5


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