This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.
I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing.
In the interview, Lars shares how he has built his company around the values of transparency and learning. He shared what he learned from working for others – and how that shaped his unique way of doing business. He encourages everyone to come up with suggestions and new ideas as long as people back them up with facts. He shares how openly talking about his values allows him to attract the right kind of employees and clients. He vulnerably opens up about his fears and challenges and yet how he feels in gratitude for the impact he is having on others’ lives through his work.
You can find Lars at the below links
In the interview, Lars shares
- We combined the businesses in 2018. At that point, we had six people and here we are four years later we grew from 6 to 30.
- The first thing that I wanted in the company is complete transparency. All of us staff at the moment know what they are earning, know what the colleagues are earning. They know how much we ask for our clients, how many hours that I was at work that, that represents and same applies to the clients.
- In our company, everybody has an opinion. Everybody can come up with improvements or with their reasoning. How they are thinking we basically have one rule and that is okay. You can say everything you want, but you need to back it up with arguments or facts. And whether it’s senior staff or union or trainee or intern, as long as they came up with some good ideas, they can back them up with facts or arguments. We as management or we as a company, owners are willing to listen to that.
- Our core values are something that really separates us from a lot of other companies. So it helps us to generate not only clients but also the clients that are thinking the same way as we are which results in. the same applies for getting the right people on the job.
- My role has completely changed because I’m not working for clients anymore. I’m there for my staff and I need to help them as soon as they have some problems or as soon as our clients have one of the problems with the work that we are delivering.
- Some of the jobs that we are having at this moment, may be gone in, in one or two years or maybe even faster (due to artificial intelligence). We need to make sure that everybody knows what is going on and how do you keep up with that and how to cope with that, to just make sure that everybody keeps, it keeps a job and we still have our clients and have value for our clients.
- Everybody in the company has an unlimited study budget, which basically means if you want to go to a seminar and events follow a course, read a book or anything you can just go. We will pay for that. This basically means that I’ve got some colleagues who spent like 30 euros a year on developing while their neighbour is spending like 5,000 euros a year for also developing.
- And I think that’s really important because as long as everybody is developing their skills, they will get smarter and better, and it will result in better work for our clients. And it results for a better name for our company. Let’s be honest, as soon as you, as a person stop developing then how do you go forward in life?
- One of the things that most people will not know is the fact that in the beginning, I was really scared to do these kinds of talks. And everybody was like how can you do that? But now when, once you’ve done it, a couple of times, you’re not nervous anymore.
- The fact that we are able to make an impact on the lives of others. That is the thing that we are most grateful for.