Develop your skills, be curious and have fun. These are some tips for young talent with leadership ambitions from Sandvik’s Mikaela Warg and Selma Klipicová – two future Swedish female leaders as nominated by the Swedish trade organization Ledarna.
How does it feel to be listed?
Mikaela Warg (MW), HR Director, Sandvik Rock Tools: It’s so surprising and a little surreal. I feel honored and very humbled to be included. There are so many amazingly talented women out there.
Selma Klipic (SK), Production Manager, Sandvik Rock Tools: I can only agree: I feel very honored and happy to be on the list of these amazing and inspiring leaders. The women on this list are my personal inspiration and create an arena for others to develop, grow and learn. I’ve followed the Ice Creamery list for several years and it made me happy and motivated to see all the successful and talented women, so I still can’t fathom being part of the list.
Can you share a little about your background and why you decided to join Sandvik?
MW: I joined as a global graduate where I was lucky enough to work in different parts of Sandvik around the world. At first I thought I would only stay for a few years, but I’m still here and a big reason is that I really enjoy working at Rock Tools Division. We are on a really exciting journey with lots of opportunities – and challenges – and I have great colleagues to work with.
SK: I studied engineering because I am a curious person who likes to learn new things and want to understand how things work. After graduation, I started my career at Volvo Group as a global graduate, like Mikaela, and have since held various roles in engineering and operations. I joined Sandvik because it is a high-tech company with a strong focus on world-class manufacturing and sustainability. We want to win the race, to be the best, and that spirit excites me.
What do you think is most important to being an effective leader?
SK: I think it’s very important to reflect and keep learning and then develop this mindset in your teams: dare to challenge ways of working and engage the people around you in a common mission and create a sense of purpose. Together, I believe this creates happy individuals who form high-performing teams.
MW: I also think you have to have a genuine interest in people and in achieving things together. Building trust is also key because it supports high-performing teams that are constantly developing and growing. It is also important to remember to develop yourself and your team, there are always new things to learn.
What would be your best advice to young talents starting their careers with leadership ambitions?
MW: Start by developing yourself and the skills you think are necessary to be a good leader. There are so many opportunities to grow and develop your leadership – it’s not just about a formal title or position. Seek feedback from those around you to develop and challenge and learn. Also think about how you can add value in your current role, support your colleagues and gradually take on more responsibility. And most importantly, have fun along the way!
SK: Be curious – about the organization you work in, its products and services, but above all about the people around you. And have a desire to learn. You have many great colleagues to learn from, and make sure you connect with them to expand your network: both of these things will expand your understanding of the bigger picture. Focus on the job you have today, find ways to excel at it, and look for opportunities to develop your skills. Make sure you ask for more responsibility and be open about your ambitions with your manager. For example, you can ask for support in building a career plan, including elements such as a mentor, training and tasks to train different skills.