Leadership, I can talk about it for ages. It fascinates me to see how leaders in all kinds of positions within organisations act. Many have the function, few the competencies. With my company, Trainnovation, I help organizations and individuals how to lead with competence and confidence. I often find that people who performed very well in their profession had been promoted to a leadership position, without having a proper training for this completely different challenge. In a leadership position you need a lot of new tools and get used to work with those tools. That takes time and perseverance.
In my professional life I have been in such situations as well and I have learned a lot since. With my book Lead Between the Lines I want to share my experience and knowledge about leadership in order to help you going through the learning curve faster.
My first experience as a leader of a team is from 1989, when I had been promoted as 3rd engineer on board of a cruise ship. I came on board thinking that I would be 4th engineer and member of one of the three shifts. But as soon as I was on board I was told to lead a team of eight technicians. They plunged me in the deep and I had to figure out how to get this dysfunctional group working again. I have made a lot of mistakes and therefore learned a lot. After this I have had several leadership functions with different organizations. In the 90’s I started working on land (my second career) and added marketing and sales to my technical skills. Because I took the initiative to educate myself, I quickly climbed the ladder again.
In 2001, I was Service Manager for a company in the food market and responsible for a group of 25 engineers and technicians. Further I was P&L responsible for that department. No one in the whole management team had a formal leadership education, but together we were responsible for about a hundred employees and their families. I found that, to say the least, a bit irresponsible and therefore started my MBA study at age 37.
In 2003 I graduated and found new management and leadership positions ever since. The last active leadership position was for a large contractor in the petrochemical industry, where I was responsible for a team of 150 employees. It was a company within a company. In this position I found that my passion lies in developing leaders and organizations and therefore in 2011 I have decided to once more change my course and started as an entrepreneur (my third career!).
I now train and coach leaders in industrial environments and act as a consultant for companies with organizational challenges. With Lead Between the Lines I’m sure I can help many leaders to finally start leading and getting results. The book will be out in September/ October 2014. If you want to stay informed on the progress, please let me know by clicking here. I will at irregular intervals write an update and send it to my subscribers.
In the meantime: Stop Suffering, Start Leading and Get Results!
All the best!
Sjoerd de Waal