Interview with Ken Olausson and Andréa Egedal

Andrea Egedal and Ken Olausson

As leaders, Andréa Egedal and Ken Olausson complement each other. While Ken has worked at Sigma Technology since graduating in 1998 and has been a manager for almost two years, Andréa Egedal is new at the company, but has worked as a manager since 2008.

Describe your leadership profile.

Ken: – Sigma has a flat organizational structure. Our teams have about 20 members and, when a team gets bigger than that, a new manager is added and a new team is formed. There are three levels: consultants, unit managers, and the CEO.

How would you describe your leadership style?

Andréa: – Prestigeless. Being a leader is a trust you have been given. You have to be flexible and dare to make decisions. A leader should strive to make their team successful. Leadership has to fit both the situation and the individual.

“Being a leader is a trust.”  – Andréa Egedal

Ken: – Honest. I always try to create an open atmosphere where everyone has a clear understanding of what they do. The goal is to make everyone see that we are a part of something bigger.

How do you develop your team members?

Andréa: – Besides personal goals and coaching, we also have an individual development budget of 15,000 SEK per year. It’s up to each employee to choose how to use that money.
Ken: – We also have seminars and lunch lectures at our locations in Sweden. It is our consultants who hold the lectures, so it also works as an internal competence transfer.

What do you do to stimulate your team’s creativity? 

Ken: – We have creativity contests, such as “describe a new view of your day at work in a photo” or how to solve work-related problems like creating the most interesting presentation of the equipment in a conference room.

Andréa: – Creativity in a consultant is highly individualistic. Customers need to get value and part of that is that the consultant should come up with new ideas. But we also stimulate creativity to make our workplace more enjoyable.

What is the biggest challenge in being a leader today?

Ken : – You have to see everyone. There are four elements: customer, consultant, manager and company. As a manager, you’re right in the middle of this and you have to make sure everybody works together. You have to be available, maybe not always physically, but you have to be easy to reach. And every team member needs to be heard.

Andréa: – To be responsive and informative, and to handle communication so that all parties understand each other. It’s incredibly important to keep everyone happy. Then you’ve succeeded as a leader.

About Andréa Egedal
Title: Unit Manager
Education: Space Engineer, Umeå University, graduated 2001

About Ken Olausson
Title: Unit Manager
Education: Civil Engineer, Chalmers University of Technology, graduated 1998.