Why did you take on the role as Managing Director, South East Asia, for Maersk Line?
Such an opportunity only presents itself once in a life time. Maersk Line has a long and proud history in South East Asia, and it is a privilege to be entrusted with the keys. With the best team in the industry now consolidated under one simple organisational structure, I am extremely excited about the opportunities ahead. We are uniquely positioned to further strengthen Maersk Line’s leadership position and value proposition to both our customers and talents in South East Asia.
What are the most challenging aspects of your job, in relation to recruiting and retaining talent?
Attracting talents with high mobility has become increasingly important for us. We have a unique opportunity to leverage Maersk Line’s vast geographical reach across South East Asia to field the strongest possible team in the market. We are also actively recruiting talents and competencies from a wide range of industries. It is no longer enough to only attract the best and the brightest of the shipping industry. To stay relevant you must stay ahead and lead the change, so we are complementing our strong talent base with additional competencies and a fresh perspective.
What do you consider to be the key attributes of a successful MD in South East Asia?
We go to great lengths to ensure that the strategic planning and core operating model are aligned and clearly communicated across countries. However, South East Asia has a population of 625 million across 10 countries, so it is essential to appreciate and respect diversity across the countries. We do this with teams founded on fully empowered local talents of world class calibre at all levels. We need to mirror the diverse and complex nature of the markets in which we operate to ensure successful execution.
What really drives you in your daily work?
The fact that what we do matters. Maersk Line has connected South East Asia businesses with the world for almost a century. Our business is all about enabling global commerce, making a difference in millions of people’s lives. That is a great and lasting source of motivation. Those seemingly anonymous containers moving around out there contain the passion and huge efforts of people and businesses all over the world.
How would you describe your management style?
Picking the right senior leaders and aligning on a clearly defined focus and ambition. I like to limit the focus to a few core deliverables, which we rally the team passionately and consistently around. I believe in having a simple standard operating model, which reduces effort required to deliver the business of today. This releases a lot of energy and resources in the organisation, which can be channeled towards entrepreneurial or transformational initiatives. These are what defines the business of tomorrow.
Do you ever contemplate failure?
I always play to win. However, if you never fail at anything, you are not pushing the boundaries enough. Taking calculated risks is part of life.
What do you do to balance work and life?
With three young children there is not a lot of balancing on my part outside of work – I just try to keep up! However, living and working internationally means there are always new adventures at your doorstep. South East Asia is amazing and we are not shy to make use of this privilege whenever a jam-packed school and sports schedule permits
New Manager Barometer by Odgers Berndtson shows high approval ratings for the still young leaders...
By Paul Butterworth MNI, Global Head of the Maritime & Shipping Practice at Odgers Berndtson