Becoming the leader
It was at my job interview at TetraPak in Lund, Sweden, I did personality tests too. I was just about to turn 20 years old when I received the results and told that I had a rare combination of traits and attributes, that good leaders have. And that this would probably cause me lots of problems in life, until I would be old, educated and experienced enough, to get such a position. If I would as a woman.
I was employed directly for the job as a mail runner, for a long term contract instead of just as a subsitute, and was welcomed to the company with a bouquet of flowers delivered to my little apartment. It was here, I was enabled to learn about both innovations and product development with designing and printing packages, and organizational structure and culture.
I was the first one to be allowed to be an intern at the Information department for two weeks when I continued to study, where I wrote the article as shown in the photo, and where I was encouraged by the Information manager to rather become a copywriter than an information assistant. And I did!
The founder's sons Gad and Hans Rausing were two men I also got to say hello to. They always walked through the entire plant to do just that, whenever they had important meetings in Sweden to tend to. I also got to run errands a summer, including deposit a check of 1.5 million in the bank downtown and deliver a contract of the fusion between Alfa Laval and TetraPak, to be signed by the CEO of the HQ in Switzerland, who was residing in the south of Sweden on his vacation. I was given a lot of responsibility which I gladly accepted in a gang of coworkers who most set out to also begin their careers like me, that all were my good friends. I also helped develop new clothes to be included in our work uniforms for women, by initiating the idea of designing and making city shorts instead of long tight skirts.
In this experience, together with being mentored by Henri Holmgren in the advertising business later, I was taught an important way of leading: To trust that the employee can, and will grow, with his/her duty when believed in, and when given the freedom to perform in his/her own preferred way towards the goal of the organization.
I was elected the president for a fraternity organization a couple of years, and later my coaching became about to empower others to find their own personal leader within, without having to compete with me.
It's all about taking charge over ourselves and the situation, which many need but perhaps don't always like that I do. And it's this I can and like to offer to the world.