From Silent Rock Stars to High Performers: How to Create a Great Team

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Twelve years ago, I left Sweden for Norway on a whim. I was young and enamored by Norway’s breathtaking landscapes, mountains, and fjords. My first job was in Customer Services, working in churn and customer loyalty. I loved what I did and worked in various positions. One day, my friend recommended I apply to Schneider after being impressed by the work culture. I was hired, and nine years later, I am still at Schneider.

9 years, 5 roles

The reason I joined Schneider is the very reason I have stayed. I felt part of something purposeful, aligning my work with the company’s core values. Technology, I believe, has the solution to the world’s biggest problems, and being part of a company that shares this vision is truly fulfilling. In a world where job-hopping has become commonplace, I am inspired by the fact that I have been able to build a lasting bond with my employer.

One of the main reasons for this connection is the sense of belonging that Schneider exudes — to be part of something. When you love what you do and the people you work with, it fills your heart with contentment and happiness.

Another reason for my commitment to Schneider is their dedication to promoting internal talent. The opportunities I have received, such as working on Global Development Projects and collaborating with colleagues from different countries, have taken me to places I never imagined possible. The recognition and rewards that come with hard work and dedication have made me feel valued and motivated to continue contributing to the success of the company.

I am currently in the funniest role of my career – Vice President of Operations. This mean I’m responsible for a matrix organization, which includes customer satisfaction and quality, service support, commercial support, special order management, global field services administration, tech support, commercial support for transactional sales, pre-sales team, and master data.

I work with smart, talented, and inspiring people who challenge me every day and here is what I learnt about building epic teams!

Forging the dream team

When I am asked to create a team to fulfill a certain task, I ask,

  • What activities need to be carried out to fulfill the task?
  • What skill sets do these activities require?

I also ask myself the most important question — Which personality would rightly fit the existing team dynamics?

A good team player is as important as the skills they can bring to the table. That’s why I prioritize finding team players who are motivated by a shared vision and who thrive in a collaborative environment.

Personalities & Performance

As a manager, I have the privilege of leading teams made up of diverse personalities. Some of my team members may not be the loudest or the most outgoing, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be outstanding performers. In fact, I’ve found that many talented individuals prefer to work behind the scenes, quietly making significant contributions to the team’s success. I call them ‘silent rockstars’!

As a leader, I make it a point to not only recognize the key success factors for each role but also to understand the unique strengths of each team member. Acknowledging and rewarding good performance is crucial to building a motivated and engaged team.

At Schneider, I’ve experienced firsthand the power of being recognized for my contributions. In fact, many of the positions I’ve held were offered to me because someone took notice of my performance. My superiors have established my mandate in front of others, setting the scene for my success. Their support has been instrumental in my growth and development.

Now, as a manager, I’m committed to doing the same for my team. By recognizing and rewarding individual strengths and contributions, I’m able to create an environment where everyone feels valued and motivated to do their best work.

Trust — the secret to an outstanding team

When it comes to building an outstanding team, I believe that trust is the key ingredient. As a manager, I start by trusting everyone’s intentions and abilities. I know everyone wants to do a good job and contribute to the team’s success.

Micromanaging is the opposite of trust, and it can crush an individual’s drive to work. That’s why I make it a priority to build trust with my team members. But trust is a two-way street. I want my team members to trust me as their leader as well. So, I spend time getting to know them. I understand their strengths and weaknesses, giving them the autonomy to do their jobs.

When there is trust within a team, creativity flourishes, and individuals start to come up with innovative ideas. I give my team a lot of freedom, and in return, they take ownership of their work and go above and beyond to accomplish our goals.

Diversity is crucial

As a firm believer in the power of diversity, I have come to realize that having a team made up of individuals with similar backgrounds and perspectives can only get you so far. True innovation and breakthroughs happen when different perspectives and experiences are brought to the table.

Diversity encompasses a range of factors including cultural, educational, geographical, social and physical backgrounds. I’m not an engineer. But I’m still in the management team of a global tech company. I am proof that one’s contribution to a team is not limited by their field of expertise.

We have made great strides in promoting diversity in the past years, but there is still work to be done. We need to continue to create an environment where every individual feels welcomed, valued, and empowered to contribute their unique perspective. By doing so, we can foster a culture of creativity, inclusivity, and excellence that will lead us to even greater heights.

Are you interested in career at Schneider Electric like Anna? Check out our website for more information and for available positions to take your career journey to the next level. www.se.com/careers

About the Author

Anna Haakansson, VP Operations in Norway, has been working for Schneider Electric for 9 years. Anna has joined Schneider because her friend, who worked (and still working) in Schneider, then has recommended her to apply. Joining as a CCC Supervisor in Customer Satisfaction & Quality, Anna since has changed 5 roles throughout the years. In her current position, Anna is leading different teams in Special Order Management, Field Service Administration, Commercial Support, Presales, Technical Support.

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