Q&A With Future Leaders From SHE Leads

SHE Leads


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Each week we will give you a Q&A on their experience with SHE Leads and about their ambitions as leaders.  This week we spoke with Melinda Johnsen, Business Area Manager Norway for the telecommunications company Telia. 

What are your ambitions as a future leader?

Solve real problems and to inspire a more diverse future where people dare to be themselves.  

Photo by SHE Community

What would be your goals as a leader?

Leave this world a better place than I found it.

What are the three words that your employees would say about you as a leader?

  •  Trustworthy
  • Real
  • Passionate.  

Who is your role model? 

I have many! I’m a growth geek, I’m curious and love contrasts. I learn great stuff from great people all the time. If I should mention a few of my top inspirations, so others can get inspired too; Brene Brown, Dalai Lama and Andra Farhad, her podcast Börshajen, was one of the reasons I started investing at the stock market last year. Girls: we can’t run the world if we don’t own it.

What are the lessons in your professional career that you have learned the most from?

A diverse crowd makes better decisions. “If everybody thinks the same, nobody thinks.” Everyone has great qualities, as a leader it’s your job to find and focus on them and utilize them. You can learn something from everybody, so be curious and you’ll have great experiences coming your way.  

SHE Leads mentors and mentees led by Jeanette Carter.

Why did you join SHE Leads? What did you hope to learn from the mentors?

I knew I was ready to develop and get out of my comfort zone again. I just needed guidance and help to get out there and find the right direction. 

What do you think would be your strengths and weaknesses as a leader?

In business I’m innovative and commercial. I come from sales with an entrepreneurial mindset; it’s all a numbers game. But more importantly I’m a people-person. I inspire people to grow and thrive. And in all companies, people are the most important assets you have, and if you’re not into people, you are not a leader. My weakness, I get very engaged and score high on feelings.  

What are the key takeaways from SHE Leads?

We’re just half way through, but I’ve met so many inspiring people. I’ve learned so much. And the journey me and my mentor are going through, has taught me more about myself that I ever thought was possible. I’ve truly become a better version of myself, and a much more confident one. Maybe it sounds like a cliché, but I really see things more clearly now.  

Why would you recommend future leaders to join SHE Leads?

The numbers don’t lie, we need much more female leaders. We won’t make the right decisions about our future if we don’t have a more diverse crowd making these decisions. And it’s our job as women, to lift other women and be our son’s and daughter’s role models. And last but not least, it’s going to be one of the most memorable experiences, where you learn from professional c-suite trainers and make friends and connections for life.   •

Check out SHE Leads Virtual, launching January 2021.