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 Una Hernes Flaatten, Chief Growth Officer at Dolittle, an End-to-End platform for building and managing Event-Driven microservices applications.
What are your ambitions as a future leader?
Economic growth, digitisation and sustainability should go hand in hand. I want to make a dent in the universe by paving the way for future disrupters and trailblazers. – Or in short, empower the people around me to challenge and change the status quo.
What would be your goals as a leader?
The business models of today must catch up with market needs and realities. My goal is to provide the tools and support organisations need to cultivate innovation and create sustainable business growth.
What are the three words that your employees would say about you as a leader?
Who is your role model?
The first I come to think of is Bill Gates, for multiple reasons. One of them being that he uses most of his wealth to do–and inspire–good actions and better the world. I also have many others that inspire me on a day-to-day basis including friends, family, former managers, co-workers, and mentors.
What are the lessons in your professional career that you have learned the most from?
Too much communication does not exist. From my most recent move from a big corporate (Microsoft) to a tech start-up, this has left its mark.
In an ideal world, all opinions and decisions are understood and respected, even though people might disagree. It took me a long time to learn and accept that it is impossible to have everyone agreeing with or liking you all the time. And that is OK.
Why did you join SHE Leads? What did you hope to learn from the mentors?
I wanted to develop my leadership capabilities, network with other ambitious women, and learn what it takes to succeed in top management roles. I had high expectations when I got matched with an experienced top leader, and he still exceeded them all. Thomas has been a great sounding board, challenged me, and provided me with leadership tools and strategies that I now actively use.
What do you think would be your strengths and weaknesses as a leader?
I thrive in complex environments and think one of my biggest strengths is being comfortable with navigating and adapting to change in ambiguous situations. I also believe in providing the freedom people need to innovate and test ideas in their daily work. This tends to be less compatible with traditional corporate structures and processes. Most of the time, this is neither easy or popular, and requires a lot of patience (not my strongest trait) and perseverance.
What are the key takeaways from SHE Leads?
SHE Leads have provided me tools, network and support and empowered me to reflect on my own skills, focus and ambitions. In short, the SHE Leads program has given me a framework I can leverage to realize my leadership goals.
Why would you recommend future leaders to join SHE Leads?
I have met so many competent and engaged female leaders, that I am proud to have in my network. Same goes for my mentor, which I am very grateful to have connected with. In addition, the organisers (SHE, Deloitte, and Korn Ferry) have done a great job with creating relevant content and an interactive learning environment. If you sign up, I doubt you will regret it.