Birgitta Andersson works as manager at the durability laboratory in Gothenburg, Sweden, for Volvo Group Trucks Technology. Her main tasks are to plan and lead the daily work for the lab’s team, which consists of feature leaders for durability, feature analysts and test engineers. “I see the coaching and personal development of my employees as an important part of my responsibility as manager,” she says.
When Birgitta was nominated to participate in the course “Emerging Leaders”, she saw this as a great opportunity to develop her managerial skills. “Emerging Leaders” is a self-managed learning programme spread out over 9 months, which allows the participants to bring in examples from their daily work.
Birgitta reveals: “In the first lesson I think we were all a bit surprised since you are used to having a teacher leading the training. The teacher just left the room and asked us to form teams by ourselves and to discuss our individual learning objectives. Looking in the mirror, this was something we all learnt much from. For me, it was clear from the beginning what managerial skills I wanted to enhance. We got to know each other very well in the team and built up a trust for each other during the education.”
Birgitta was able to put her new knowledge into practice right away. “One month after the training started I had my first permanent manager position, so for me the timing of the training couldn’t have been better! I could practice and do my “home-work” at work. I could bring questions back to the training team and get coached on how to handle different situations connected to the development of my leader competencies.”
She continues: “I have definitely developed as a coach during this training, which helps me in the daily dialogue with my employees“.
As advice for someone who wants to develop in their career, Birgitta says: “Take responsibility for your own development. There is a great opportunity within the Volvo Group and its University to take part in training for your personal development. Don’t forget that only 10 % of what we learn comes from formal training, so it is much up to yourself to practice in your daily work what you have learnt in the training. It is just up to you!”
First and last name: Birgitta Andersson
Position: Group Manager Durability, Cab, Chassis & Safety Testing
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Organisation: Volvo Group Trucks Technology
Education: Master of Science in Industrial Engineering & Management