Lennart Käll about knowledge, competence and leadership2018-10-29
Education is obviously a valuable investment - it gives you possibilities. A good education is the ticket to your future career, but it is the actual knowledge that is the key to your own ability to think and reflect. It is about the ability to learn, to seek out information, interpret, reflect, draw conclusions and proceed to action, says Lennart Käll.
Lennart Käll is chairman of Sveriges Radion (Swedish Broadcasting), board member of SJ (Swedish Rail), Grönklittsgruppen, Länsförsäkringar, Grant Thornton and previously chief executive to multiple big companies, latest Svenska Spel. He has a degree in Business and Economics from Karlstad Business School (then known as part of Karlstad University College).
- When I was a student, I suppose I did not know what I wanted to be exactly. I got involved in student life, founded and joined the student union Karlekon, worked in the Student Union where I was a board member. It was a good way to get experience in leadership and learn to pursue and push issues. The years as a student and the commitment also gave me a network. A good network is something I have had use of all my career, says Lennart Käll.
- When you, as a leader, need to design the team around you, it is important to balance different qualities. I use the formula P x C = R, that is to say personality times competence equals results. To be proactive and maintain your network is therefore very important. One tip is to think about what network will be useful to you during your study period in different contexts ahead in the future, different personalities and competence. Take care of your contacts and relations.
Knowledge and competence
In his different roles Lennart has recruited and hired a lot of co-workers. Education is currently an obvious factor which can open the door to the first step in the career.
- A good education is obvious, but we are moving further away from what is on the CV and focus more on the personality. Your CV is important for the first jobs. But it is mostly on what you add to a team, what qualities and ability – besides the knowledge – which completes the group. Competence can be dived in two part – knowledge and the ability to use it. Also add social ability, a social competence, character, values and ethical compass. These are examples of extremely important qualities when it comes to recruiting.
- What I felt was missing when I was a student, and something that is still missing I several programmes, is behavioural science, psychology. Most who graduate as economists or civil engineers, will be leader in some form and context. In order to optimize your leadership, you need to understand people and our different qualities and personalities, says Lennart Käll.
He is currently the chairman for Sveriges Radio, a task he takes very seriously.
-Public service is extremely important, never more important, these days, the commercial actors have their role and importance, however the non-purchasable, not political, the critical, deep analysis and debates, questioning is very important in order for us to protect the acquiring of knowledge and building of the community. There is a current risk in the society that what reaches us becomes too shallow, much too easy. A predominant part of swedes, 78 percent, want to protect the public service, there seems to be a thirst for deepening, to receive knowledge and take in what others reflects. It enriches us as humans and therefore education needs to get forum. Sveriges Radio has both wide and depth for all ages and people. Over five million tune in every week. Pods and documentaries are a brilliant example on news and bets which are appreciated.
Leadership is about courage
With his several missions as chief executive and chairman, Lennart Käll has a solid experience of leadership. He has also several times declined chief executive task.
- There have been times when the company has not been able to define the task. I see my tasks as projects, with a clear start and a clear end. It gives a different resilience in the job you do, rather than just viewing it as an “employment”. Which is why it is important that the task at hand needs to be defined and that goes for all levels. Ask yourself – what is the task? Sometimes the task itself could be to make a task. If it is obvious then it is obvious when it is time to search for new challenges.
If he can choose the most important quality with a good leader Lenart Käll chooses – COURAGE.
-It is the most important for a leader. It is about courage to be able to lead an organization or a team, to find new, more efficient and smarter solutions, to dare walk you own path. To dare make decisions.
Lennart Käll is the chairman in Sveriges Radio, board member in SJ, Grönklittsgruppen, Länsförsäkringar, Grant Thornton. He was previously chief executive to Svenska Spel, Wasa Kredit, ICA Banken. Ticket Travel Group and SEB Finans. He has a degree in programmer/It from Örebro and a Master of Science degree in Business and Economics from the former Karlstad University College - now Karlstad University. He is also an author of the book “Bakbunden” (Pinioned). It is about the attack and kidnapping attempt on him in spring 2016. It is also about gaming addictions, match fixation, the new criminality and some leadership tip. In July 2017 he co-hosted in Sveriges Radio P 1 as a "summer talker".