During the trainee program I’ve had a lot of time to think about the above question. The input to my thoughts has been both assignments during the Trainee Summits, literature and of course meeting the different leaders and managers in the organization. It is a huge opportunity to work with as many managers as we do during these 18 month; from the shift leaders we work with in production, the department managers we report to at every new placement to the monthly lunches with our General Manager.

To work with so many leaders at different levels in the organization really gives you a smorgasbord of great leadership examples to learn from. Leaders are individuals like everyone else with different qualities, experiences and different groups to led, so of course their way of doing their job will be different.

Previously I’ve been under the impression that being a good leader is a lot about yourself, identifying and developing your own “leadership toolbox”. And of course it has a lot to do with who you are and to work on your own personal traits, but I’ve recently realized how much being a good leader has to do with knowing and understanding the people reporting to you.

To me, the best leader is the person who recognizes the individuals in a group and what they need from you to perform their best, rather than what you need from them. This person knows their employees potential and makes you see your own potential. Like when you walk into your boss’s office to get an answer and after getting a few well though through questions end up finding the solution yourself. Isn’t that the greatest feeling? You walk away feeling good about yourself and bringing a lot of new self-confidence into your next task.

Of course there are a lot of other characteristics and behaviors you are looking for in your dream boss. But I would like to recommend a very simple book about leadership called the One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. The principle of the book is that if the employee is really sure of what his or her responsibilities are the manager’s job will be done and she or he can spend their time doing other things than following up on their employees work all the time. This is accomplished by setting one-minute goals and performing one-minute praisings and one-minute reprimands. I love the simplicity of the model, and weather you believe in it or not it gives a new perspective of what a manager is.

I wouldn’t say that we have a lot of One Minute Managers at Octapharma, but one big advantage you have as a trainee is that you get to work for every manager, before you apply for a permanent position at his or her department. That is an opportunity you don’t usually get when you apply for a new position. And now when we’ll soon start looking for our future role at Octapharma that is a very interesting aspect to take into consideration.

Have a great week!