During the year of 19/20 we at Chalmers Teknologkonsulter have had Max Lundström (CEO) and Joel Trollheden (EVP), two amazing people, lead us, motivate, and inspire us to do our best. We would like to thank them so much for their time, and before we send them of on their next chapter in their life, we wanted to ask them some questions about their time at CTK and what the future has in store.
What has been the most rewarding experience during your year as CEO/EVP?
Max: When I look back to where and who I was at the beginning of my time at CTK I can see an enormous development professionally and personally. This is the core of CTK, to allow driven and bright minded students to develop. This has also been the most rewarding aspect of being the CEO for CTK, to see people grow from new insecure consultants to dedicated and high performing individuals. What makes this especially rewarding is the shear amount of people that you have the possibility to help and see develop.
Joel: My most rewarding experience has been to work with and lead the management team and the company. This is something I have never done before and I feel was the most challenging part. For instance, how to organise ourselves to reach the goals or how to make sure every colleague works in the same direction. Organisations and people are complex and there is usually not one answer for how to achieve success.
If you had the chance to redo your year as CEO/EVP, what would you do differently?
Max: We always say that hindsight is 20/20 and I think that the ideas that I currently have are based upon my experiences from the past year. Therefore, I would not like to change my past approach since it has allowed me to learn a great deal. If I had the task to plan for the next year I would like to focus on strengthening the core personnel of CTK. Creating a stable and inspiring leadership which can help new consultants to develop in the right way.
Joel: I would focus more on the leadership and strategic aspects of the company. Making sure that all the employees have the tools and competences they need to succeed as well as actively working with implementing the company vision. In practice this would entail a larger focus on the success factors and daily work of each part of the organisation so that there is a better understanding of how the company functions and enabling the employees to prioritize in accordance to the companies goals.
What advice would you give your successors?
Max: My best advice is to fail quickly. It is without a doubt in failure I have found the greatest learnings during our year. I know that a great deal of the thoughts running through my head currently would not resonate as well with me when I started my year last June. I lacked sufficient experience to be able to relate to these thoughts, and I believe the quickest way to get this experience is to quickly try the ideas you have without fear of failure.
Joel: I have two tips. The first one is thinking about what kind of leader you want to be and what kind of leader you are right now. Make sure to continuously reflect on what you are communicating through your leadership. The second one is to be mindful of what you spend your time on. Prioritising and working with what really matter is key when it comes to running a company. Take a step back once in a while and think about what you are working on and how that is contributing to the company goals.
What does the future have in store for you?
Max: The future is for me as for many others, a bit uncertain. I will hopefully be attending an exchange program the coming fall and then be writing my masters thesis. During my time at CTK I have come in contact with several companies that I would be interested in working for after I have graduated but have not locked on to a specific company or industry as of yet.
Joel: I am heading back to my studies! With this experience I have received a lot of new perspectives on what it means to work both as a consultant but also as an engineer which I think will help me greatly in my studies. Also, since I enjoy CTK so much I will continue as a member of the board and will aim to support the upcoming CEO and EVP as much as possible.