Johnny is smiling and greeting me politely when I enter his room. This office – in the middle of our storage facility where all BAADER spare parts are stored – is only temporarily. The company is rapidly expanding, and the new offices are still in the making. Johnny Klein Olsen is the new Production Manager at Petur Larsen.
Hands on experience as a machine engineer
Working in administration was not how Johnny began his career. Until his 30s, Johnny’s approach to work was purely by getting his hands dirty. Back then, you would find Johnny in overalls partnering up with his trusted tools through thick and thin. Aside from his affluent passion for craftsmanship, Johnny gradually grew aware of leadership and discovered the great importance of proper administration in any company.
In 2010 – the year the big volcano eruption from Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland forced airlines in the northern hemisphere to come to a halt – Johnny managed to secure a job requiring him to master administration skills. He was hired as a machine engineer at Gentofte Hospital in Denmark.
Different country and doomed from beginning
At the time, Johnny had only lived in the Faroe Islands, but travelling to Denmark suited Johnny well. For quite some time, Johnny had hoped for the opportunity to acquire work experience in some other country. Now was the opportunity. Arriving together with Johnny in his new position in Denmark were many unforeseen, mind-boggling problems. It was only after his first week at work that Johnny realised his job, to a great extent, was about administration and leadership and not walking in overalls, getting his hands dirty.
Being a manager for the first time was both hard and demanding. Johnny had just settled down in a new country and had just learned what was expected of him. As anyone else would have done in Johnny’s situation, he doubted his abilities and was worried about whether he would be up for the challenge. Surely, Johnny was a confident machine engineer with years of experience, but he did not have any real experience in administration and leadership.
Life builds character; experience builds wisdom
After attending a couple of leadership courses, getting positive feedback from his staff, and seeing they were thriving under his leadership, Johnny speedily found himself comfortable in the role as a manager and was able to embrace the challenges entirely. With a boosted confidence and ignited passion for leadership, Johnny was now directing his focus on how best could use his knowledge, passion, and – not least of all – work experience as an engineer to create his style of leadership.
“It takes a while before you realise that the best way to operate is to be true to yourself. Luckily, you do not need to be another person or play some kind of a role,” says Johnny, smiling.
Johnny did well on his job, and eventually, he found himself as a manager of the engineering division at Lundbeck Pharma A/S. Medical companies are very strict in their management structure, and for Johnny, the change was very noticeable.
Johnny says that Lundbeck is extremely focused on its strategy and goals. To make things work, great effort is taken in breaking the goals and strategies into smaller parts and passing them all the way down the system.
“Everyone knows exactly what he or she is expected to achieve, having an exceedingly systematic and ongoing approach to every single goal,” Johnny says.
Shortly after you meet Johnny, you will realise that he is not the kind of person that raises his voice to make a point. He is kind and relaxed but is also very focused and good at developing strategies and executing them. People seem to thrive well under his leadership.
Family is important
While Johnny was delighted to work in Denmark, he could not say the same about his family situation. Johnny’s daughter was living in the Faroe Islands, and she was missing from his life, which meant Johnny was looking for a new job closer to his family.
“The situation was evidently not bearable anymore. I was heartbroken each time I had to say goodbye and was watching her crying for dad while I boarded the plane,” says Johnny with sadness in his face as he thinks about one of the incidents.
It was by chance that Johnny stumbled upon Petur Larsen’s job listing indicating that he was looking for a Production Manager. He applied, and after the job interview, Johnny was convinced that this job was perfect for him.
Securing a new and exciting job without sacrificing his family is now a reality for Johnny Klein Olsen, and he can now spend time with his daughter every day.
Better products and BAADER services
“I feel that I have so much to offer. Petur Larsen is a well-run company, and I am bringing with me the most valuable lesson I learned at Lundbeck: Improvement is a never-ending process, meaning that we will continuously improve our work at Petur Larsen,” says Johnny, excited about his new task at hand.
Johnny’s primary responsibilities are managing All BAADER Service Engineers and the blacksmiths working at Petur Larsen. Johnny will continuously work on improving the quality of products and services Petur Larsen offers, which is a win-win situation for both the company and the customers.