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“We build long-term customer relationships – added value comes from honest encounters”
In leadership, the most important thing is to keep your head cold and your heart warm. This is what Chairman Lars Furuholm thinks. He relies on openness and listening.
My core competence is managing large entities. I don’t focus so much on the details – I want to open new paths for our clients. I challenge them in a positive way by asking questions that reveal their core needs. We must come up with good alternatives for them. My goal is always a long partnership with the customer.
We have agreed that I am a kind of mentor at DESK who shows direction, encourages, and gives advice. Being one of the founders at DESK, I worked as CEO from 2014 to 2020. Now it is others’ turn to be at the forefront. I want to grow skilled and motivated employees who will lead DESK forward.
In 1983, I started my business career at Helkama selling car spare parts. Helkama was a true business university for me, because I eventually moved up in the company to become the CEO in one of Helkama’s subsidiaries. In 1993, I became a shareholder in Setele, which was later sold to phone operator Elisa. In 1998, I founded mobile phone sales company Wextra. In 2014, I sold my shares in Wextra, and DESK was established. I own the majority of DESK, and in addition to the position of Chairman, I am responsible for the finance and accounting.
As the leader, you should keep your head cold and heart warm. Leadership is not always easy, but you should be able to express empathy in all situations. A good leader gives the employees responsibility and freedom to act in their own way, because goals can be achieved in many different ways. You must allow diversity and different personalities.
We have an evolving organization with the ability to build long-term customer relationships. It’s the result of being honest and wanting to understand, what is the customer’s problem. We know the different generations and stages of development of technology. As soon as the customer feels that we understand them and know how to help, trust is built. It is the basis of everything.
I’m social, caring, and lively. I get along with all kinds of people, and I take care of my loved ones both at work and at home. I don’t stay at status quo for long – I always have to go ahead and come up with something new.
If there is snow in southern Finland, I love to ski. If not, I go to northern Finland to get on skis. In addition, I like to play tennis, hunt, and spend time at my cottage at Päijänne lake. I also have two short-haired German pointers, Nero and Aapo, who also are our official office dogs.
You learn more by listening than by talking.