Being a successful leader today and tomorrow

In today’s ever-changing landscape, what does it take to be a successful leader? What has changed and what will change? Here are a few perspectives on the matter from five of Alumni’s senior partners.


Lars Navéus

“For a leader, the most important quality is being able to navigate in an ever-changing territory, without losing your sense of ethics. Good leaders know exactly when to step up and make decisions and when to step back. In extreme situations, making any decision can be more important than making the right decision.”



Åsa Olbing

“Establishing the right culture is important – don’t be a square block in a round hole. The CEO is no longer the queen bee, other roles are becoming increasingly strategic and the board of directors needs to act like a team.

Digitalisation brings new demands. Don’t just settle for bringing in a chief digital officer and hope for the best – this thinking should be a priority for the entire board of directors.”



Jaana Laine-Richter

“Openness can be tricky. Many people feel uncomfortable questioning decisions, even chairmen of the board. People have told me they avoid asking uncomfortable questions in order to maintain their board positions. A confident chairman encourages open and honest dialogue and engages the board members to challenge the assumptions and the status quo.”



Mårten Adolfsson

“Lately we’ve seen a shift towards more meritocracy, which brings on more diversity in leadership in terms of age, ethnicity and gender. I’m also seeing more and more people in CEO positions who are introvert and not ‘your typical leader’. Revenge of the nerds, sort of. This is an effect of both the turn of the millennium’s dot-com era and of the recent digital boom, no doubt. But it’s also an example of how the field of leadership is diversifying.”



Catharina Mannerfelt

“First and foremost, digitalisation brings a major shift in leadership. Just a few years ago, all you needed to be perceived as being at the digital forefront was a Twitter account – whereas these days digital is an inevitable part of your business strategy.

It’s also becoming apparent that shareholders and other interested parties can exercise their power through a number of platforms today. Ethics, diversity and inclusion must be at the core of your organisation. If not, you’ll soon find yourself in an unforgiving place.”