Keeping Things Interesting

Lasse Andersen, Director of Corporate Affairs for Telia Denmark

As the telecom industry is becoming more and more ruled by regulations, there is a need for strong leaders who can work across legal, regulatory, public, and industry affairs. In Denmark, Lasse Andersen combines his background as a lawyer and his passion for leadership to help develop a strong winning culture. Today he is leading a small but dedicated team and hopes to both inspire and be inspired by the people around him.

Breaking down the strategy
 
“Telia is a great place to work; the internal culture makes work life exciting and the challenges make it rewarding to be here. Part of my job is making sure that we keep that culture alive by ensuring that each person truly understands their role, and how they can contribute. This means continuously working with breaking down our company strategy in a way that everyone can understand so that we’re always working towards common goals, as one company.”
 
A united Telia
 
“At the moment we’re working on a transformation where we’re moving from having individual and separate legal and regulatory departments in each country to being one, united legal and regulatory department. What this means is that we can harvest synergies across countries and work more efficiently using all the legal manpower and specialist knowledge we have in each country to provide best in class legal and regulatory support. To stand united not only shows that we are one company, but also signals a strong winning culture.”
 
Managing change
 
“When we make changes as an organization, I think that it’s important to lead by example and be an ambassador for the new way of doing things. By acting as a change manager, I can help make things easier for my team members. For example, I like to be transparent, communicative and to listen to every concern that has been raised and make sure that I’m visible at all times. It’s also important to implement changes one small step at a time, and keep an “open door” while communicating very clearly within the team as we go.”
 
Personal development starts with yourself
 
“I’m very interested in personal development and self-leadership. Pushing myself, and challenging my own barriers is one of the ways I work with this. I always ask my team for feedback about how I can improve, which was an uncomfortable thing to ask at first, but stepping out of my comfort zone has really helped me to grow. I find that this is also a great way to create an open culture where feedback flows in both directions. We can learn from other leaders as well; when I see something that I think is positive and I can see it works for others, I remember it and try it out myself. And also, the other way around; if I have seen things that didn’t work, I make sure to never do it myself.”
 
A hybrid model
 
“In my role, I’m a hybrid between a leader and a lawyer, which helps to keep my feet on the ground and stay in touch with the team in a real way. I understand their challenges, and I’m able to work with them in a more practical way because my head is in both roles. I’m very lucky and proud to have what I see as the greatest legal telco team in Denmark. I end up coaching more than I lead. Also, as a lawyer in a company you need to be business-minded in your advice; to think big means applying the law in the right way”
 
Breaking Down the Purpose

Leaders must be able to understand the purpose from different perspectives to communicate it in an inspiring way.
 
For Telia – a company’s purpose will only provide a sense of meaning if it’s true and transparent.

For the team – By involving the team in connecting to the purpose, trust will increase.

For the project – Clearly communicating a project’s goals and KPIs will make the purpose clear.

For individuals – it’s important to connect people to their own purpose and help them understand what really matters to them.
A leader’s purpose should be to motivate, support and inspire. A good leader is part of what makes people go to work every morning. Therefore, to measure how people perform, KPIs and incentives should also reflect more aspirational behaviours that can be clearly connected to the leader’s purpose and the company’s values. For example, innovativeness, team contribution, etc.
 

My key advice to other leaders:

 
Stay focused, get things done, get results.

Facts:

Education:

Master´s Degree in Law from university and then afterwards certified as Attorney (“Advokat”).

Your life before Telia?

Five years at the Danish IT and Telecom Agency  (“IT- og Telestyrelsen”)

Your life outside work?

My spare time is spent with family and friends, experiences, football, and training.

Your family situation?

Today I live outside Copenhagen together with my girlfriend. I have two kids from my previous marriage; a boy who is 17 years old and a girl who is 10 years old.

Something you didn´t know about me?

I am a metal head. I simply love heavy metal and will never grow old on this. So, I headbang and growl in my car to work - and back again.