Making people grow

Pia Lykke, Senior Manager of PMO at Telia in Denmark

Pia Lykke says project management is part of her DNA and that she was born to do it. At Telia she is responsible for project management and making sure that all project managers have what they need to do a great job. Basically, she is the project manager for the project managers.

“When I grew up, my father had a stone business. He imported stones that he tailored for customers for all kinds of use. It was a pretty big operation and we always had business conversations when I grew up. How to meet customers’ needs, but also about making smarter solutions to boost our business. So, in a way, I have had a customer-centric view and business mindset ever since I was a kid.”


Doing the right thing
I studied law and management at university and the plan was for me to take over the family business. And so, I did. I was the CEO for a couple of years but felt that I needed to do something else in order to get some perspective. So, I left. Packed my bags and went to Copenhagen. There I spent a little over a year, finding out what I really wanted to do in my life. And then I found Telia, and never looked back. I have been here for almost 20 years and it still feels just right.

I am lucky!
My role is to be the manager of senior project managers at Telia in Denmark. This means that I help them with tools and methods that makes them better, but I also coach them individually. Coaching to me, means that I try to be as inspiring as I can, sharing insights and positive energy. Right now, we have a great deal of exciting and innovative projects going on and my role is to make sure that we deliver excellence in each and every one of these development projects. Being able to work so closely with developing people and processe, which is something I really love, makes me a very lucky person!”

Customer focus
Customer focus sits right at the core of our company and is a key component in our strategy. It is my job to make sure that we live by that strategy and ensure that the customer sits at the center of all our development projects. I want Telia to be relevant for our customers and we will only succeed and be the front runners if we manage to create high engagement in all our teams.”

Lead with your heart
I go on leadership training courses every year to develop myself and to add new tools to my already brimming toolbox. Some courses don’t have any real impact, but I still remember one program, it was called Soul Leadership and helped me define how to lead my teams with my heart and genuinely understand my core strengths as a leader.”

People inspire me
To me, being curious and loving people, is key to becoming a great leader. I have always been curious, and my greatest inspiration is my colleagues and people in my personal network.“

How I make people grow
First of all, I have a genuine trust in the people I work with. And this is something I show them very clearly. If someone feel insecure, I make an effort to always be there to support and mentor them. You need to create an open atmosphere and a culture of trust to build a strong team. And only through openness and trust is it possible to reach deeper as a team and handle both important and difficult topics together.

Pia’s six factors for successful project management Clear goals Open minds Dynamic approach Direct communication Deep trust  Genuine care

Pia Lykke has worked with project management for over twenty years, these are her greatest learnings. She says it is important to find out what really matters to your customers. Only then will we be able to create solutions for the right purpose. So, use insights, test and change accordingly. This leads to a dynamic approach and clear communications – it’s okay to choose a new route for your project, as long as you clearly communicate the new way forward. Through great communication and genuine care for your team, you build the trust and engagement you need to make your project a success.

My key advice to other leaders

  1. Follow your dreams – life is too short
  2. Find your passion – then work will be fun
  3. Stay curious – because it will develop you


I have a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Science in Strategy, Organizations and Leadership from the Syddansk University. 

Life before Telia

After university, I joined our family stone business. It was a quite big company that imported and tailored stones for kitchens, floors etc. I led this company for a few years, and then moved from Jutland to Copenhagen, where I eventually joined Telia. And now I have been here for almost 20 years.

Life outside work

Kids, traveling and spending time with friends are my main interest outside work. But even then, I am the project manager who makes sure life runs smoothly.


Telia is my family. Today I have a boyfriend who also works here. And two kids with my ex-husband.

Something you didn´t know about me

I am a great dancer. I did ballroom dancing at competition level for 12 years when I was younger.