Sustainable Leader: Johan Bågling

Johan Bågling, one of our role models in sustainable leadership, has worked as a production manager at Rockhammar Mill for 3.5 years, which means that he is in charge of operations.

"He has worked as a leader throughout his career and says: “it actually started in the school playground, where I enjoyed showing initiative, and being involved in planning and directing, and it has just continued into my working life too”.

In your opinion, what does it mean to be a sustainable leader?

"To be sustainable, I have to take responsibility for myself and my own development and motivation. And I have to identify new challenges and things that engage me, as well as having the will to change things for the better. If I don’t take responsibility for my own development, I can’t expect to succeed in inspiring and helping my colleagues to develop. I also think it’s important to be good at listening and to take criticism in the right way, and thereby learn from things I could have done better."

Being a manager is a big responsibility. What do you find challenging in the role?

"My biggest challenge is to have good availability for my employees, and to work actively with the development of all my employees during the process. I would like to have more time for discussions and dialogue with all my employees, but sometimes there is not enough time to do as much as I would like."

What do you do to recover/re-energise?

"I draw energy from my family and they are of course my own reason for working safely. I’ve seen first-hand how accidents can affect a family, and no one wants that. Family also provides perspective when unexpected things happen. Spending time in the forest also revitalises me."

What is the best/most enjoyable thing about being a manager and leader?

"Several things, such as the opportunity to drive change and help develop things for the better. I also like getting teams to gel together and contributing to the development of others."

What is the most important thing for you in your leadership?

"The most important thing for me is that my employees feel confidence in me as a leader, because without that my leadership means nothing. I have great confidence in my colleagues and employees, and together we can achieve anything."

What makes you proud of working at Billerud?

"That it is a company that values innovation with a corporate culture that promotes development. I feel that all the employees have the opportunity to contribute to change and to develop.  Many of the improvements we are making here come from our own initiatives, so we are very much part of the journey going forwards."

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