In his almost 20 years with the company, Lars has steadily moved from the product organisation to sales, where he now heads one of the three Danish industry divisions. Working in different departments has given him a holistic view of the company, which he believes makes the dialogue run much more smoothly.
- If you have the desire, energy and courage to go for it, Solar offers an opportunity to contribute to the development of the company. I think that is why people stay here for so long. The constant turn-up of new challenges keeps you moving forward as an employee, Lars thinks.
Solar’s transformation into a sourcing and services company plays an important role in Lars’ daily work. It means that he and his colleagues constantly have to look for new markets and opportunities, adopt new ways of working and change how they approach the customers. He feels an obligation to challenge our customers as their partner and make the collaboration mutually beneficial. He’s a trained sergeant in the Danish military, which is also where he discovered his desire to become a manager. He later on supplemented his military degree with a Certificate for Leaders from Harvard and a mini MBA. He’s good at putting things into perspective and translating overall business goals into clear and tangible action plans for his employees.
- As a manager, it is my responsibility to get the organisation on board when we make changes to our strategy and the direction of the business. I always make a point of reminding my staff that practice makes perfect and it’s okay to fail. That’s how you get better, Lars states.
Learning a lot from the customers
Visiting customers is how Lars gets his energy and inspiration. He understands the importance of building relationships and earning our customers’ trust. He once had a great experience when calling up a customer to ask if he could use their business as a case example for new customers. The answer was “When it’s you, it’s of course okay!” That kind of trust cannot be bought – it’s earned through a willingness to understand our customers and their business.
- Our customers are incredibly smart. Sitting down with them gives me a clear sense of where they’re going, and it’s the best way for me to learn what we need to do to keep up with them in order to make sure that we can keep adding value to their business going forward, Lars explains.
Innovation paves the path to the future
For Lars, Solar is a great place to work due to the deeply committed people and the many exciting tasks. He values the fact that confidence and ambitions are valued in Solar. Another great thing about Solar is the innovative nature of the company.
- Our industry customers are extremely innovative, which challenges us and drives our development. That’s why it’s so important that we maintain the courage to set a new agenda in an ever-changing market, Lars states.
Lars is devoted to our transformation and to telling the story about Solar and what we can do for our customers in terms of sourcing and stock management, etc. When he occasionally meets a new customer that thinks Solar is a traditional wholesaler, he sees it as the perfect opportunity to explain why Solar is the right partner for that customer and how we can actually make their life easier.
Elected to the Board of Directors
Even though Lars is what he calls the prototype of a Solarian – electrician by education – he stands out as one of the three employee-elected board members on Solar’s Board of Directors. He was first elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014 by his colleagues.
- The trust that my colleagues have shown me is something I take very seriously. I’m truly honoured to be their liaison to the board and to represent a real option for them to be heard. For some of my colleagues, I know it takes courage to say the things that they tell me, and I really respect that. And for me, it’s an opportunity to bring daily life in Solar into the board, Lars explains.
He’s an equal member of the board aside the other members, which he feels says a lot about Solar.
- I’m doing this, because I feel that it’s the right thing to do. Also, the things I bring to the board are met with an open mind, and I really feel that I have a voice in this game, he says.