Jeanette Obling - Lead The Future
“It is important to get stuck in so that your knowledge is activated. Don’t think that others know what you can do. Show them.”
Jeanette Obling
Senior Director of Technology
Ørsted

Facts

  • Jeanette Obling
  • (1967)
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Chemistry & MBA in Technology, Market & Organization
  • Senior Director of Technology
  • Ørsted
  • Married
  • Two children aged 22 and 26
  • Good for occasional songs and lyrics

What has been crucial to your career?

Basically, curiosity about things and the need to speak my mind has brought me to where I am. I have met many v industry changes, where I have started from scratch, had to familiarise myself with new things and quickly create an overview.

What is important in your job?

Nowadays, I look for challenging issues and people I would like to work with. We need to be able to discuss things with a passion, but we also need to be able to laugh together and reach agreement on how to solve the tasks.

As a young person, what should you pay special attention to?

It is important to have the basis in place and not think you will become CEO of a large company or group in five years. It is hard work – along with the good tasks – that give different experiences. And then it is important to get stuck in so that your knowledge is activated. Don’t think that others know what you can do. Show them. 

Is it more challenging for young women?

My experience is that young women need more security in their decisions and more encouragement. If a woman is satisfied and skilled at her job, she does not always think that she has more to offer. As a manager, you therefore have to be aware that there is often a little extra to be done before female candidates will say yes to a challenge.

What defines a good manager?

Being yourself and wanting the company and other people to do well. Managers must be curious about their employees and stakeholders to know what motivates them. Someone suitable for big projects with many people around them. Others want to immerse themselves. We are at our best, where and when we thrive.  

It is important to be accessible and not make people nervous despite the title. If someone turns to me for assistance, I try to seize the moment or get back to them as soon as possible despite my busy calendar.

Who has inspired you?

I have not had only one single role model but have been inspired by several – both as to how I would like to, and not like to, lead. I admire those who are sharp strategically and good at leading by showing presence, being available as well as providing clear answers, but unfortunately, I have also met managers who drive over people or exhibit shortcomings.

What have you learnt “the hard way”?

I have wasted a lot of time preparing for meetings just to find that important decisions had been made in advance. It has taken me time to learn that it is necessary to find the real decision-maker, use my network and align with stakeholders.

What is important to you?

I love crushing a stubborn problem or seeing a department or employee succeed with a difficult task. If something gets too easy, I start to get bored. It is also pleasing to be employed in a company that actively works with green energy solutions, to have satisfied employees and to collaborate on work with other countries and cultures, for example, with China and the USA.

What advice would you give to others?

Don’t try to be perfect; nobody is. And don’t wait to have children, because it won’t get easier. The solution to making it all work with a husband, kids and a demanding job is to be human. A pizza for dinner and a cake from the baker instead of home cooking is absolutely fine.