'You have to give what you have' - Anders Haugaard

Tell us who you are?

My name is Anders Haugaard, I am 45 years old and born and raised on Funen, to be precise
Glamsbjerg. I am married to Mette and the father of two girls – Ida Gry aged 14 and Alma Sofie aged four. I
originally trained as a structural engineer with a specialization in ventilation and indoor climate, and currently sits as
Group CEO for Exodraft Group, which is a Danish-owned group which is the market leader within
solutions for mechanical chimney draft, particle filtration and heat recovery, as well as energy technology
solutions for commercial, industrial and heating supply customers.

You became a manager at 26 and a director at 33. What is leadership to you?

Management is something much more and completely different than just running management.
It matters a lot
more about orderliness, respect for each other and curiosity in each other. About creating a space where the individual is safe, curious and ambitious, so that something good happens in the company.

Of course, we can easily run a stable company without that focus on well-being - I've been in it
listed companies, where we made good money, but here, on the other hand, we had a smaller one
safe culture. Here I did not experience the same joy and well-being and surplus, because it became a culture,
where there was always a 'look after yourself'.
Not many people think it's funny, and then you don't move as much as a company as you could - it's actually an underutilization of the potential, because there's a lack of trust in the employees.

But it must be about the fact that you have hired employees who you don't think are skilled enough, since there is a need to control and over-control rather than help on the way, set the direction, create a vision and create cohesion around that vision.

How does the career as a director relate to family life?

We have an enormously stable family life and have chosen a constellation where we are not under financial pressure
and can be family when we are family.
Mette, my wife, creates a foundation that makes it all come together, because I don't get to look after my work for 37, 40 or 50 hours. And I would have
difficult to work as much as I do if Mette did not create the stability and calm in our children's lives that she does.
I could never be in it if our kids were the ones dropped off first and picked up last.

What do your relationships mean to you?
I have few very good friends because I don't need to be validated through peripheral relationships. I need close, good, deep relationships. Throughout my primary school upbringing I had one very good friend, and family has always meant a lot to me. Those on the inside of my fence, I will go to great lengths for them. There is a special obligation. And that is one of the values ​​that I also take with me into management: The commitment you have to each other when you work together on something.

It is about a willingness to set aside one's own needs when there is a need for it. My sister's husband has been through several stages of cancer – and so the rest of us have to put our own needs aside and ask: What can I do now? For example, I can be with their big boy, because he needs that. He just asked if we should train for a half marathon, and I have to commit to that because it's what I can give of myself to help him, who is having a hard time being part of a family that has it is difficult.

It probably doesn't fit my calendar the best, but that's the commitment that comes with being a family.

The word 'commitment' sounds a bit negative...?

Yes, but I think… I also think there IS an element of what you would call negative in the way I perceive it. Commitment is the flip side of the wonderful coin that comes out of being part of a community. When you are part of a committed community, you have an insane amount of benefits from having others there for you when you need it.
It's a huge benefit to have someone with you when you fall. I know that those I have around me, they can always draw on when I need it.

You are very little selfish. Do you never get tired of being a whole lot to a whole lot?
Yes. But then I pull myself together.

So are you dating?
There is definitely some education in that. Our mother comes from a family of priests, so there is some foundation of values ​​in the form of charity. In the letter to the Romans, it says, not literally, but that we who are strong owe it to the weak to carry their burdens. So, with special abilities and obligations comes an obligation to care for those less fortunate.

I have been extremely well off. Without bragging, I'm really intelligent, I have a lot of energy, and I can overcome a lot. And it's absolutely wonderful, and I can use that to be something for others who are not so fortunate.

Are you lucky?

I'm lucky, I'm healthy. I am lucky that my family, the four of us, are healthy. But the rest is not luck. The rest is hard work. And that is where the flip side of the coin – if we are to stick with the commitment – ​​is that I expect others to also give their best. I want to give my all if I can also feel that others are doing their best.

So what if they don't?
In the extreme, it may well be difficult to be on the inside of that fence. Because it doesn't come from the amount you do, but that you make an effort. That you make an effort.

If you yourself overcome a lot, can you expect others to overcome the same?
No. But you have to give what you have.

How do you react if you don't? Private and professional?
At first I am disappointed. Then I'll talk about it. And in the end I withdraw from it. It becomes hard for me to be in it when I don't feel like those I'm with are making an effort.

How are you as a leader?

I'm soft.

We had a conflict about some culture that was not as it should be. Where there was certainly an expectation from some of the middle managers that now I also had to shout loudly and scold. But I had to say: You get nothing but this. I will never yell, get angry, or lash out. It's not me and you guys think it's gorgeous 95% of the time. Sometimes you wish I was stricter or more direct, but you're not going to get that. Because I don't want to let go of who I am - and this is how I am.

And I believe that we can create something good together, and in this situation you might wish I was something else, but you won't get that.

Have you ever done something you weren't proud of?

It is very much in relation to my children. I find it difficult to come up with examples from my business life. There are lots of things I want to look back on and think: I should have solved that differently, but I can still vouch for the way it happened.

At the start of my career, I had difficulty distinguishing performance from values. There I have become much calmer and rest in the fact that behavior comes first. There is a way we must deal with each other, and that is in a proper and respectful way. I have got a much better handle on the code of conduct. I stand more firmly on my feet now.
But as a parent being pressured… my kids I have come to yell at when they just won't listen. And you yourself are tired. That makes me sad. It is not proper.

Do you believe in saying sorry?
Yes. And I say that too. And says it many times.

I get upset when I don't behave properly. And I spend energy and time explaining to them afterwards what had happened. That I have become frustrated and sad. That I didn't mean to shout, but that this is what happens.

You are 45 years old and a director. What's left? What are your ambitions?

I have always been extremely bad at career planning. I have a good ability to be present in what I am present in. I am not with my children for many hours, but when I am with them, I am with them. So work knows they can text me, but they can't believe they can call and I pick up the phone.

In terms of career, I try to be skilled and present in what I am in right now, and I hope that this can lead me to help make a difference.

Make a difference?
I need to make a difference.
When I spend so much time at work, it is important to me that what I do contributes to leaving a better planet for my girls.

What I do should not only contribute to making someone richer. It must make a difference.

What does your attire mean to you?

It's a small piece of confidence I'm putting on. It has always meant a lot, and it is again about making an effort.

It is important to me that you wear nice clothes at work, but also at home to also look good for your partner. It may well be that Mette and I have known each other for 25 years, but that is why it is still important to make an effort for each other.

My attire is more formal at work than at home, but it's basically a bit conservative. Pretty much all my clothes come here from Ulrik. Because in here they also make an effort. The clothes are nicely presented and the environment is delicious.

A big thank you to Anders Haugaard for putting himself up for 'Man of The Month'.