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”Personal leadership is not rocket science, still it is an effective approach for development”

By Tea Grbic, September 26, 2017
A rockstar at heart, a double Ironman and a Business Controller at Greencarrier Liner Agency. Jörgen Svanström uses personal leadership and his visionary traits to finish triathlons and to empower his colleagues at work. A few of his visions are to create global company structures of strong cooperation, optimised follow-up procedures and constant improvements.

Hi, Jörgen! Describe your view of personal leadership and why you find it so important?  

I believe that personal leadership is essential in understanding one’s goals and in planning and prioritizing to reach them. It is about identifying what you want to achieve and breaking it down into short-term goals and activities. Personal leadership is not rocket science, but still I find a strength in the approach. Being persistent and visionary are characteristics that I believe contribute to my own personal leadership. I try to use these characteristics as often as I can in my personal life, as a triathlete, as well as in my professional role as Business Controller at Greencarrier Liner Agency.

Interesting! How do you use personal leadership in your role as a Business Controller?

Basically, my work involves being responsible for the finance function and to make sure that our reporting is correct, timely and of high quality. Also, it is my job to ensure that Greencarrier Liner Agency is on the right path, both financially and in a broader business perspective. To accomplish this, we need visions of what we want to achieve. Together, we then map out what activities are needed to reach the goals and what obstacles we might face during the way. This way of working promotes internal efficiency in terms of keeping deadlines and using resources wisely, which is key for my function in the organisation.

I agree with that. What are your previous experiences that led up to your current position?

I spent my teenage years and the best part of my twenties trying to become a rock star, playing guitar in different local bands. As a struggling rocker, I had to make money somehow, so I freelanced as a sound engineer on the side. However, I was also very interested in business and since my career in music did not take off, I started studying at the School of business, economics and law at Gothenburg University where I got a master’s degree in business administration. After that, I worked at Maersk as a Controller and then at Mediatec as a Financial Manager before ending up at Greencarrier Liner Agency in 2011.

What is the best part of your job?

The most satisfying aspect of my job is seeing how far we have come in transitioning from how we used to work to what we are doing today. The processes are more efficient and colleagues are more involved in making changes possible. I enjoy being active in enabling constant improvements and empowering my colleagues to feel that they are developing with the job.

You mentioned being a triathlete, that sounds intense! Tell me more about how you spend your free time?

When I am not working, I most often exercise or spend time with my family. My daughters like football, as I do too, and I have been a coach for my oldest daughter for the last 8 years. It is very rewarding to take part in that and to see their development. As I am also a long distance triathlete, I need to plan my time carefully. I have completed the Ironman race twice and it requires a lot of preparation, not only physically, but even more so mentally. When setting a goal like that, long-term planning and short-term goals are essential to keep me motivated and efficient. During the time that is left, I am also involved in managing a social media running club called Lonesome Runners. I think we are somewhere around 16 000 members now. It is quite a success story!

So, what are your visions for the future?

My long-term goal at Greencarrier Liner Agency is to make myself redundant to a great degree. By this, I mean that I want my departments to be able to function without needing intervention from me, from an operative aspect. Another vision is that I want to create good structures on a global level, with strong cooperation and a dynamic relationship between our shared service center and our business area that includes great supervision, good follow-up procedures and constant improvements. Furthermore, I want to be part of the transition into the age of big data where we can make good use of the tools that are out there to build an even stronger base for our business.

Psst, check how Jörgen’s latest Ironman went here: 



Thank you for a nice chat, Jörgen and good luck with your endeavors both professionally and as a triathlete! 
Do you want to get to know other employees at Greencarrier Liner Agency? Visit our Knowledge Center! Also, learn more about our shipping services on our website.

By Tea Grbic

Global Communication & Marketing
Phone: +46 31 85 55 14
E-mail Tea


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