Building a Confident, Diverse-Thinking Team
When I joined Jabil 16 years ago, I had no idea I would find myself in treasury, but that’s the fun thing about working for this company – you have the freedom to try different things, join other departments and use your unique experiences to positively impact the business. Starting out in the finance department as a controller, I was hired to build the local team at Jabil Vienna after an acquisition. I was able to grow into a finance leader role for the design engineer team and later a global controller for Electronic Manufacturing Services’ Design and Engineering Services department.
Then, just about six years after beginning my career at Jabil, I was asked to lead the treasury function in Europe. However, I must admit I knew nothing about the department at the time. In the beginning, what I found to be more helpful was that I knew Jabil’s business and network, having used my previous positions to learn about other departments and people at Jabil. Treasury is so diverse regarding the type of work and the different finance backgrounds of those who make up the field. Knowing this, I always encourage those working for me to understand other functions and roles at Jabil. It’s just another aspect of my training for new employees – in order to successfully meet the needs of the business, we must understand all the aspects and know the people who impact it. This line of work is very connected to the entire company; it’s tied to all types of company actions, which makes it interesting and unique.
With such diverse roles and projects, it’s also important that our team is varied. In order for our team to be successful and support the diverse functions, I focus on continuously welcoming everyone’s different ideas. Recently, I hired a new manager who came from a shared services center in Budapest, and I’ve encouraged him not to look at just what Jabil is doing but compare it to what he is bringing from his previous experiences. I encourage him to suggest and challenge how our department is working because we can’t continuously improve if we don’t create an open channel for change – and our employees are those channels for change.
My focus as a leader is to motivate my team to ask questions and make sure they know there are no stupid ones. Managers and their employees need open communication lines to grow their expertise individually and collectively. I don’t push my ideas or opinions on my team members because I value their ideas, experiences and thoughts. It won’t benefit anyone or the company if we all think the same way! If your team comes in and does their own thing the same way, every day then I believe people lose motivation very quickly. It’s great to have employees who are to committed their job, but if that motivation is lost, then we start losing a fundamental element of a great team. What makes the job most enjoyable is having a team of people who love what they do. As a Jabil leader, I’m honored to have the responsibility to build up a confident, successful team.