MDIS - View from the Top - Johnson Controls

MDIS - View from the Top - Johnson Controls
HeadHunt Issue 157 (10th July)

In Conversation with 
Michael Anderton
General Manager and Managing Director
Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls, Singapore

What is your one trait which you think has led to your career success?
To be successful in a large and geographically dispersed organisation such as ours, it is important to stay flexible, be open to opportunities and be willing to make bold decisions. I started as an apprentice with Johnson Controls in the United Kingdom. Over the past 21 years, I have had the privilege of visiting 38 countries, and taking on many different roles and responsibilities. By being flexible and seizing opportunities, I have gained much experience and a larger perspective of the company and industry. This has helped me progress in my career.
 
What do you look for in young leaders?
We look for individuals who are hardworking and ambitious, with the drive to go the extra mile to be successful. They should have good communication skills and be able to clearly express their ideas and thoughts, as they need to communicate with people at all levels and in
different contexts.
 
A big part of leadership also lies in the ability to lead by example. Actions speak louder than words, and leaders must be able to roll up their sleeves and work alongside the team.
 
We recognise that the younger generation entering the workforce today bring with them new ways of working and different expectations. 
 
Generally, they are very dynamic and driven. As a result, they tend to expect things to happen faster. As a business leader and from a company’s perspective, it is important to determine and adapt our human resource practices to balance these expectations with the time that is needed in order to build depth and experience. We want to ensure that we are able to provide the right opportunities and a conducive environment for young leaders to accelerate their development and career.
 
What is your definition of a lifelong learner?
I think everyone is a life-long learner—there are constant opportunities to learn from our daily situations, and from the people we meet. In a multi-disciplinary organisation like ours, there are many opportunities to learn from talented people from all over the world. Coming
from different backgrounds, their perspectives sometimes hit you from the left brain. It has been a wonderful experience for me and I hope to continue to be inspired and inspire others.
 
What was one of your biggest challenges that you’ve faced in your career?
As a business leader, it is a constant challenge to strike a good balance between the varied expectations of stakeholders—employees, customers and the management executive team. Furthermore, as the company grows, the depth and breadth of the business and stakeholder expectation increases. I cannot do this on my own, so I appreciate how critical it is to build strong leaders at all levels, especially the immediate level supporting me.
 
How can employees make a lasting impression on you at work?
The people who have left the deepest impression are those who are able to build high-achieving teams. They are able to communicate their ideas well and inspire others to follow their lead. They can continue to grow with the company and lead bigger teams to achieve success.

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