Sainsbury’s1. Can you describe your position in the organisation, your main responsibilities and how long you have had this position?[Taken from previous interview] I am in the packaging division of the company at mid-level position. I am working with this company for the past five years. For the initial three years I was overlooking the procurement of strawberries from few suppliers, but now I shifted for some change. This interview will be for the topic, the role of leadership values and communication in the process of change towards sustainability for one of our research. So please respond accordingly.2. How important is sustainability for you as a manager? And for your company?Sustainability is an important area for the future of any company and for me as a manager, I see it as an element that help strengthen whatever we do. There are many companies that have adopted sustainability and our company is doing this too. It is integral to conducting business in the industry we are into. 3. Were you ever involved in a situation that required a decision concerning sustainability related issues? Can you describe it and your role in it?As I have already told you, I was actually in the team where such element came up. It was about building better relationship with the organic food suppliers. We had new employees on board. It was necessary that they are taught our values so that they can take the sustainability part forward. 4. Was that a situation in which you think your leadership skills and values were important?Look, if you are willing to bring in change within the organization, if it is of any nature, then you have to rely at least 80% on the leadership and only 20% on the management. It is always important that companies have good leaders. Values are also important part. It helps in shaping the decisions and behaviours of a person. Leadership drives in creating value whenneeded. 5. How did your senior communicate with employees? What did he do exactly?Asking the employees about the things that are important to them was the way my senior adopted. He helped put policies to communicate anything about the issue before moving further. The meetings to openly communicate why sustainability is important for the company and how our department can take this further were conducted at three instances. Also, he tracked the progress and conducted individual meetings when necessary to bring the employees on track.6. What was at stake in that time?
As I said previously, the use of values within the company helps build reputation among anyone who is looking up to the company. Also, if we are seen as an organization who valuessustainability more than other things, then there is no doubt we will attract good customers. 7. Are there any other things you would like to add related to the conversation we have had?Look, as I said, my senior decided to work with his employees in implementing the values using his leadership skills. He could have hunted other areas to accomplish this such as by talking to the top management, implementing harsh rules for us, but he didn’t. Instead he decided to communicate with the team which is a sign of good leader. My senior was a good leader.
Land Securities Group1. Can you describe your position in the organisation, your main responsibilities and how long you have had this position?[Taken from previous interview] I am working as material procurement manager in the company in the United Kingdom. My main responsibilities are to handle the materials that come from the vendors during construction. I only handle bricks or blocks. This is my secondyear here. This interview will be for the topic, the role of leadership values and communication in the process of change towards sustainability for one of our research. So please respond accordingly.2. How important is sustainability for you as a manager? And for your company?Sustainability is back bone for our company in a way. Our organization practice sustainabilityin two ways, one is employee sustainability and another is environment sustainability. I am majorly concerned with the environment sustainability and to some extent with the employee sustainability. When I work with the suppliers, then I ensure that whatever materials we bringon board for the constructions are not having negative impact on the environment at present or in the days to come.3. Were you ever involved in a situation that required a decision concerning sustainability related issues? Can you describe it and your role in it?Always, in a manner, I already told you I am new to this company and still I clearly understood the importance of decisions that are beneficial for the environment. In the field of construction, the decisions such as what materials to be procured, what mode of transport to be used, and other such decisions all of them have different environmental impact. As I told you in the earlier interview, procurement of material form few non-green certified suppliers was of concern for me. I was leading the procurement decisions and I decided to make some changes that from my side. I took strong decision not to procure from them.4. Was that a situation in which you think your leadership skills and values were important?Leadership skills is very important when you are required to take decisions that you might think will have greater negative effect than the positive ones in the eyes of others. It helps understanding the complex problem and breaking down to come up with solutions rapidly. I can say leadership skills are a necessity for anyone who is working on key positions like me. On values I will say that in large organizations such as mine, it already exists and as a new employee, as I was, you need to adjust or adopt the new value system. When I joined the company, I learned new values and some of them were reinforced as I already carried some of the important values for a leader like honesty, and trust. Your people, whether senior or junior, should trust you and your honesty. This is the key to their support to your decisions.
5. How did you communicate with employees? What did you do exactly?This was strong and sudden. There was no discussion with my subordinates in this case. I hadfaith that they will not disagree. You are to take such decisions some times when you handle such key positions. Leadership skills, if I talk about that, is important in such cases as leaders are required to take decisions in the spur of the moment while ensuring that it will have positive long term impact. 6. What was at stake in that time?The reputation of the company could have been impacted if such things come in the news. How can our company boast of sustainability if our vendors are not green? Being a good leader it becomes a responsibility that I take decisions that are for the greater good, call it sustainable orientation, and not for the shorter goals.7. Are there any other things you would like to add related to the conversation we have had?Always hire managers with leadership skills and they must be honest and trustworthy.
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