The ideal maritime leader is an illusion, but the misconception that there are certain competencies that make up “the right maritime leader” is very much alive. But according to CEO of Humanostics, Jesper Præstensgaard, everyone already possesses leadership skills. Successful maritime leadership is less dependent on a specific skillset, and is more dependent on behavioural factors, fit, the company, and the position. To this point, Jesper Præstensgaard interviewed four potential maritime executives enrolled at the Blue MBA, the Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics, at Copenhagen Business School. Each candidate had a profile drafted via the Predictive Index, describing their professional and personal behavior. The candidates then reflected on the profile that was created with their own perception of who they are as maritime leaders.
Omar Ali, Supply Chain Manager at Gambia Milling Corporation, is described in his profile as believing in win-win negotiation, prioritising empathy and inclusive communication. He is noted as stable in personality and approach. But Omar further adds that though stability and consistency are preferred, he is “not afraid to take on contrarian views and to challenge my perception”. Jesper Skjong, Market Analyst at Fearnley Offshore Supply, is profiled as a warm and patient person, easygoing and casual on a personal and professional level. He notes that the profile fits his own perception of himself, and remarks that “I hope I will end up in a work environment where this type of leadership style is accepted by colleagues and thus effective in inspiring them in their performance.” Saleem Kadernani, Head of Business Development at Ports Development Copmany at King Abdullah Port, is extroverted and focuses on building relationships, feeling at ease with unstructured projects. Saleem agrees with his profile, emphasizing that “a leader should provide the vision and then let the people figure out their own way of getting there. Yiannis Pastellas, Business Development Manager at Safebridge, described as an outside-the-box thinker, brings up the importance of self-awareness, remarking “we had an intensive training during CBS programme to understand how to evaluate our own perception in comparison to what others think of us”.
The full article, published by ShippingWatch, highlights how each profiled individual possesses leadership skills that are unique to one another. Diversity makes a team strong, and successful maritime leadership is no exception.