In this mini series of blog articles, you’ll get to know some of our leaders who have graduated from the Visma Management Academy. Every year, 100 of our top leadership talents take part in it, and Lars is one of them.
Who, what, where:
Lars is the Managing Director at Visma ProActive. Here, he tries to facilitate a happy workplace within a strong organisation that’s making the world a bit better by delivering software as a service.
Hi, Lars! Take us through your years at Visma.
“I’ve been with ProActive since 2008. For the past five years, we’ve been a part of Visma, as well. I joined because I wanted to work for a small, ambitious organisation so that I could learn all the different aspects of how a company runs. When I joined in 2008, I was the first full-time consultant. We had one product only, which was about to take off. My main focus was implementing the software. But, due to our small size, I got to do lots of other things, like making designs for new features and versions. We had a lot of freedom and fun!
As the team grew bigger, we split into two teams, and I became the Consultancy Manager. Later, I took on various manager roles within different departments, and became a member of the Management team. And today, I’m fortunate enough to lead the company.”
What does a Managing Director do?
“Primarily, I’m responsible for the strategic course of our company. I devote a lot of time to get everybody to understand why we are doing the things we do, so that everyone is aligned and able to make decisions in the best interest of the company. I try to create a strong organisation where everyone is happy and engaged to contribute. To make this happen, I need to know what’s going on, both internally and externally. It’s a true balancing act between being involved, without having to know every single, little detail.”
Top three learnings from the Visma Management Academy?
“I certainly learned a lot more than three things! The first things that come to mind are: awareness of my role as a leader and how important it is to lead by example. It’s important to be open and agile to change – this is key to success, as we’re living in such a fast-paced world. I also gained new perspectives of how my behaviour is perceived by others, and that it’s important to recognize when I need help, and who can best complement me in certain situations.”
”Take care of your people, put faith in them, and show them the right path by walking it yourself.”Lars van der Meer
What surprised you the most?
“Nothing really surprised me, actually. It was just very inspiring to get together with so many peers within our group of companies. It made me even more aware that Visma is a place with lots of talented people!”
What is your advice to other aspiring leaders if they want to succeed?
”Take care of your people, put faith in them, and show them the right path by walking it yourself.”