The unlikely CEO: “I basically lack the cynicism the job requires”.

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Pernille Larsen
Communications Manager, Global
November 10, 2020
Our CEO Thomas Jensen is featured in a profile article in Danish national newspaper Jyllands-Posten in which he talks about his career, leadership style and his new CEO role at Milestone Systems.
According to Thomas Jensen, he is not a typical CEO, at least if you measure ‘a typical CEO’ based on the level of cynicism, the job often requires. He refers to a piece of advice he got from a manager early in his career: “Know, that to succeed as a leader, you need to put the needs of your team members above your own needs. Your success will be the sum of their success”. The reason why the piece of advice made a lasting impact on Thomas was that the manager did the exact opposite of what he preached. And that taught Thomas an important lesson.  

Thomas goes on to explain why he initially skipped the ambition of a career with the purpose of becoming a CEO one day. He simply encountered to many executives and CEO whose values he didn’t see eye to eye with:
Throughout my career I’ve met many executives who were very focused on their own career. They excelled in passing on problems and taking the credit for successes. Basically, I realized that I don’t have the cynicism, it takes to make it to the top. What I experienced is against my core values and how I believe we should treat each other.
However, things changed when Milestone Systems offered Thomas the position as CEO: “I’ve found my match with Milestone Systems; in this job I don’t have to compromise my own ideals or values,” says Thomas, referring to Milestone Systems’ strong People First culture and long-term business focus as a contrast to focusing solely on short-term growth and profit.  

An important task ahead for Thomas Jensen and Milestone Systems is to address the ethical aspects of developing and deploying visual technology: “Our industry is growing as is Milestone Systems, but growth should happen in a responsible manner. Milestone Systems will do our part to set the standards for developing and deploying our technology in a responsible way.” To the question of whether this will limit Milestone Systems seen from a business- perspective, Thomas says:
Perhaps and that’s exactly why it’s crucial to talk about our long-term perspective;  We want to do things right rather than leave the job to companies that are short-termed and profit-driven.
Read the full article in Danish here (requires log-in).