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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

helps you in your leadership.

 

Cheers,

Jonno White

7 Questions with Thaddeus Anim-Somuah
7 Questions with Thaddeus Anim-Somuah

Name: Thaddeus Anim-Somuah

Current title: Vice President 2020-2021

Current organisation: European Young Engineers

Thaddeus is a chemical engineer with a background in specialty chemicals and in manufacturing. Alongside several roles within operations and engineering at companies, he’s also been appointed to leadership positions at NGOs. He has executive board experience with European Young Engineers, AFBE-UK, Nederlandse Procestechnologen, ICheme North West and European Federation of Chemical Engineering. He has advisory board experience at University of Southampton, Brunel University and Global Engineering Futures. In 2020 Thaddeus was named by Forbes as 30 under 30 Europe and in 2021 Thaddeus was selected as a Future Energy Leader by World Engineering Council

7 Questions with Thaddeus Anim-Somuah

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?

The people element: motivating & inspiring others for greater goals and stakeholder management - aligning different desires & expectations

2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?

When the previous VP unexpectedly left European Young Engineers, I was asked to step up and I did so gladly - repaying the trust that the President and the team put in me.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

For European Young Engineers our work was spread remotely so it was all about virtual collaboration - through Google Chat, Email, VideoCalls, and virtual working spaces like Google Drive and Miro. My typical work would be aligning with other VPs on the strategic goals as well as their specific needs from my department. I would then prioritise and delegate it and communicate with the team.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

It’s all about continuous personal development and authenticity. I bring myself to the organization- my personality, strengths and weaknesses. I’m honest and open about that with the team and fellow board members; whilst also listening to feedback and continuously developing to be a better leader. It’s easy to get the urge to try to be someone else - the person you think you should be or you think people want youtube but it’s not sustainable or effective in the long run

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

The Culture Map by Erin Meyer. It tells anecdotes and gives explanations of different cultures and how things can get misinterpreted. Having lived in several different countries and worked in international teams , it helped me understand the others point of view and the importance of cultural context

6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?

Pass on the baton. It’s about mentoring, enabling and encouraging others to become future leaders.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?

One of my successes at European Young Engineers was the massive growth of the Social Media presence, which helped boost the profile of the organisation: attracting more team members, participants and sponsors. I took things in a different direction to the previous VP - it wasn’t just about change but also about change management, leaving no one behind.