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When it comes to great leadership start with yourself

May 12 - 2022

Amit Nandrajog
General Manager, Head of Operations, Singapore

Raphaele Guenot
Senior Manager, Executive Projects & Compliance Program

What makes a leader? It’s a question often asked, and a question Hafnia takes very seriously. Leaders are not just figures of inspiration – from childhood teachers to career mentors, they care. Hafnia’s focus with its ambitious leadership program has been to foster a nurturing environment that can encourage exemplary leadership – often reflecting upon oneself, as much as appraising other people.

To gain insight into what makes a good leader from the people on the ground, we caught up with Amit Nandrajog and Raphaele Guenot – both leaders at Hafnia with leadership experience in the dynamic and competitive product tanker industry.

As General Manager and Head of Operations in Singapore, Amit Nandrajog is responsible for the effective and efficient operations of Hafnia’s Pool ships meaning he keeps a close eye on how to optimize Pool earnings. It’s the company culture at Hafnia that drew Amit in from the start and continues to inspire him,

“Hafnia fosters a workplace spirit that continuously seeks collaborative ways to do things better, be there for each other and challenge the norm.”

Senior Manager of the Executive Projects & Compliance Program Raphaele Guenot agrees. She leads a team responsible for Hafnia achieving its strategic goals through the implementation of executive projects, as well as securing and reinforcing compliance. Raphaele emphasizes how being passionate about what they do is what makes for a healthy company culture,

“We CARE. The culture makes me feel like I could work here forever. We are all in the same ship, and work together to achieve common goals with a high level of passion and ambition.

Both leaders emphasize personal empowerment is supported at Hafnia and that this inspires the company’s entrepreneurial focus. Self-improvement is encouraged not just for the individual but for the sake of the entire company.

It stands to reason that being a good leader is about communication and understanding – taking decisions with all the facts at ones disposal. Hafnia’s leadership program helped Amit to do this by encouraging contemplation,

“It included ways to seek and provide effective feedback, listening to understand, self-reflection in better understanding other perspectives and being mindful and sensitive of actions and decisions.”

For Raphaele too, the program helped her build confidence, manage projects better and reflect to get the most from her team,

 “Before, I had a strong tendency to run between projects. Now I take breaks to reflect and analyze my leadership style to drive more effective performance in my team.”

For both Amit and Raphael, their leadership styles are all about being self-aware and approachable for the benefit of the team – admitting that you don’t always have the right answers and leaning into the group with honesty to earn the respect of your peers.

Asked about their advice for other leaders Amit is quick to answer,

 “Be open & authentic – it always helps to be yourself…Walk the talk, live the values, and set the bar high when it comes to reliability. That’s what creates mutual respect and trust.”

Raphaele then states,

“You don’t become a good leader in one day…Never underestimate how important it is to reflect and also to spend time with your team, praise them and provide feedback.”

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