Leading by example
Leadership in IT is evolving faster than in any other business. There’s more to do and often less time to do it. The current speed of the IT evolution pushes our business towards smarter ways of managing teams and departments. It’s challenging, but there’s good news as well: it leaves no room for micromanagement and more for personal responsibility.
One person couldn’t be happier about that: Gosse Reinsma. On LinkedIn you will see his job title is “Manager JTC at Jumbo Supermarkets”. A modest description for someone in charge of 450 IT professionals. But when you read the rest of his LinkedIn page, you’ll notice Gosse doesn’t like to talk about himself. He much rather focuses on the Jumbo Tech Campus, and how he loves to build strong teams.
Say goodbye to the comfort zone
Gosse started out as a programmer, but he soon felt the need to expand his horizon. He became a consultant, only to quickly find out it wasn’t what he wanted to keep doing. Gosse: “Sometimes you must try something to find out it’s not for you. It’s never a waste of time. The way I see it, the only way to enlarge your comfort zone is to step out of it. And I like to take such steps.”
He enjoyed his time as a project manager, taking on more and more responsibility as his career advanced. He started at Super de Boer, went on to C1000 and then started working at Jumbo, deployed by one of Jumbo’s IT suppliers.
Moments that define a career
Every career has its expected and unexpected opportunities. For Gosse, it was joining Jumbo that started a streak of success: “I wanted to go into management. And then an opportunity presented itself: a job opening for managing the SAP Team. But for a management position they would only consider Jumbo employees. I applied and became both part of the Jumbo family and leader of the SAP Team.”
Next stop: heading the Jumbo Tech Campus
2021 marked a big step for Gosse when he applied for the position of manager of the Jumbo Tech Campus. “I acted on the opportunities we provide our people. One of them is the room for professional growth. Here at Jumbo, when it comes to your career, the only possible limit is you.” Now Gosse doesn’t manage the campus like he would want to be managed himself. “Your needs rarely match those of others, so I try to treat people the way they want to be treated.”
How enthusiasm could sink a ship
Gosse knows how to build strong teams: “By letting them manage themselves and learning them to rely on each other. I only get involved when there’s a standoff on a decision, or when something is heading in the wrong direction. But first, I will let them find out why the direction they choose is wrong. Because you learn the most from mistakes. And it’s working. Now, when someone asks for help, we don’t have the problem of too few people coming to their aid. In The Netherlands we have a saying that roughly translates into ‘The best sailors are on the shore’. As in: they’re shouting directions at the people in need, but not contributing to a solution. At JTC we have the luxury of many colleagues standing up and lending a hand. In that analogy, the ship could sink because there’s too many people on it. All I have to do is slow them down a bit and things will work out just fine.
Like a family
Even on busy days, Gosse tries to free time to talk to as many people as possible. He does so during lunch or at the coffee machine, the place to catch up on all things social. Gosse explains what he experiences when he walks around the campus: “It really feels like a family of professionals. I see veterans helping rookies and the other way around. And when the need arises, I roll up my sleeves as well and do what I can to help. Of course, this only works when we hire the people with the right social competencies. So, we strongly focus on that in our application process.”
Team vs solo
A job like Gosse’s leaves him with limited personal time. “With my job I can’t plan time for team sports, but I love to be active. Now I practice the sports I can do whenever I have some me-time, like fitness. And I really enjoy running, also because it helps me clear my head and come at challenges with a fresh perspective the next day. So, there you have it: two things I enjoy doing without being in a team. But it’s not by choice. “
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