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Developing the power of an innovative mind

5 min read

With the sights set on NASA, she had clear ambitions on which way to go early on. The aspiration was always to break into the tech world, even though her plan of becoming an Aerospace Engineer might have changed along the way. Today, Anna Gustavsson works as a Manager for Software Systems at Saab, where she combines her passion for personal and professional development with her lifelong interest in technology.

"Leading a team of creative brains and experiencing how ideas turn into something valuable is the most inspiring thing about my job," says Anna.

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“Experiencing how true enthusiasm can move borders is the greatest award for me as a leader.” Anna Gustavsson, Manager for Software Systems .

During her career, Anna has had the chance to explore several different fields of the exciting tech world. From Laser Safety Engineer to Software Systems Engineer. But it was the thrill of seeing ideas turn into reality and helping people reach their full potential that eventually got her into the field where she now works.

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As a Manager at Saab, she gets to experience what true enthusiasm can lead to every day. And she’s constantly impressed by the innovative products and solutions that her team manages to develop.

"It's incredible to work with engaged engineers who have a true passion for their work. To see how they move the borders and challenge the technology in their daily work is truly impressive."

Nobody puts a Scientist in a pigeonhole

If it's something that characterises Anna, it's her bravery and ability to think outside the well-known box. That has led her to explore different opportunities and daring to take a leading position in a field of technology which was an unknown territory for her.

"One of the best things about Saab is that you don't get put into a pigeonhole. If you want to try something different, there will be people encouraging you to do that. The important thing is motivation. The experience will come along the way," Anna continues.

“You can't expect a different result if you're not open to change.”

Being a manager at Saab is about supporting and developing the company and the people within it. An important mission that Anna is proud to be a part of. With the overall responsibility for the entire development work, she is involved in a wide range of exciting projects, including autonomous underwater vehicles and innovative missile systems. Besides her role as a Manager, she is also an Innovation Leader of the Technology and Innovation group at Saab. A group that constantly monitors and evaluates new technology to increase Saabs competitiveness in future products, which is done by stimulating ideas, promoting studies, tests and research that challenge the engineers in new technology.

Interested in joining Anna at Saab? Apply here

"It's fantastic to work with such an impressive product portfolio in an environment that humbly promotes opportunities and new technology."

After thirteen years in the industry, Anna is sure about one thing. Becoming a great leader means being bold and letting your heart guide you in the decisions you make. That is something she has always had in mind, from choosing education to how she acts today in her role as a manager.

"The importance of being present and tune in to your employee's needs is something you read about in every management handbook. But it is crucial to help people grow and succeed as a manager," says Anna.

The mastermind of a real puzzle

With her curious mindset, she has always been drawn to the complex challenges technology brings, where problem-solving plays a big part. That is also what defines her role as a manager, from finding the right solution to an everyday problem to helping people develop both professionally and personally – making tough decisions that affect the employees and their project can sometimes be a real puzzle.

"For me, courage is to make decisions and admit when you have made the wrong one. The best and bravest leaders lead with heart, and that is something I always think about when I strive to make our employees feel comfortable and create a work environment where they can thrive and have fun at the same time."

"I know that I have succeeded as a manager when I see my employees thrive."

According to Anna, removing obstacles such as frustration and stress when her team is working on something on the verge of impossible is both challenging and exciting. Seeing how her leadership promotes a solid group of engineers who work together to achieve a result they are all proud of, makes her job meaningful and gives it a real purpose.

Innovating the future, back in time for dinner

In an exciting and challenging profession, Anna finds her safe place at home with her family. Because when it comes down to it, that's what gives her support and love when she comes home from a day at work. And the work-life balance at Saab that offer both stability and opportunities make it possible for her to balance work and personal life.

"I think that is why people choose to stay at Saab for so long. Besides awesome products and cool technology, we also have a great work-life balance that makes work manageable and life a lot easier."

3 questions

The best thing about Saab:
My inspiring colleagues and all the opportunities that Saab provides.

The most inspiring:
Working with people in a leadership role combined with the exciting technical areas we work in.

Your best advice to a potential colleague:
Dare to apply for a job! Many people think you have to be a high-performance wonder woman to work at Saab, which is not the case. At Saab, we create the right conditions together and shape roles according to experiences.