Anna Norling, Cheap Monday

Anna Norling has had a long career as a designer working in the H&M group. An opportunity abroad gave Anna the chance to try her hand at a leadership role. When she returned to the H&M group, she knew she would like to continue working as a design leader in addition to working as a designer.

Anna Norling
Brand: Cheap Monday
Title: Assortment Director
Years in H&M group (Years as Leader): 17 (10)
Previous roles: Started as a designer in H&M in 1994. Since then, several roles including creative manager, division designer, and brand director

“The difference between being a leader in the H&M group and being a leader somewhere else is a lot because of the values.  They really do form the way we work here,” says Anna. 

“Maybe I don’t mention them all the time, but for me it’s a given. “I really live them,” she says. “I am always analysing: what can I do to make the situation better, or this collection better? The idea of constant improvement is always with me,” says Anna.

“I have worked for the H&M group for such a long time that I think the values are in my backbone” 

Leadership and success
“For me, leadership is about caring. If you are going to be a successful leader, you must want the people in your team to succeed. You need to have a genuine wish that each person will have success, “she says. 

Anna explains that her leadership style is “quite relaxed and fun and personal”.

“I try to “embrace” the team”, Anna explains, “to be there for them and back them up. There are a lot of outside factors to get the best sales results; but I do try to speak about the numbers and the strategic things in a simple way so everyone understands the goals.”

“I get so much energy from watching people I lead have success.”

What advice would you give to a new leader in the H&M group on their first day? 
My advice would be: meet all the people in your team for face to face talks already from your first day. 


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