Leadership development as a competitive advantage

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on April 4th, 2018 by admin

Talent should be part of every conversation in an organization, says the CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Group.

Dubai-based Majid Al Futtaim Group has its roots in the asset-heavy world of real estate. Since opening its first mall in 1995, the group has become a leading developer and operator of shopping malls in the Middle East. It also owns VOX Cinemas, the region’s largest movie-theater chain; several leisure and entertainment centers; and the Carrefour franchise in 38 countries.

Yet CEO Alain Bejjani believes the long-term success of the business depends on its ability to develop not only compelling retail and entertainment destinations but also effective leaders. “If we want to succeed in business we have to succeed in our people agenda,” he says in this interview with McKinsey Publishing’s Rik Kirkland. Below is an edited transcript of Bejjani’s remarks.

Elevating human capital
Majid Al Futtaim is a lifestyle conglomerate. Our business is all about adding value to the customer from the lifestyle standpoint. What this means in practice is [developing and managing] shopping centers that are more like “experience centers” where we stage the whole experience, not just the act of shopping.

We spend a lot of time looking at the monetary/commercial aspect of our businesses. We manage it. We analyze it. We understand it. We try to read it in as granular and effective a way as possible. But the element that allows all of this to happen is people. And when you look at how much we spend on people versus how much we spend on the asset side of the business, you see a huge imbalance.

For example, we might spend three years looking at a project. By the time we decide to go ahead, we will have cut it, sliced it, and diced it in every possible way. We will have analyzed it, understood it, and it’s under our skin. Then it might take us a week to determine who’s going to lead the project. My point is that the element that is going to determine whether the project is a success or a failure takes up the least amount of time.

The problem is not what we’re doing on the monetary side. We should continue to do it and do it better. But we should be at least as good on the people side.

Talent in every conversation
A very simple way to look at it is you need to get to a point where you have an ongoing conversation on talent in your organization throughout the year. You need to move from having a rigid schedule or timeline for talent: you hire someone, they go through training or leadership development, there are anniversaries through the year at which you review performance, have a performance dialog, and do 360s. These activities need to happen. But what’s important is how these activities are driven and the mind-set behind them.

To shape this mind-set, you need to get to a point at which talent is an ongoing conversation. This is the role primarily of the chief executive—to make sure that talent is part of every conversation in an organization.

Developing leaders
If you look at the business community today, the amount of investment in leadership is not going up; it’s going down. Yet the biggest issue [we are facing] is leadership, not technical skill set.

We have a whole generation (or generations) of business executives that are now living through a transformation. They are living in a world where the customer is becoming much more demanding, much more informed. In many cases, customers are better informed than the executives themselves about their own business because of digital technology. They are living in a world where the customer expectations are not shaped anymore by your industry. It’s not good enough anymore to be better than your direct competitor. You need to be better than the sources of inspiration who are setting the standards for your customer. This is something that [most managers] have never been trained to master.

So, we’re going through two or three tectonic shifts that are happening in parallel. This requires an amount of leadership and a level of sophistication that is much higher than it was ten or 15 years ago. This is true even for more junior business executives.

I don’t think that the answer lies in who you hire. The reality is that whatever we know, whatever experience we have, is going to be obsolete in three to five years. So, experience is overrated. What’s important is the capabilities that you develop in your business to accompany and support your talent during their tenure with you. How do we make sure that we accompany our people in their leadership development and career development so they can face the challenges of today and tomorrow, and steer our business in the right way?

Redefining leadership
We had to define what leadership means for Majid Al Futtaim, and one of the most valuable pieces of work we have done was defining and articulating our leadership model. Leadership is not about just leading others. One of the most difficult and daunting tasks is leading yourself.

We always look at leadership through the lens of leading teams, leading others, leading businesses, and leading change. But the most daunting task, for the most junior and the most senior among us, is leading ourselves. It’s a duty we have, first, toward ourselves, and then toward our business and toward our people, to support them in their leadership journey and development.

Historically this was left to what I call “the hazards of life.” In other words, it was left to personal initiatives and personal commitment. But I think businesses can shape their future by implementing their people agenda and making sure that their teams are like no other. It’s not just about a senior person in the organization, whether the chief executive or the human-capital officer, doing it. It is about each and every one of us being a human-capital officer. The people agenda in an organization is everyone’s agenda.

Source: McKinsey.com, SApril 2018
About the authors: Alain Bejjani is the CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Group. Rik Kirkland is the senior managing editor of McKinsey Publishing and is based in McKinsey’s New York office.

Leading with inner agility

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on April 3rd, 2018 by admin

Disruptive times call for transformational leaders with a knack for addressing complex problems. To navigate effectively, we must learn to let go—and become more complex ourselves.

We live in an age of accelerating disruption. Every company is facing up to the profound changes wrought by digitization. Industry boundaries have become permeable. Data, algorithms, and artificial intelligence are changing the nature of forecasting, decision making, and the workplace itself. All this is happening at once, and established companies are responding by rethinking their business models, redesigning their organizations, adopting novel agile-management practices, and embracing design thinking.

We’ve had a front-row seat at many such transformation efforts. Their importance, and the challenge they pose for institutions, has been well documented by management writers. But comparatively little attention has been paid to the cognitive and emotional load that change of this magnitude creates for the individuals involved—including the senior executives responsible for the success or failure of these corporate transformations. What makes the burden especially onerous is the lack of clear answers: the very nature of disruption means that even the best, most prescient leaders will be steering their company into, and through, a fog of uncertainty.

You aren’t alone if you feel threatened by this—everyone does, whether consciously or subconsciously. Even seasoned leaders internalize the acute stress of such moments—so much so that their judgment and decision-making skills seem insufficient. The result? They fall back on old habits, which, unfortunately, are almost always out of sync with what the current context demands.

The problem isn’t the problem; our relationship to the problem is the problem. In other words, we have many of the skills needed to handle what’s being thrown at us. But when faced with continual complexity at unprecedented pace, our survival instincts kick in. In a mental panic to regain control, we fight, flee, or freeze: we act before thinking (“we’ve got to make some kind of decision, now!”), we analyze an issue to the point of paralysis, or we abdicate responsibility by ignoring the problem or shunting it off to a committee or task force. We need inner agility, but our brain instinctively seeks stasis. At the very time that visionary, empathetic, and creative leadership is needed, we fall into conservative, rigid old habits.

You can’t steer your company through constant change if you are relying on the safety of your own cruise control. To spot opportunities—and threats—in this environment, we must teach ourselves how to have a more comfortable and creative relationship with uncertainty. That means learning how to relax at the edge of uncertainty, paying attention to subtle clues both in our environment and in how we experience the moment that may inform unconventional action.

Developing this kind of inner agility isn’t easy. In some ways, it goes against our very nature, which wants to simplify a problem by applying our expert mind-set and best practices. To address complex problems, we need to become more complex ourselves. We need to recognize and appreciate emergent possibilities. That’s how the complexity we face can become manageable, even exciting.

In our experience, five personal practices can meaningfully contribute to the mind-set needed for leadership effectiveness during transformative times. They are extensions of timeless principles of centered leadership; taken together, they can be the building blocks of your personal inner agility:

a. Pause to move faster. Pausing while remaining engaged in action is a counterintuitive step that leaders can use to create space for clear judgment, original thinking, and speedy, purposeful action.
b. Embrace your ignorance. Good new ideas can come from anywhere, competitors can emerge from neighboring industries, and a single technology product can reshape your business. In such a world, listening—and thinking—from a place of not knowing is a critical means of encouraging the discovery of original, unexpected, breakthrough ideas.
c. Radically reframe the questions. One way to discern the complex patterns that give rise to both problems and windows of emergent possibilities is to change the nature of the questions we ask ourselves. Asking yourself challenging questions may help unblock your existing mental model.
d. Set direction, not destination. In our complex systems and in this complex era, solutions are rarely straightforward. Instead of telling your team to move from point A to point B, join them in a journey toward a general direction. Lead yourself, and your team, with purposeful vision, not just objectives.
e. Test your solutions—and yourself. Quick, cheap failures can avert major, costly disasters. This fundamental Silicon Valley tenet is as true for you as it is for your company. Thinking of yourself as a living laboratory helps make the task of leading an agile, ever-shifting company exciting instead of terrifying.
To be clear, these steps are not panaceas but a set of interrelated touchstones. Nor are they trivial to tackle. (See sidebar, “Micropractices that help you find stillness.”) But with conscious, disciplined practice, you stand a better chance of rising above the harried din of day-to-day specifics, leading your team effectively, and surveying your company and its competitive landscape with creative foresight. Let’s look now at how this played out in some real-life examples, starting with two leaders who were trying to save a merger that had unfolded in unpredictable, troubling ways.

1. Pause to move faster
Anticipating tough questions at an upcoming board meeting, the CEO and CFO of a global manufacturer met to review the status of a substantial merger they had engineered about twelve months earlier. It wasn’t a pretty picture. Despite following the integration plan closely, despite intensive scenario planning, and despite clear, achievable targets, productivity was falling. The more the two dug into the results of their grand plan, the more heated the discussion. The CFO wanted to shutter a dozen factories in the company’s expanded portfolio. The CEO, who had promised that the merger would lead to bold innovation, wanted to increase funding of those very plants, since they were making the ambitious products the company would need in the long run. Despite having worked together for quite a while, the two men had such differing views that neither knew how to move forward together.

The stakes were highly personal. The CFO feared that the board and his executive colleagues would blame him for failing to identify the true cost structure of the combined companies. He gave serious thought to resigning. The CEO feared that the board would begin to doubt his strategic rationale for the merger. With their competence threatened, each had reverted to fallback positions, insisting that their own experience justified the solution they proposed. That’s why their two days of nonstop meetings had led to an impasse.

Then they agreed to temporarily halt their discussions. Given the urgency each man felt, this was not an easy decision. But they believed they had no other choice—they weren’t going to arrive at a solution by continuing to butt heads. They agreed to cut off their conversation for a week and committed to spending the time investigating the productivity failure on their own, hunting for clues they might have missed.

The two leaders had decided to pause, in order to move faster. This kind of pause isn’t an abdication; it isn’t even a concession that finding an answer will take a long time. Instead, it’s a real-time pause that allows you to decouple from the immediate challenge so that you can find new ways of responding. Instead of being limited by old habits, you’re trying to give yourself greater freedom of choice.

Most executives have trouble pulling back from obsessive engagement with the issue at hand; for many, in fact, that focus has been a key to success. But trying to survive one crisis after another by relying on the tried and true isn’t enough these days. Pausing in the chaos of great change is a counterintuitive action that can lead to greater creativity and efficiency. It carves out a safe space for self-awareness, for recentering yourself, for something new to emerge.

Claiming this space is hard, and there are no silver bullets. Some CEOs like daily meditation. We know one CEO who takes a ten-minute walk through the neighborhood around his office—leaving his cell phone on his desk. Others regularly catch a minute’s worth of deep breathing between meetings. The repetition of such practices helps them pause in the moment, interrupt well-grooved habits that get triggered under duress, and create space to practice something different.

Pausing requires substantial self-awareness, and you may not get immediate results. Every bit of benefit counts, though, and if you don’t start the journey of learning how to decouple from your context and the immediate response it provokes, you’ll find it harder and harder to be open to new ideas, or to become a better listener—both traits that are critical at moments where your own vision is clouded.

2. Embrace your ignorance
During their week apart, the CEO and the CFO dug around for answers. The CFO met with plant managers, who described a pattern of project delays caused by costly reworking of product designs. Several HR leaders told the CEO that people at all levels—hourly workers, supervisors, and managers—were frustrated. Trying to meet the unrealistic assumptions made during the merger process, managers were serving up impossible and confusing directives to supervisors, who in turn were leaning heavily on workers.

The information was interesting. But the CEO and CFO agreed that they were still largely in the dark. They decided that they would next meet with all the members of the executive team. They needed the help of many voices.

With the whole team gathered, the CEO and the CFO listed their assumptions about what might have caused the productivity slump. Then they went around the room, asking questions: How may we be wrong? What else is happening? Who sees this differently? The chief human-resources officer, a quiet fellow during most discussions about operations, spoke up to say that absenteeism was at an all-time high. The vice president of marketing mentioned that the company’s largest customer had complained recently about the call center. As more managers weighed in, patterns started to emerge, patterns that had nothing to do with numbers. The vice president of strategy, who was in the process of moving into a new house with her new husband and children, said, “This reminds me of my kids. Joe and I were so focused on making the move happen efficiently that we completely missed the fact that our kids were anxious. They needed to be reassured, not told they were moving into the perfect room! I wonder if fears and anxieties in our employee base could be driving this.” Together, the managers came to a jarring realization: they had failed to reassure employees about this massive change in their lives.

The CEO and CFO would never have uncovered this answer without acknowledging their own ignorance, and without listening carefully and openly. Furthermore, as everyone around the table acknowledged, their conclusion raised a whole set of new questions, some potentially more important than the productivity problem. How could the executive team have missed this? How could they have been so wrong? Even more broadly, what kind of culture were they creating at this company? A productivity problem had become an existential question about the mental health of the company. Sometimes, ignorance can push you further than expertise. In fact, ignorance is a necessary asset in this age of disruption. Expecting that you can know everything is a hubristic concept of the past.

But embracing your ignorance is hard. Letting go of your need to know means challenging your own identity as exceptionally competent. One CEO we know pretends to have a long dinosaur tail that represents all her life experience. In meetings, she imagines that she tucks it away beneath her. It’s comforting that it’s there. It allows her to lean back and access a sense of self-sufficiency that can be summed up by the thought, “I am enough.” That comfort shifts her into a deeper listening mode, where she’s unencumbered by the urge to provide a quick answer. She feels that she’s able to hear not just the words and ideas of others, but the subtext of conversations. Since adopting this practice, she’s received feedback that people feel more empowered and creative when meeting with her.

A dinosaur tail isn’t for everyone. Another CEO makes a conscious practice of listening with his heart instead of listening with logic. He finds himself more fully digesting what the other person is saying. His curiosity is piqued as he pays better attention to their concerns, needs, and ideas. He believes he has become more patient, which has created more space for creative dialogues.

The embrace of ignorance cuts against the grain for most of us and can take a lifetime to master. To get started, ask yourself some probing questions. First: “Do I suspend judgment and listen for what is below the words, or do I listen for what I already know or believe?” If it’s the latter (as it is for so many of us), go on to this second one: “What would I have to let go of to truly listen?” Third: “What is the very worst that could happen?” The answer to that can help you find the hidden fear that you may need to befriend. And, finally, there’s a fourth: “Am I the leader I want to be?” If the answer is “not yet,” then you know why embracing ignorance must become a priority. Asking these questions may not dissolve the reactive habits that hold us back, but they can begin a process of letting go to find new capacities within ourselves.

3. Radically reframe your questions
The CEO and CFO of our global manufacturer could have reacted in two ways to that boardroom discussion. They might have said, “Let’s get back to basics and just attack productivity. After all, that is the problem we set out to solve.” But they chose to pursue a bigger question: “What kind of culture do we want to create?”

After the meeting with the executive team, the CEO and CFO set out on a “listening tour”—a valuable executive response that becomes even more important as technology increases the clock speed of our lives. For ten days, the two leaders toured plants and visited regional offices, listening to shop-floor workers, managers, division-level HR executives, and operations specialists. They didn’t go in with predetermined questions. Instead, they posed open-ended questions designed to surface multiple, and often hidden, perspectives. They relentlessly asked, “and what else?” to unearth viewpoints that had gone untapped for so long.

Then the CEO and CFO again assembled the executive team. Now, armed with a panoply of varied, often colliding perspectives, the team could dig into the root causes of those productivity decreases. This wide-open, wide-ranging dialogue reset the direction of the merger. New goals were set on new timetables, based on a better understanding of what employees needed and the way employee networks in the merged company fed off one another. The CEO and other leaders revived the sense of purpose that employees had felt for so long by transparently recentering the company’s transformation on the customer. They also empowered a set of shop-floor change agents to drive the shift through every layer of the company. It wouldn’t be hyperbole to say that answering the bigger question—what kind of culture do we want to create?—saved the merger.

Radically reframing the question isn’t just good for the company. It’s a critical skill for any modern executive, and it takes time to build. Start by challenging yourself. Revisit the diversity of your personal network, which for many of us looks too familiar, too much like us, to provide significant exposure to alternative viewpoints. Another useful prod is asking yourself challenging questions, such as, “What is wrong with my assumption? What am I missing? Am I expanding the boundaries of the problem, to allow for unexpected factors?” Identify those who most oppose your view, and understand the story from their point of view. These kinds of questions and conversations take you into the unknown, which is where you’ll find the most valuable answers.

When you step into the unknown, you also boost your odds of getting a glimpse of “inner blockers” that can inhibit you from leading with inner agility. The CFO realized that his initial stubbornness was driven by a deep fear of failure that had been with him for years. The CEO came to understand his own actions in very personal ways. Ever since he was 16, when his father had passed away, he had assumed responsibility for providing for his mother and for his extended family. Providing for those around him was a value that carried through to his work life and had helped him succeed. But in this case, he had been overprotective. Too focused on his own need to deliver on his promises, he hadn’t listened carefully and openly to his people. After working his way through this crisis, he would never infantilize his workforce again. Since then, his people have become his most important source of innovation and ideas.

4. Set direction, not destination
Let’s turn to another situation. The new CEO of a supplier to a major manufacturing sector wanted to signal quickly and clearly where the company was headed. The 150-year-old company had lost ground to overseas competitors, so he believed a transformation was in order, and fast. He replaced 60 percent of his executive staff with newcomers from entrepreneurial companies and announced that the company would be the low-cost provider of its most important part. He dubbed it the “three-dollar plan.” He was sure that this clear, concrete plan would pay off in many ways: existing customers would be pleased, new ones would be won, profits would rise, and employees would be cheered by the turnaround.

One year later, however, the numbers told a different story. Expected cost savings from manufacturing efficiencies weren’t showing up. Profits and sales were flat. Employee engagement, as measured by participation in the annual survey, had dropped by 20 percent. Uncertain about how to respond, he took a step back: he and some top advisors began asking a lot of questions of people at all levels of the company.

As he listened, he came to understand his big mistake: instead of sharing a vision of the general direction for the company, he had pointed employees to a destination, and given them no context for his decision. The company had long been admired for its great customer service, and many longtimers didn’t understand how the “three-dollar plan” could coexist with that reputation. His clarity had denied their creativity: they saw the plan for what it was, a productivity goal, not a vision that demanded their best work and thinking. Without a supportive, engaged workforce, the plan had failed.

Fast forward to today: two years after that realization, pride in the work has been reestablished, and the company is on solid financial ground. What changed?

The CEO changed. As he was reflecting on why his staff had lost motivation, several family portraits that adorned his office caught his eye. Family was important to him, and he suddenly realized that he managed that part of his life very differently from his company. He didn’t give deterministic outcomes to his children. Instead, he tried to point them in certain values-based directions and give them the tools to succeed, knowing that the outcome would depend much more on their talents than his dictates. He accepted his children’s independence, but not his workers. He determined to manage his company the way he parented. He engaged the staff in determining the direction of the company; he tasked a diverse group of employees with figuring out whether the three-dollar plan could coexist with the customization that had given the company such a great reputation for customer service and innovation. They came to believe it could, and even developed a tagline that nodded to the past while pointing to a new direction: “Building the business together for the next 150 years on a proud heritage.”

We’d be the first to acknowledge that applying techniques from the home front won’t work for everyone: after all, some executives are more autocratic at home than in the office! Still, we think any leader of a business that depends on the creativity of its people will find value in bringing this directional mind-set into the office.

Setting a direction that is rooted in purpose and meaning can inspire positive action and invite others to stretch out of their comfort zone. Make it personal by starting with your own personal vision: What really matters for you? What do you want to create through your leadership? What do you want to be remembered for? What do you want to discover? These are the kinds of questions that help you set a meaningful, values-based direction, for yourself and others.

5. Test your solutions, and yourself
Developing inner agility is a process of accepting less control than makes you feel safe. But that doesn’t mean you’re embracing chaos.

Most Silicon Valley companies are networks, designed so that ideas will spark from many different corners of the organization. How do they surface the best ones? By testing often, creating “safe to fail” experiments and then rewarding learning. Testing fast and small is critical for agile companies. It ensures that you can respond quickly to technological shifts or changed market conditions. And microfailures reduce the chance of macrofailures.

Applying this testing concept to yourself is a critical part of developing inner agility. Try to create mindful experiments for yourself. A baby step: ditch your PowerPoint presentation for an important meeting, and instead try to stimulate unconventional thinking by telling a story. You may bomb, but that’s OK—you’re starting to learn how to unearth new viewpoints. Using everyday leadership situations as a practice ground can help you build comfort with uncertainty and develop the learning mind-set needed to provide leadership at a time when, as Andy Grove once said, “None of us have a real understanding of where we are heading.”

Testing and experimentation is tightly intertwined with the other four practices of inner agility. The experiments we conduct move us in the direction we have set, while the process of setting a direction that’s rooted in purpose helps us build the courage to experiment. Pausing helps us to decouple from our context and develop comfort with not knowing, a necessary condition for any meaningful experiment. And reframing and expanding the questions we ask ourselves gives us the broad perspective we need to create experiments that will move us in the right direction.

In times of complexity and high stress, we find our sense of our own competence (and sense of self!) continually challenged. We have two choices: try to reduce discomfort by falling back on trusted habits, or embrace the complexity and use it to learn and grow. Bold leaders will develop a new relationship to uncertainty. We must grow more complex from within. Taken together, the five practices we have discussed here are the foundation of a mind-set that is comfortable with leading despite, and through, uncertainty. The more you practice these steps, the more you will develop inner agility, tap into creativity, and enjoy the ride! Each small failure will teach you something, and each success will help confirm that it is possible to lead effectively without having all the answers. Today’s leaders must be like eagles, who don’t flap their wings harder or strain against the wind stream when they encounter great turbulence. Instead, they become even more still, knowing that they have the agility and self-possession to soar even higher.

Source: McKinsey.com, March 2018
By Sam Bourton, Johanne Lavoie, and Tiffany Vogel
About the authors: Sam Bourton is the cofounder and chief technology officer of QuantumBlack, a McKinsey affiliate based in London; Johanne Lavoie is a partner in McKinsey’s Calgary office and coauthor of Centered Leadership: Leading with Purpose, Clarity, and Impact (Crown Business, 2014); and Tiffany Vogel is a partner in the Toronto office.

Så behåller du medarbetarna

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on March 12th, 2018 by admin

Bra kollegor är viktigt för att medarbetare ska stanna på en arbetsplats. Det visar en färsk undersökning som Talentsoft har genomfört. Här är fem råd för att behålla medarbetarna.

Vi byter arbetsplats i högre utsträckning än tidigare. Faktum är att svenskar aldrig bytt jobb så ofta som i dag. Personalomsättningen är till nackdel för företagen eftersom arbetsbelastningen ökar när medarbetare lämnar – vilket leder till en effektivitetsförlust.

Det är en stor fördel att ha kännedom om medarbetarnas motivation och anledningar att stanna kvar på en arbetsplats. Utveckling, bonusar och korta fredagar kan vara bra verktyg för att få medarbetare att trivas, men den sociala aspekten är ännu viktigare.

Att har bra kollegor väger väldigt tungt. Det visar en färsk undersökning som företaget Talentsoft har gjort om de viktigaste parametrarna för att behålla medarbetare.

I undersökningen berättade tre av fyra deltagare att den viktigaste parametern på jobbet är att ha bra medarbetare. 64 procent av deltagarna angav bra lön som en viktig komponent och nästan hälften, 46 procent, svarade att flexibla villkor är betydande.

Talentsofts fem råd för att behålla medarbetarna:
1. Investera i sammanhållningen. Sociala aktiviteter stärker banden mellan medarbetare och stärker såväl motivationen som samarbetet.

2. Var öppen i löneförhandlingar. Just lönen är en avgörande motivationsfaktor för många och det kan därför vara positivt att vara transparent i löneförhandlingar.

3. Släpp på tyglarna. Flexibla villkor som att ha möjlighet att gå tidigt eller att få arbeta hemifrån kan bidra till större engagemang och motivation.

4. Investera i utveckling. Kurser och utbildningar kan med fördel prioriteras eftersom det höjer motivationen hos medarbetarna.

5. Visa respekt. Att respektera varandras yrkesroller och involvera varandra stärker relationen mellan ledningen och medarbetarna.

Källor: Talentsoft, Kvalitetsmagasinet, mars 2018

Så mår du bra som chef

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on February 23rd, 2018 by admin

Dagens arbetsliv ställer tuffa krav på cheferna.
Ny forskning visar att de chefer som är snälla mot sig själva är de som mår bäst.
– För att kunna leda hållbart måste man också kunna hålla själv, säger Christin Mellner, forskare i arbets- och organisationspsykologi på Stockholms universitet.

Tillsammans med två kollegor forskade hon mellan 2014 och 2017 om ledarskap i arbetslivet. Drygt 1600 chefsmedlemmar i olika fackförbund svarade på en omfattande enkät om sin arbetssituation. Forskarna analyserade sedan svaren utifrån både ett individuellt och ett organisatoriskt perspektiv:
– Många chefer har en tidspressad och fragmentarisk arbetsdag. Kraven är höga, man jobbar regelbundet övertid och många upplever slitningar mellan de olika delarna i uppdraget. Mycket tid går åt till administration på bekostnad av möten med medarbetare och verksamhetsutveckling. ”Jag är en högavlönad sekreterare”, sade en chef i våra djupintervjuer, berättar Christin Mellner.

Hon betonar att långt ifrån alla vittnar om en så negativ bild av sitt chefskap som ovan, men att det är verkligheten för många. Samtidigt upptäckte forskarna att de chefer i studien som mådde bäst, även personer med hög belastning, var de med hög ”självmedkänsla”.
– Det är ett viktigt förhållningssätt i utmanande situationer, att lyssna på sig själv och sina egna behov. Man klarar då av att sätta gränser för att kunna vila och återhämta sig, säger Mellner och utvecklar:
– Annan forskning visar att de med hög självmedkänsla har en stark inre etisk kompass som de följer i högre grad än andra. De har höga krav på sig själva och anstränger sig, men dömer inte sig själva så hårt utan accepterar sig själva och sin prestation som det är.

Även om man inte har en hög självmedkänsla finns metoder för att må bättre i sin chefsroll. Mellner hänvisar till en studie där en grupp chefer fick testa mindfulness under åtta veckor medan kontrollgruppen inte gjorde det:
– Även ett halvår efteråt hade den första gruppen ökat i just självmedkänsla och kunde även släppa jobbet mentalt på fritiden i högre grad, de hade lärt sig ”switching off”. De var mer återhämtade, hade bättre livsbalans och hälsa.
Andra sätt att koppla bort jobbet på fritiden kan vara fysisk aktivitet, naturupplevelser, konst och kultur.
– Det som kommer fram i forskningen är att aktiviteterna ska vara lustbetonade och inte handla om prestation. Först då får vi den återhämtning som behövs.

Det är en sak att som individ lyssna på sin kropp, Mellner betonar att arbetsgivaren också måste vara med på tåget och skapa en rimlig arbetssituation:
– Man måste ha klart för sig att självmedkänsla, mindfulness eller andra verktyg för ökad hållbarhet på individnivå inte är lösningen på orimliga arbetsvillkor. Det handlar i grunden om organisatoriska förutsättningar att både kunna göra ett bra jobb och må bra, det är vad hållbarhet handlar om i det större perspektivet.

Tre tips för att må bra som chef
1. Våga stänga av
Att ständigt vara tillgänglig skapar en ohållbar situation i längden och kommer leda till att du inte mår bra.

2. Återhämta dig
Oavsett om du föredrar träning, skogspromenader eller en eftermiddag på konstgalleri är det viktigt att hitta lustfyllda stunder utan prestationskrav.

3. Agera för en sund arbetsmiljö
Om det är vanligt med övertid och stress är det läge att påtala för ledningen att situationen är ohållbar. Får man inte gehör för att ta tag i frågorna är sista utvägen att byta jobb.

Källa: DI.se, 24 februari 2018

Kraven på chefen ökar

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on February 19th, 2018 by admin

Det är både svårt och hårt att vara chef. Och tuffare blir det. Här är kraven som kommer att ställas på dig som ledare.

Att det många gånger är krävande att jobba i en ledande befattning är inget nytt. Som ledare som du finnas till hands, utan att lägga dig i för mycket. Du ska kunna hantera förändringar på ett lika klokt som bra sätt – och du ska tåla nästan hur mycket som helst.

– Att vara ledare och chef är ett tufft yrke och du bör veta vad du ger dig in på när du tackar ja till rollen, säger Sara Rönnqvist som är senior affärskonsult på IHM Business School till tidningen Kollega.

Väldigt många människor har egenskaperna som krävs för att bli bra ledare, men för att verkligen lyckas krävs ständig kompetensutveckling.

Den stora utmaningen är att hinna med att delta i kurser eller utbildningar som syftar till att utveckla kompetensen.

– Kanske tar man sig tid att gå på ett seminarium eller på ett frukostmöte och det är i och för sig bra. Men vill du få till en långsiktig beteendeförändring så räcker det inte, säger Rönnqvist.

Tiden då arbetsgivaren skickade sina chefer på kurs är över. I dag ligger ansvaret hos ledarna själva att anmäla sig till och gå kurser och utbildningar för hänga med i utvecklingen.

Fyra områden att bemästra

1. Agilt ledarskap
En agil ledare är snabbrörlig och anpassningsbar. Inre motivation är mer värdefullt än yttre belöningar. En agil ledare är en visionär som inspirerar och leder genom att göra sina medarbetare delaktiga och ansvarstagande eftersom det är de som sitter på kompetens och detaljkunskap.

2. Självledarskap
Ledaren har en mer tillbakadragen, coachande roll. Inte helt olik den som en fotbollstränare har. Det är medarbetarna, laget, som ska leda och klara sig själva.

Som ledare berättar du om dina förväntningar och ger råd på hur ni ska nå målen. Självledarskap bygger på att ledaren tror på sina medarbetare och att de känner tillit.

3. Distansledarskap
Att leda på avstånd är inte helt enkelt. Utmaningen ligger ofta i att skapa en känsla av samhörighet även fast man befinner sig på olika ställen eller platser.

Nycklarna till ett lyckat ledarskap på distans stavas planering, uppföljning och återkoppling. Kommunikationen behöver vara tydlig och bra. Att ha digitala möten på fasta tider är en fördel.

4. Utvecklande ledarskap
Utvecklande ledarskap är ledarstilen som enligt många studier ger flest nöjda medarbetare – och ökad vinst.

Källa: Saljledarskap.se, 7 februari 2018

Efter #metoo – så ska du göra som chef

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Leadership / Ledarskap on February 14th, 2018 by admin

I kölvattnet av #metoo har berättelser om sexuella trakasserier dykt upp i många branscher.
Här är råden till dig som chef för att både förebygga och hantera kränkande situationer på jobbet.
– Det är jätteviktigt att problematiken uppmärksammas, säger Peter Tai Christensen, teamchef hos Unionen.

Han har i många år arbetat med frågor rörande såväl jämställdhet som trakasserier hos både Jämställdhetsombudsmannen (JämO) och Diskrimineringsombudsmannen (DO). När #metoo, uppropet där främst kvinnor berättade om sexuella trakasserier på jobbet, kulminerade under hösten 2017 hade Peter Tai Christensen delade känslor:
– En del av mig tänkte ”äntligen”. Nu vågar folk träda fram med namn. Många känner sig utsatta, men har inte vågat eller orkat berätta tidigare. Samtidigt blir jag givetvis mycketilla berörd av de historier som rullas upp, säger han.

Ta frågan på allvar
Hur ska man agera som chef om anklagelser om sexuella trakasserier dyker upp på arbetsplatsen? Enligt Christensen är det absolut viktigaste att ta frågan på allvar och omedelbart reda ut vad som egentligen hänt:

– Ta reda på så mycket som möjligt kring det som ska ha skett, du har en skyldighet enligt lag att utreda och i förekommande fall vidta åtgärder för att sätta stopp för trakasserierna. Nummer ett är förstås att fråga personen som blivit utsatt, sedan måste även den utpekade få ge sin version. Man måste lyssna på båda förutsättningslöst. Det kan även bli aktuellt att höra vittnen och ta del av eventuell dokumentation.

Uppsägning yttersta steget
Skulle utredningen visa att sexuella trakasserier ägt rum kan det få konsekvenser på flera plan:

– Förväntas personerna jobba ihop framöver? Ju grövre trakasserier, desto mindre är sannolikheten att det är möjligt. Kanske behöver förövaren bli omplacerad? Vid mindre allvarliga kränkningar kan första steget vara en tillsägelse, fortsätter trakasserierna får man titta på ytterligare åtgärder där det yttersta steget är uppsägning.

”Det gäller att man är uppmärksam”
Vad som anses vara sexuella trakasserier är dock inte alltid helt lätt att avgöra, påpekar Christensen:

– Vi har de helt uppenbara sakerna, som olämplig fysisk beröring och ett olämpligt språkbruk, men det finns också en gråzon. Hur ska en komplimang eller flört tolkas? Här beror det förstås på hur mottagaren uppfattar situationen. ”Du menar säkert väl men jag vill helst inte att du kommenterar mina kläder igen” är ett tydligt svar. Fortsätter man ändå är det trakasserier eftersom man inte respekterar personens gränsdragning. Det gäller att man är uppmärksam på de här nyanserna.

Viktigt att utbilda chefer och förtroendevalda
Trots att många nedslående historier avslöjats menar Peter Tai Christensen att svenska företag generellt står väl rustade att hantera sexuella trakasserier:

– Metoder, policies och beredskapsplaner finns på många företag. Det finns stödmaterial och kompetens att anlita om man inte redan har riktlinjer och rutiner för att förebygga, förhindra och hantera sexuella trakasserier på företaget. Men de verktygen behöver användas i mycket större utsträckning än tidigare. Och det kan vara bra att utbilda såväl chefer som förtroendevalda och i ord och handling inför medarbetarna visa att man tar dessa frågor på största allvar.

Så agerar du vid larm om sexuella trakasserier

1. Ta reda på vad som hänt
Prata separat med de inblandade, ta del av eventuella vittnesmål och dokumentation om sådant finns. Ta gärna hjälp av HR-avdelningen.

2. Agera
Om det visar sig att trakasserier förekommit ska arbetsgivarens åtgärd stå i proportion till vad som hänt. Vid mindre allvarliga förseelser kan en tillsägelse vara tillräcklig. Grövre trakasserier kan leda till varning, omplacering eller avsked.

3. Kontrollera nuläget
En tid efter ovanstående är det läge att följa upp om trakasserierna har upphört. Framförallt ska fokus ligga på den utsatta, vars tillvaro på arbetsplatsen kan ha förändrats efter trakasserierna.

Källa: DI.se, 14 februari 2018

Servant Leadership: Moving from mindset to skill set

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on February 12th, 2018 by admin

A servant leadership mindset is all about focusing on others rather than yourself,” says bestselling business author Ken Blanchard. As part of research for a new book, Servant Leadership in Action, Blanchard had an opportunity to explore both the mindset and the skill set needed for leaders interested in adopting an others-focused approach to leadership.
“The mindset is to recognize that there are two parts of servant leadership, says Blanchard. “There is the vision, direction, and goals—that’s the leadership part. Everybody needs to know where you’re going and what you’re trying to accomplish.
“The servant leadership skill set is turning that vision into action. Now you are looking at the day-to-day management behaviors people need from their leader to succeed.”

Blanchard shares some examples:
Developing Others: “Servant leaders are always preparing people to be their own boss by helping them own their job and be in charge. This means identifying a direct report’s development level and providing the direction and support they need to grow and develop.”
Delegating: “Servant leaders first make sure that people know what the goals are. Then they turn the organizational pyramid and the reporting relationships upside down. They ask questions like How can I help? and What can I do to make a difference to help you accomplish your goals?
Directing Others: “It’s not really about directing them,” says Blanchard. “It’s about helping them. Sometimes when people are new they need clear direction—it is a temporary leadership behavior to help someone take ownership of their job and get to where they want to go.”
Servant leadership is a journey, says Blanchard. It’s both a mindset and a skill set. Once you get it right on the inside you can begin to develop the skills related to goal setting and performance management. Blanchard points to two of his company’s flagship programs as examples of how servant leadership principles can be taught as a part of a larger leadership development curriculum.

“In many ways, servant leadership is the overarching theme that covers the concepts of two of our most popular programs: Situational Leadership® II and First-time Manager.
“For example, Situational Leadership® II has three skills that generate both great relationships and results: goal setting, diagnosis, and matching. Notice that the first skill is goal setting. All good performance starts with clear goals—which, for a manager, are clearly part of the leadership aspect of servant leadership.

“Once clear goals are set, an effective situational leader works with their direct report to diagnose the direct report’s development level—competence and commitment—on each specific goal. Then together they determine the appropriate leadership style—the amount of directive and supportive behavior—that will match the person’s development level on each goal. That way the manager can help them accomplish their goals—the servant aspect of servant leadership. The key here is for managers to remember they must use different strokes for different folks but also different strokes for the same folks, depending on the goal and the person’s development level.

“In our First-time Manager program we teach the concepts of One Minute Management. The First Secret of The One Minute Manager is setting One Minute Goals—which for a manager is part of the leadership aspect of servant leadership. Once employees are clear on goals, an effective One Minute Manager tries to catch people doing something right so that they can deliver a One Minute Praising—the Second Secret. If the person is doing something wrong or not performing as well as agreed upon, a One Minute Re-Direct is appropriate—the Third Secret. When effective One Minute Managers are praising or redirecting their employees, they are engaging in the servant aspect of servant leadership—working for their employees to help them win.
“Why are the concepts of Situational Leadership® II and The One Minute Manager so widely used around the world? I think it’s because they are clear examples of servant leadership in action. Both concepts recognize that vision and direction—the leadership aspect of servant leadership—are the responsibility of the traditional hierarchy. People need to be clear on their goals. Implementation—the servant aspect of servant leadership—is all about turning the hierarchy upside down and helping employees accomplish their agreed-upon goals.”

Mindset and Skill Set
“Saying you’re a servant leader is a good start, but it is your behavior that makes it real for people,” says Blanchard. “Servant leadership is a combination of mindset and skill set that focuses on serving others first so that organizations develop great relationships, achieve great results, and delight their customers.”

Source: Kenblanchard.com, 6 February 2018

Ten questions a manager can never, ever ask an employee

Posted in Aktuellt, Leadership / Ledarskap on February 1st, 2018 by admin

Dear Liz,

I’m a new manager. I was a Team Leader in my previous job but now I’m a full manager and I’m struggling. I’m not sure how to build rapport with my employees. There are six people on my team. Some of them are older than I am. It’s a little bit intimidating.

I try to be friendly but not everyone appreciates it. I try to flex to accommodate each person on the team but it’s hard. I asked one of my employees, “Rhoda,” what plans she had for lunch yesterday — just trying to make conversation and show interest. She bristled and said “I have plans — that’s my personal time, after all!” and walked away.

I have a decent relationship with my team members, I think, but I’m just not having any success trying to get to know them better or develop a better rapport.

I sat down with each person on the team to talk about my plans, their plans and their role. The meetings were okay but nobody had much to say. I asked a few of the employees simple questions like “What is our team’s reputation in the company?” and “Are the other employees happy working here?” I didn’t want to ask the question “Are you happy?” because I didn’t want them to feel pressured. Nobody answered those questions. They just sat there.

I know I’m not doing a great job as a new manager.

Could you please share some suggestions with me?



Dear Natalie,

It’s frustrating when you’re trying to reach out to someone and your overtures are not reciprocated. Pretty much everybody has been there in the social realm. We might try for six months to make friends with someone but we keep getting rebuffed.

In the social realm, most of us give up trying eventually. Then the person we wanted to become closer to either warms up and reaches out on their own, or we realize that we can live a happy life without them!

It’s more complicated when you are the manager and you’re trying to become friendlier with your employees. They have a natural force field up, because you hold power over them by virtue of being the boss. A lot of people don’t want their boss to be overly friendly with them. It makes them nervous. Maybe they got burned by a manager in the past — someone who got friendly with them and then used that friendship to stab them in the back. Sadly, it happens every day.

You have to build trust with your employees slowly, watching them for cues. You can’t stride into a management job and start barking out orders. If you do, no one will trust you for a very long time — or never.

Few employees would want to hear the question “Are the other employees happy in their jobs?” from their new manager. The question makes it sound like you want an employee to be your scout or spy.

When you invest the time and energy to build trust on your team, they will tell you straight out what they think. You won’t always want to hear it — but their willingness to speak is what shows the high trust level on the team!

To build trust, you have to look for ways to serve your employees — to make their lives at work easier. When somebody brings you a request, try your best to grant the request because that’s how you will prove your credibility. A manager who can’t remove the biggest obstacles in their team’s way is not much of a manager, after all.

Your job is not to push your employees or boss them around but to ask them what they need to be more effective at their jobs and then give them what they need. It might be more of your time, more equipment, more latitude, more flexibility or more access to senior-level people. They might need you to champion a great idea all the way up the organizational chart to the CEO’s office. If it’s a good idea, then it’s your job to take it as high as it needs to go.

Some parts of leadership are scary. Some parts of being alive are scary! Real leaders step through their fear.

It’s scary to humble yourself and tell your employees “I need to know what you need from me.” It’s scary to stop telling people what to do and ask them what you should do, instead.

If you and Rhoda were not especially close when you asked her, “What are your lunch plans?” we can easily see why she might have been spooked by your question.

It would be easy to say, “Wow, Rhoda is really touchy!” but we have to remember that everything a manager says to their employee is loaded. It’s not the same as if another team member had asked Rhoda, “Where are you going for lunch?” Your questions come from a different place, because you are Rhoda’s manager.

You will be a threatening person because of your role until you consciously, intentionally and patiently replace the brand My Boss with a new brand — one that you will establish through your actions more than your words.

Now you know that you need to get to a more trusting place with Rhoda — over time, at her pace rather than yours, and specifically by making yourself useful to her — before you can ask her a casual question like “What are your lunch plans?” and expect a pleasant reply.

Here are ten questions a manager must never, ever ask an employee:

1. Is anybody in our department job-hunting?

2. What do the other employees think about me?

3. Is everybody doing their job?

4. Are Natalie and Jason still fighting?

5. Who stays late after I leave work?

6. What should I do about all the long lunches Kevin takes?

7. Everybody has been congratulating Paula — did she and Marco get engaged?

8. Who are the most valuable people in this department, in your opinion?

9. What do the other departments say about our team?

10. How do I compare to your previous manager?

These are questions that put an employee in an awkward spot. No one should be asked to spy for a manager or report back on what other employees do, say or think. No one should be asked to evaluate their fellow employees, or pass on gossip they heard at work.

Leadership is a journey. Sometimes we think that all we need is a management title and we’ll be good to go, but it doesn’t work that way in real life. Learning to lead is a process of learning about yourself. It’s a lifelong path. You are on your way. We are cheering you on!

Source: Forbes.com, 31 January 2018
Author: Liz Ryan

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Leadership / Ledarskap on February 1st, 2018 by admin

Anställda du inte vill ha

Posted in Aktuellt, Allmänt, Leadership / Ledarskap on January 29th, 2018 by admin

“Det står inte i min arbetsbeskrivning att jag ska bära pannåer”. Utvecklingssamtalet kunde ha börjat bättre. En vecka tidigare hade jag frågat om vi inte alla på kontoret kunde hugga i under några minuter. Tre trappor nedanför, på trottoaren, hade budfirman klantigt nog lämnat en trave pannåer från en utställning som nu riskerade att förstöras av ett raskt annalkande oväder. Jag betraktade min anställda. Hon hade redan hunnit mala på i flera minuter kring vad hon tyckte behövde ändras för att hennes arbetssituation skulle “motsvara hennes kompetensområde”. Det där med pannåerna passerade gränsen med råge, menade hon.

Ifjol skrev jag en krönika här i Resumé med titeln Chefen du inte vill ha. I det påföljande flödet i sociala media efterfrågades en fortsättning med liknande analys fast av anställda. Eftersom det är accepterat att slå uppåt men inte att sparka nedåt, avstod jag. Tills nu. Under våren förde jag samtal med en grupp chefer, främst inom kommunikationsindustrin, och då framträdde ett mönster som behöver luftas. De bortskämda anställda. De som tappat markkontakten. Trots ganska få till antalet, märks de för att de stjäl utrymme och energi från verksamheten, och från sina arbetskamrater.

Den här typen av anställda kännetecknas av att de är skickliga på att ta för sig, men sämre på att ta ansvar. Det går att dela in dem i tre kategorier: De Oförstående, De Lata och De Storvulna.

De Oförstående verkar vara på frammarsch. Om arbetstiden är 8.30 – 17.00 anländer de till jobbet 9.30 efter lämning på förskolan. Sedan går de vid 16-rycket för att de ska hämta på förskolan. När du vid lönesamtalet säger att du har förståelse för situationen men att hen då måste gå ned i arbetstid, fattar personen ingenting. “Jag har inte råd att gå ned i lön, men jag måste ju få lämna och hämta barnen!” När du försöker säga att det blir lite svårt att förklara för andra som jobbar heltid att hen är här två timmar mindre per dag, möts du av samma oförstående blickar, alternativt av tårar.

En vd för ett IT-företag menar också att moderna mellanchefer kan ha svårt att inse vad ansvaret de fått med finare titel och högre lön innebär. En sådan mellanchef gick på föräldraledighet utan att ha sett till att någon annan bar ansvaret för en större upphandling han höll i. “Men jag ska ju vara ledig nu!”

De Lata är enklare att begripa sig på. Alla har vi väl varit tonåringar, men den här sorten stannade kvar under täcket när du motvilligt tog dig själv i kragen. Den late ser till att få synnerligen begränsat med uppgifter. Han (jag har nog aldrig haft några lata kvinnor anställda, grabbar), låtsas ha skitmycket att göra men under den fejkade arbetsbördans yta putsar han hellre på cv:t än grottar ned sig i Excelarken. Och tyvärr, den late glider ofta elegant under din radar med självklarheten hos en misstänkt u-båt på Kanholmsfjärden en regnig oktobereftermiddag.

De Storvulna är jävligast eftersom de besitter en grandios självbild. Svåra att konfrontera därför att de vet att anfall är bästa försvar. Inte sällan är de också synnerligen välmöblerade mellan öronen. En Storvulen anställd som ska konfronteras med att inte sköta sina uppgifter får därför inte tillåtas ta över initiativet i samtalet. Det bästa är att vara två som leder i mötet med den här personen.

Gemensamt för alla tre kategorier är att de representerar tidsandan. En tid när vi gått från we, we, we till me, me, me.

Källa: Resume.se, 27 september 2017
Av: Björn Rietz