Hello SOTGC community,
Good to talk to you again! In my previous post I talked on Women Leading Leadership in years to come. It was based on my experience from spending most of my time in the tech world for the past years. In the post I pointed out some major women superpowers.
- Great skills of communications
- Great relationship builders and facilitators
And as mentioned these superpowers are at the same time skills needed in the new coaching role as a leader and business owner. In this new role you need to have both leader- and managerial skills. Or as one of my inspirational leaders, Lars Berg, Chief of Malmö Fire Brigade, called it “Situational Leadership”, and explained it to me:
– At the station I need to be the coaching leader with participation, working together, developing our work organization and how to handle situations both at the station and in emergency situations. Our different work places, that is.
But when we are at different emergency situations I need to step in to lead and organize the operation, and my colleague’s needs to do as told to. In order to succeed with the work that needs to be done I need them to trust me. And trust is built at the station when leading them by coaching and participation. I also need to recognize that people has different needs from me as a leader, and has to be taken into consideration in my leadership role.
Malmö Fire Brigade was 1998 awarded as a Swedish Model of Good Practice for a health promoting workplace by the EU-finance European Network for Work Place Health Promotion (ENWHP). The main reason for that was because they had acknowledged and succeeded to work successfully with the two key factors for creating a healthy work place: Leadership and how work was organized.
At Malmö Fire Brigade they had succeeded in recruiting a leader to a leadership position. Too often I can see that this is not the case, and we mix up the person leader with the position as a leader.
In many businesses and as a quite common core value, is that the only way to make a career is to get a position as a leader. This even when it would be better for everybody if a leader was chosen for a position as a leader. This has for example been the case for many years within the tech business. For example, as I see it, the misuse of skilled programmers when the only way to get promoted was to get a managerial position. I know that at least IBM way back developed a track for experts to move on in their working life making a career.
At a the book release in December last year, of “The Silicon Valley Model” written by Annika Stieber, PhD, it came out cut clear to me at one of her slides what Chief of the Malmö Fire Brigade, Lars Berg explained to me. I realized what and how important it is to integrate both sides; the skills that we account as leadership- and/or management skills. That is, to integrate the left side that needs coaching leadership skills, “The Silicon Valley model” and the “The Traditional Model”, with management skills, to be situational leadership for the emerging new world of work. This is especially crucial to be aware of to succeed as a leader and business in the transition that we are in right now, moving from the industrial age into the digitized age. The digital natives are moving into the working places with a totally different mindset from the digital immigrants (those of us that were not born with Internet).
I also want to take my reasoning one step further, since I see that the left side of the slide is common to refer to as “soft skills”, or women characteristics, and the right side as “hard skills”, or often referred to as male characteristics.
Annika is a forerunner in leadership development in the new world of work that we’re entering, as mentioned in one of my earlier posts. I got to know Annika when I interviewed her for my book “WIFL – Work In Fake Life – your guide to the digitized working life” a couple of years back. And I highly recommend both of her books “The Google Model” and her latest book “The Silicon Valley Model”. She’s also a great speaker. Annika lives and works both in Silicon Valley and in Stockholm, Sweden.
To have and to know how to manage these skills are a challenge and opportunity that’s needed to be acknowledged, faced and handled in a wise way. And that is needed for sustainable successful businesses to be created and flourish in years to come to build a better society and world.
So my challenge to you is to continue and be aware of developing and intertwine both your skills that are considered as leadership skills as well as managerial skills to be a leader as a person in your position as a leader. If not in working life, this could be used to be a successful leader in your private life.
Best as always,