Get a board with focus on both ”know-what” and ”know-how”

 

Leadership Board Trend

 

The employees create value through the customers, but skilled owner-managers nevertheless find it difficult to get the good plans to actually take place. They are often buried in daily hands-on chores. Here, an active and professional board with wide leadership experience can provide a competency allowance for redemption of employees' full potential - even at reasonable prices.

5 value creating reasons to get a professional board

If your company doesn’t already have a professional board, here are 5 good reasons to do so:

  • Avoid feeling alone with the challenges at the top 

  • Help to develop the right plans and execute the plans right

  • Fast access to experience of new trends, e.g. digitization and transformation leadership

  • Help to handle large complexity and unpredictability within short deadline´

  • Get ahead with the best generational change or sale of the company

Leadership is an untapped potential

Only 25% managers are good leaders, half are "managers only" and 25% are bad supervisors (Simple Leadership Strategies ™ 2012). Whole 77% managers perceive themselves inspirational (McKinsey Organizational Health Index 2013), but in fact, 82% of employees find their leaders uninspiring (Gallup Engagement Survey 2016). If you recognize that inspirational leadership correlates positively with commitment (+ 32%), satisfaction (+ 46%) and results (+ 16%), there is reason to believe that better leadership drives more value (McKinsey Organizational Health Index 2013). And why should it not also apply to Danish SMEs?

 

 

Management is about ”what” and leadership about ”how”

Even the best plan may fail with half-hearted leadership, while the second best can be successful with good leadership. As a boss, you therefore have two equally important roles to create changes and results. The management role, which is primarily about what, and about doing the right things. Here is the focus on cool numbers and facts. You can also call it the "desktop role", because it's about what you can write down and figure out. The leadership role, which is primarily about how, and about doing things right. Here is the focus on people and emotions. You can also call it the "Speaker’s Corner role", because it's about what you need to tell and do to create commitment and the necessary skills.

 

Numbers and People 2

 

Unfortunately leadership is difficult for many managers

Management is a well-documented method that most executives master. On the other hand, leadership is at once banal and difficult for many. Only a few are born leaders, why the efforts often become one-sided and focused on the well-known methods in management. It can also be difficult to find time for leadership when focus on numbers and facts presses on, e.g. from the board or the bank.

Value-adding leadership can strike the right balance

Value-adding leadership is a practical method that you can use to ensure the balance between the manager role and the leader role - just like the composer and the conductor, where the conductor ensures the beautiful sound through perfect execution. It can help you understand leadership, and "budget" and "control" leadership time in your calendar. This allows you to create a stronger connection between ambitious goals, efforts and employee understanding of direction, performance requirements and scope. Management x Leadership = Value2, to put it on a "manager’s" formula. Personally, I have learned that the optimal balance between "what" and "how", supported by a credible and convincing "why", enables quicker changes and deliver better results - because an inclusive and holistic approach creates meaningful jobs for all.

The valuable board focusses also on good leadership

A professional board is an affordable expense to employing and integrating experienced leaders in your owner led company culture. It can even be a valuable investment because you can over time adapt the team to changing challenges. A board typically contributes with management knowledge from your own industry or even welcome inspiration from others. It's worthwhile coaching when making the right decisions about "what" and "keeping the sneak on track". But a well-elected board team with a strong leadership mindset can also coach you on "how", so your good plans and goals come true. It can be untouched land, but as with other new ways of doing business, it should come from the top.

 

Specifically, the Board can ask for reporting and debate about leadership in addition to figures and facts. Do we have commitment to a common vision, strategy, culture and values? Do we share a burning platform or burning heart? Is everyone able to make the difficult decisions themselves? Is management visible and communicating clearly and consistently through dialogue? Are we skilled at creating relationships and using networks?

Do we endure and develop each other? And if not, how do we do that? Last but not least, the board can help to ensure you have the necessary time to step up "Speaker’s Corner".

Good luck with your board.

 

Mads Middelboe

Executive Advisor & CEO

Leadmore ®

 

 

Additional information