Leadmore ® Newsletter, July 2017


Leadership on Summer Vacation

Opt-ins call for opt-outs - something to think about during your summer holidays


We swim in new threats and opportunities

Wow, we are really flooded with new threats and opportunities that all must take a place on our busy agenda. Here's just a "small" sample of buzzwords in a sinful mix of abbreviations, which both leaders and employees need to address in a hectic everyday work life:


VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity), Disruption, Exponential Business Models, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), LCI (Leadership Capital Index), CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and Stakeholder Management.


Digitization, Big Data, Block Chain, Algorithmic Analysis, AI (Artificial Intelligence), AR/VR (Augmented / Virtual Reality), Cloud, Machine Learning, UC (Unified Communication), 5G, IoT (Internet of Things), 3D Print, Drones, Driverless and Electric Vehicles, Quantum Computing and Cybersecurity.

Product Development

Co-creation, Broadcast Search, Crowdsourcing/-funding and Hackathons.


Smart Factory, Industry 4.0, Automation, Robotization, LEAN, Six Sigma, Smart Energy, Predictive and Remote Maintenance.


Omnichannel, Social Media, Content Marketing, Social Selling, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Customer Journey Experience, DTC (Direct to Customers), LMDC (Last Mile Delivery Cost) and Access/Sharing Economy.


Employer advocacy/-branding, diversity and inclusion, millennials- and talent management, HR outside-in, paradox navigators, transition-/change management, outsourcing, off-/right-shoring and GIG economy (freelancers).


My aim here is not to explain and elaborate the many buzzwords, nor to question the value of them, but to question what we are doing today.

Leadership by opt-outs as well

Even the flow of good advice is exponential, but I have one good advice, if you want to succeed in making some of the novelties happen and not stay at the talk:

Be clear and selective, make sure to both opt-in and opt-out, and go ahead as a role model for your employees.

In a world of tough financial growth targets, extremely innovative competition from both known and unknown quarters, limited resources and continuous learning needs, your most important task is to ensure that the cup does not flow - as most of it anyhow will be lost. Even for this task there are many models and buzzwords, but let me give you my summer holiday tip at eye level.

If you do not opt-out, for a time or forever, everything will be prioritized and nothing will de facto be given priority. Your most important competence is therefore to be able to read your market, think not only one but two steps ahead of everyone else, and prioritize what really can create value – you need the courage to dare to opt-out, even if it can imply trade-offs short-term. This way, you can set a clear direction, set realistic performance targets and give your employees an engaging room to manoeuvre.

You need to master execution to create value

As leaders, we should not forget to spend time regularly with our teams to ensure that everyone can hang their tasks and goals up on your "strategic coat rack". Be clear in your assignment delegation and deadlines so that you ensure meaningful work of every individual. Make it legitimate for your employees to challenge your priorities and opt-outs – or lack of the same. Delegate tasks that match employees’ abilities and potential, and follow up regularly with needed support, so that you together can reach the targeted results on time.

Often you can find that you and your teams continue to do tasks simply because you have been able to institutionalize them, i.e. you do it without really thinking if it still creates value, or whether there are any, customers or colleagues, who actually ask for it.

So, why not use your summer vacation to think about what to opt-out, so you can create space to succeed with your many opt-ins, which nevertheless are queuing up?


Enjoy your summer vacation


Mads Middelboe

Executive Advisor & CEO

Leadmore ®



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