Attitudes mean more than skills when moving your business forward

Of course, customers and competitors play a major role when you want to move forward with your business, but the balance between the good plan and the ability to execute is crucial, in other words the balance between management and leadership.

Many works on mapping and developing leaders' skills to ensure progress, but this is not enough in all cases. Have you tried to also map leaders' attitudes and work on developing them? My experience is that you can progress faster and further by combining the mapping of both skills and attitudes because it provides the basis for development or substitution for the common good.

A little inspiration for how it can be approached.

 

First, create a profile for each of your leaders on skills or attitudes respectively

 


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

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. 

 

Leadership Board Trend

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How do you make sure “Dreams & Details” doesn’t keep you dreaming?

Do you want to make sure “Dreams & Details” doesn’t keep you dreaming? Earn the Right to Attack!

"Dreams & Details" is now available in English – a leadership book by Jim Snabe and Mikael Trolle sharing their view on value-creating leadership in a digital and exponential business world. A remarkable and highly inspiring book, easy to access because it creates a highly topical leadership context, spiced with cases and their own experiences from the world of businesses and sports. A wonderful "kick in the pants" to those who have not yet dared to disrupt themselves - on time. And valuable inspiration for those who dare, but have not yet found the leadership formula, which can make things happen.
Dreams and detail UK forside

 

The authors’ aim is not only to provide advice, but also to facilitate a thought leadership debate among professional networks. For me, the book ignited many reflections and encouraged me to share them – which I based on a chat with Jim Snabe will sum up as "Earn the Right to Attack"!

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Private equity board trend shift from management to leadership?

Private equity governance has for years set the route for management professionalization with industrial advisors on their board teams. As any other business, they however also from time to time experience that even the best plans fail due to lack of execution skills for which leadership is key. Thus, a leadership advisor approach may be maturing as a supplement to their classical industry advisor approach – what do you think?

 

 Leadership Board Trend

 

Clear trend on board professionalization and competent teams

Private equity funds have long been at the forefront when it comes to professionalization and composition of board teams based on business challenges and competence needs, rather than classical networking relationships. With a typical exit horizon of 4-7 years and clear ambitions to maximize value creation during the ownership period, it has been natural to introduce new management paradigms from top to bottom of the management systems.

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How to “excel” your leadership, and treat it as an asset

Creating leadership value can happen by luck, coincidence or great performance of course. However, only few of us are born leaders, so why not structure your analytical approach to leadership, as you do with other assets on the company’s balance sheet. Personally, I fell in love with Dave Ulrich’s Leadership Capital Index (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 2015), which could be one way to assess the value of your current leadership and identify improvement targets inspired by the research based drivers.

 

Leadership Compass

 

Great leadership is an untapped potential. According to at least some research below, only 25% of leaders are good leaders, half of them are “only managers”, and 25% are “bad supervisors”. Two other pieces of research reveal the challenge of leaders’ misperception of being inspirational. Thus, 77% of leaders find themselves inspiring, whereas 82% of employees find their leaders uninspiring. Acknowledging that inspiring leadership correlate positively with employee commitment (+32%), satisfaction (+46%) and performance (+16%), it could be fair to believe that better leadership would create more business value.

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“How” to actually make a blue ocean shift happen?

My own leadership experience tells me that management is about “What” and leadership about “How” - and that the ability to strike the right balance between the two is key to accelerate change and deliver top results. Thus, I am happy that the authors of the well-known book Blue Ocean Strategy, W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, have now also released the more dynamic Blue Ocean Shift – focusing on the transformational process of “how” to actually make it happen. 

 

Blue ocean skift 2

 

It’s an updated repetition of the blue ocean strategy elements wrapped in appreciated research on how some of the best companies have managed to succeed. I can only recommend that you read the full book your-self, but let me share a couple of appetizers spiced with my own reflections.

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How should I as a leader tackle the paradoxes of digitization?

 

Recently I read and can recommend the management book ”Digitaliseringens paradokser” by Søren Schultz Hansen og Jan Horsager (The Paradoxes of Digitization – so far only available in Danish). It is an easy read with a broad spread of twelve case studies on digital transformations – both well-known and less known cases within manufacturing and service, the private and public sector, small and large businesses. Based on these, the authors have defined five paradoxes and their impact on three main areas and summarize it all in ten good advice, which they have named the “Manifesto of Paradoxes”.

The paradoxical is related to the apparent contradictions between the analogue world and the digital world, which however "analogue" leaders from time to time ignore or deliberately ignore because it is beyond the comfort zone.

You probably won’t agree with it all, and some of it may even be dangerous to apply in the wrong place or at the wrong time – but it helps turning everything upside down and reflect on your own challenges of digitization. You may at least agree on one thing – that we all, sooner og later are faced with the paradoxes of digitization, and if not, it may unfortunately be too late.

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The board ought to balance management and leadership

Results are created by the teams we lead, but many managers experience that it can be hard to make the great plans actually happen. As a corporate leader myself, I have experienced how you can be trapped in the treadmill of KPI-management and new plans, when the first plan hasn’t shown the expected results – thus, why I could not find adequate time to perform my leadership role. Whilst owner-managers typically aren’t burdened by corporate treadmills, they are up to their eyes in daily hands-on tasks and firefighting. In both cases an active board could play a decisive role in unfolding involving and value-adding leadership.

 

 

Numbers and People 2

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Why the puzzling word “why” is so important...

Looking at the best quotes I ever came across within Management and Leadership, it is no wonder why the puzzling word “why” is so important.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Management is no exact science and not so much about Leadership

Despite the fact that results are created by the teams we lead, it seems that we are all too focused on Management. A Google search provides 2.7 billion hits on Management, 565 million hits on Leadership, which is close to Physics and Mathematics. This means that Management hits are 5 times more than Leadership, which only counts 17% of all hits on Management and Leadership.

 

 

 

No wonder that we as leaders often are challenged striking the right balance between Management and Leadership, i.e. to lead more and execute plans efficiently.

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My best leadership advice

Leadership is about creating value through others. Management brings you plans, which however often only tells “what” is to be done, and not “how”. This is where your leadership shall fertilize your management – just like the composer and the conductor, where the conductor ensures the beautiful sound through perfect execution.

 

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Leadership on Summer Vacation - opt-ins call for opt-outs

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

 

 

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:

Generally

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.

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Executive coaching and mentoring - something for you?

An executive coach/mentor might provide you valauble company

 

To be a top leader is often much courted, however when it comes to the real difficult situations, we can feel a bit like “Nils All Alone”. Even though, we may keep ourselves fit via hyped conferences, network groups and social media, it is my experience that all top leaders need to be a little, although not all alone with the difficult decisions. We can all from time to time need a confidential space to dare jump into the deep water of leadership and really move on.

 

 

In some cases, it is about issues that we for confidentially reasons cannot share with anyone. Or issues, that we to avoid losing face, are hesitant to expose our lack of knowledge about. Though, I guess that we all sometimes need to relinquish the reins, think high and wild, ask the dumb questions and get the right answers from someone who have tried it before, maybe in another industry, or who can help oneself to figure out the right answers.

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Disruption is back to the basics of customer driven leadership

Having been a silent spectator of the voluminous hype around disruption, and attended several conferences on the topic together with hundreds of management peers, I now feel like sharing some of my reflections on the matter. Judging by the extent of academic research, social media interest and attendance at conferences, disruption particularly seems challenging for established players.

 

 

It is not only about technology – simplify by putting customers first

It’s true that computing power, big data, telecom networks, mobility, artificial intelligence, robotics and 3D-print among others have expanded the possibilities and accelerated speed of disruption. Most are new entrants and others are to protect and develop their current business. Apparently, things seem much easier for new entrants starting from scratch, where as the “incumbents” often struggle as they get paralyzed and caught in a technology spider web, a catch enforced by fear of leaving their comfort zone.

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Ground-breaking opportunities in Danish leadership practice with LCI

Back in February, I wrote a post about Dave Ulrich’s book “The Leadership Capital Index - Realizing the Market Value of Leadership”. You can read the post here: Finally, you can measure the value of good leaders. I simply had to share my excitement about this outstanding book on value-adding leadership.

 

 

In times of global competition, disruption of business models and unpredictability, strong leadership really makes the difference. A detailed understanding of what drives leadership value becomes increasingly important for investors, as well as boards and executive management, who is accountable for the value of the company.

Thus, I am convinced that The Leadership Capital Index is a valuable and indispensable tool for investors, board of directors and executives, as well as HR professionals to only mention a few. 

 

The Danish edition is soon available

By September 2016 the book will be released in Danish by Gitte Mandrup Publishing.

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Finally, we can measure the value of good leaders

I simply have to share my excitement about a book on value-adding leadership, which I have just read. Now we can finally measure good leadership. Many have for years claimed that good leadership makes a significant impact on companies’ value creation. Dave Ulrich has with his book “The Leadership Capital Index” developed an operational method to measure the value of the leadership it-self. A book, which does not only give rise to reflections, but also actively can improve your leadership.

 

 

For years I have myself practiced and advised on the balance between the “what:s” of Management and the “how:s” of Leadership. Because, too many managers lack the experience or time to be a good manager and leader at the same time. Although I can document strong business results over time, I have always missed the intermediate value of the leadership it-self, which makes it much easier to repeat success.

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New times with active and value creating board leadership

I have previously focused on the trend of board professionalization and competent teams. Recently, I read a really good book on the subject, which I would like to tip you about. Lars Bo Hansen and Steen Ernland have written "The Active Board", which focuses on how the board can develop the business and create competitiveness. 

 

 

The book’s 250 pages are easily read, but it does certainly not make it worse. It is at eye level and catches the reader with concrete punchlines - a book that you do not easily leave on the bookshelf.

No longer only about management - leadership will make the difference 

The book points out new guidelines for the modus operandi of the board. Without slackening control, more focus must not surprisingly be forward-looking, which puts greater demand on the board leadership itself. It is no longer only a question of management with focus on plans, control and doing the right things. Now leadership it is evenly important to ensure execution and that right things are done right. The book provides concrete input for the board composition based on both individual professional skills and collaborative skills relating to the team in question. A steady stream of real life examples are turned into checklists for the board’s own reflections, and not least its self-evaluation.

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Professional board leadership is not only for the big ones

In Denmark, it is mandatory to establish a board of directors for all limited companies as well as limited liability companies, which for more than three years have had more than 35 employees. Out of Denmark’s approximately 80.000 limited liability companies only 1.000 need to comply, however the actual number having a board is around 12.000 – this indicates that many founders and owners of midsized and smaller companies have acknowledged the value of voluntarily establishing a professional board.

JO Informatik is an example from my own board portfolio – a small Danish software company that designs and develops digital archives and software for digital administration. Three years ago, the founder and CEO Jesper Olsen decided to establish a professional board of directors and since then the value creation has accelerated significantly. Revenue has grown 66% over the last two years, a negative result has turned positive and the company consistently executes on the strategy, which recently has paved the way for an entry into the Norwegian market.

 

 

I would like to share some selected highlights from an article on JO Informatik’s experiences:

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Clear trend on board professionalization and competent teams

Private equity funds have long been at the forefront when it comes to professionalization and composition of board teams based on business challenges and competence needs, rather than classical networking relationships. 

 

BOD table grt

 

With a typical exit horizon at 4-7 years and clear ambitions to maximize value creation during the ownership period, it has been natural to introduce new management paradigms from top to bottom of the management systems.

Need for speed and skills

Examples of this are, when private equity funds already during the acquisition process have made extensive fact analysis, so they up front can set the right board and management team to execute the strategic and operational tasks as defined for the ownership period. Or they turn from comparing oneself with the nearest competitors to world class benchmarking, and long democratic decision making processes are replaced by short fact based decision making processes. Last but not least, their ability to handle large amounts of complexity under very tight deadlines.

With the right competencies on the board team, it is also natural and moreover fruitful, that boards engage more closely in management sparring and business development projects - of course with due regard to the principles and recommendations for good corporate governance.

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Leadmore ® 1 year with lots of new experiences

It is now 1 year ago I launched Leadmore ®. Through the year I have supported clients creating progress and performance improvements within the 5 main services areas:

  • Value-adding leadership
  • Strategy and business models
  • Mentor support and coaching
  • Strategic B2B sales
  • Board work

Leadmore logo til LinkedIn

 

The experience base has been increased and can benefit others. External inspiration and sparring is often the strongest driver of change and value growth.

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Newsletter May 2012

Successful launch of Leadmore ®

First of all thanks for the many greetings and good feedback on my launch of Leadmore ® back in November. Many have visited the site and the feedback clearly indicates that I have hit a market gap on practical and experienced based executive advise. The common denominators are in particular practical strategy facilitation, value-adding leadership, mentoring- and coaching support.

Many chases methods to create more value

Through my customer contacts I experience a great need to get the best out of employees and ensure that everybody's management time is spent optimally. Many are aware that success is not only a result of being a skillful manager, but also a skillful leader, who can strike the right balance between management and leadership efforts. 

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Middelboe Consulting became Leadmore® 11.11.2011

Middelboe Consulting became Leadmore® 11.11.2011

 

Middelboe Consulting has since 2009 successfully advised many clients within value-adding leadership. It has grown into a business that called for a homepage and new expressive company name.

 

Leadmore logo til LinkedIn

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Mads Middelboes Linkedin profil

Leadmore® · Mads Middelboe
Solvænget 17 · 2960 Rungsted Kyst · Denmark
CVR DK-31975409

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