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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


My own experience

I started reflecting on how I actually spent my scarce time? How much did I spend on figures and facts? And how much time was left for people and emotions? By putting %:s on my time allocation between management and leadership tasks it became clear to me, that I spent far too much time on planning “what” and far too little on “how” I could set direction, create alignment and engagement within my teams. I understood, why even the best plan can fail, while the 2nd best     can succeed with the right balance of analytical management and involving leadership – a bit like the composer and the conductor, where the conductor ensures the beautiful sound through perfect execution.

It was a pleasure for myself and my teams, when a started ”budgeting” and ”deliver” leadership time – actually I just used my management skills to ensure the right balance between management and leadership. Through more than 30 years I have learned that the ability to execute the optimal balance between the "whats" of management and the "hows" of leadership, supported by a credible and compelling "why", makes it possible to create faster change and deliver even better results - main reason being that an involving and holistic approach creates meaningful jobs for all. 

Test yourself and get more focus on leadership

If you are lagging behind on leadership yourself, you will be surprised how much you can increase employee engagement, performance and results by prioritizing more leadership time.



Try test yourself here:

Do I spend my scarce time well? 



Use your result to reflect on your own balance between management and leadership time – and set goals for how you will maintain or create a better balance going forward.

Involve your management team and board in good leadership

Let your team take the test as well - use it as a common language about how you can create even better results together. Or maybe even for a dialogue with your board, so those setting the overall agenda, can help creating space for unfolding value-adding leadership in a busy operational everyday life.

Mads Middelboe

Executive Advisor & CEO

Leadmore ®

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