11 episodes

Leadership Consultant Martin Aldergard and Executive Coach Gerrit Pelzer explore everyday leadership dilemmas and paradoxes. Get ready for thought-provoking questions which invite self-reflection and help you grow as a leader. More info: https://secondcrackleadership.com

Second Crack — The Leadership Podcast Gerrit Pelzer, Martin Aldergard

    • Business

Leadership Consultant Martin Aldergard and Executive Coach Gerrit Pelzer explore everyday leadership dilemmas and paradoxes. Get ready for thought-provoking questions which invite self-reflection and help you grow as a leader. More info: https://secondcrackleadership.com

    Why Successful Leaders Focus on "Being" before "Doing" - Inner Development Goals Part 2

    Why Successful Leaders Focus on "Being" before "Doing" - Inner Development Goals Part 2

    Last time, we explored The Inner Development Goals — THE Leadership Model for the Future.  Now, we take a deeper dive into the  first category of this Framework:  "Being — Relationship to Self"

    Traditional leadership models tend to focus a  on the actions ("doing") a leader has to take to be successful. However,  the underlying "being" sets the stage for what actions we take and how we take them.

    The IDG highlights five specific qualities and skills for leaders:

    Your inner compass gives you a sense of direction. It's about your core values and beliefs.

    Challenge: We are so busy  "doing", we rarely take time to stop and pause, and to reflect on the real priorities in our lives.

    Reflection Questions:
    What are your core values in life that make you judge things as right or wrong?What really matters in your life? What gives you a sense of meaning and purpose?
    A strong inner compass enables us to act with integrity and authenticity. It is related to trust and honesty, a top  characteristic of admired leaders.

    Challenges: If we are not clear about where our inner compass is pointing , we may act inconsistently. We might worry if we can show up as our true selves at work.

    Reflection Questions:
    Are you practicing what you preach? Are you walking your own talk?Do you trust you can be "your self " at work?

    Every change process starts with (self-)awareness. Beyond the obvious (e.g., strengths and weaknesses), outstanding leaders are also aware of their emotions and bodily sensations. They are aware of how these impact them and their interactions with others.

    Challenges: As with the inner compass, building awareness may not be seen as a priority. When people do not know about the underlying biology, emotions and bodily sensations may be ridiculed as esoteric nonsense .  Some may be afraid of what they might find when they start some self-exploration.

    Reflection Questions:
    How aware am I of my self?How aware am I of my emotions ?How do these emotions impact me and how can I regulate them productively?How aware am of my body's signals (interoception) and can I interpret these signals in a useful way?How do other people perceive me?
    The ability to be in the here and now and in a sate of open-ended presence.  The quality of our presence is of critical importance particularly in our interactions with others.

    Challenge: We have too many things on our minds. We may think that multi-tasking is more efficient than staying  focused on just one task. 

    Reflection Questions:
    How able am I to be in the here and now without thinking what's next?How able am I to make a connection with another person ?How present can I stay with a task or a person beyond just a few seconds? 
    Having a basic mindset of curiosity and a willingness to be vulnerable and embrace change and grow.
    Challenge: Past successes seem to confirm that our way is the right way. It can be challenging to question our own values and beliefs

    Reflection Questions:
    How open am I to ways of working (simple) or world views (huge!) that are different from mine?Am I willing to challenge my values and guiding principles that I have lived by for decades?Finally: In my current role, can I be my best self and how does being my best self look like?

    More info: secondcrackleadership.com 

    • 35 min
    The Inner Development Goals - The Leadership Model for the Future

    The Inner Development Goals - The Leadership Model for the Future

    There are already hundreds of leadership models. And most companies have well-established competency frameworks for leadership. So why should we care about another model?
    In this episode, we explore The Inner Development Goals (IDG) model and why we think IDG is a powerful tool for leadership development and organisational transformation.
    IDG was created in 2021 by three Swedish organisations: Ekskäret Foundation, The New Division, and the 29K Foundation. The purpose is to draw attention to the development of inner abilities and skills needed for people and organisations to contribute to a more sustainable global society.
    "There is a vision of what needs to happen, but progress along this vision has so far been disappointing. We lack the inner capacity to deal with our increasingly complex environment and challenges. Fortunately, modern research shows that the inner abilities we now all need can be developed. This was the starting point for the 'Inner Development Goals' initiative.”
    Quote from  www.innerdevelopmentgoals.org
    We were immediately drawn to the clear structure: change starts from within, then addressing how we need to develop our thinking, connect and relate to others, collaborate and finally act.
    This, in its parts, is nothing new. What is different and powerful is how the parts are put together in an easy-to-understand and easy-to-use framework.
    We also like that IDG is co-created by over 1,000 thought leaders, consultants and professionals, combining the best global thinking on leadership. The broad base of support behind IDG makes it generally applicable for all leaders to use.
    IDG is structured along 5 categories, with 23 skills. In this episode, we give a quick introduction to how they are relevant.
    Being — Relationship to Self 
    Thinking — Cognitive Skills 
    Relating — Caring for Others and the World 
    Collaborating — Social Skills 
    Acting — Driving Change 
    We will cover each category in more detail in separate episodes. 
    We have already found immediate use of IDG in our own work as coaches and consultants, applying it with senior leadership teams and in leadership development.
    IDG is also an effective tool to help increase momentum and scale in corporate transformation, not only directly related to sustainability. It helps create shared mental models and language for leaders to identify and develop the necessary skills across the organisation.
    A third use is in supporting suppliers and other external partners in their development.
    Looking at the most complex challenges (e.g. sustainability) your organisation is facing:where might a different approach be needed to create more momentum?might there be too much focus on the 'technical' aspects and too little on the 'inner development' that enables change?where do I/we need to work on my/our' inner development'?Looking at the current leadership model in your organisation:how effective is it in identifying and developing the critical inner skills and qualities that matter most for your transformation and change?what inspiration might you draw from the IDG model?REFERENCES
    Find more information related to IDG at innerdevelopmentgoals.org
    And more info about us and our work at secondcrackleadership.com

    • 30 min
    Leading in a Complex World Utilising the Collective Intelligence of the People

    Leading in a Complex World Utilising the Collective Intelligence of the People

    Today,  leadership takes place in a challenging context, e.g.,
    increasing complexityincreasing speed of changeinformation overloadThus, decision-making processes become more difficult. Leaders are at risk of either delaying decisions (gathering more information) or over-simplifying and rushing to decisions.
    In an increasingly complex world, single leaders or  small groups of leaders can’t have all the answers. Instead, they need to involve the whole team in  sense-making and decision-making processes. 
    Involving more people may seem counterintuitive, as if it delayed decisions further. However, utilising the collective intelligence of the people leads to better decisions and gets buy-in from the start. (See also “How to Speed-Up Corporate Transformation”)
    The need to be competent may also keep leaders from involving more people. They associate competence with having all the answers and giving people clear directions and instructions.
    Of course, leaders need to have professional knowledge and business acumen. But they do not have to be the smartest person in the room. Today, the leader's role is less of an expert. Instead, leaders must surround themselves with the best talent, align them around a common goal, and create the conditions under which they can be their best. 
    Ron Heifetz says that leaders must distinguish technical problems from adaptive challenges. For technical problems solutions exist already. scanA leader or an expert has the answer and can tell people what to do. In contrast, an adaptive challenge is totally new. No experts have the answer yet.
     “The leader's job is not to provide the answer, but instead to frame the right questions for which answers are developed and discovered by the collective intelligence of the people.”
    Being competent in today’s context is less about knowledge but instead about qualities we have covered in previous episodes such as being humble, understanding that human beings are driven by emotions , and that trust-based relationships are the foundation for performance.
    According to Daniel H. Pink, leaders need to turn from bosses who tell others what to do into autonomy supporters. This can be done using coaching skills, including listening and asking powerful questions.
    What might keep leaders from utilising the collective intelligence of the people:
    The perceived need to express competence by having all the answers and tell others what to do; the fear that asking questions equals looking incompetent.Past successes, such as frequent promotions, may make leaders think they do know better, they are smarter than others.They don’t belief in their teams and struggle with letting go of control, or removing themselves from the centre of decision-making.Reflection Questions for Leaders
    How comfortable am I not knowing? Do I feel I need to have all the answers? Or do I still appear competent when I ask questions and say, “I don't know”?Do I feel a need to demonstrate I am the smartest person in the room?
    If yes: why? How can I let go of this? How open am I to ways of working that are different from mine?Do I  believe in the potential of the people I'm working with?What role do I want to take in this process as a leader? Am I going to be the expert, or am I going to be more like a coach, a facilitator, an enabler, or might I be an observer?More info about us and our work is on our website https://secondcrackleadership.com.

    • 35 min
    Why Relationships at Work Matter More than You Might Think

    Why Relationships at Work Matter More than You Might Think

    Trust-based relationships at work are the foundation for healthy performance.
    We are social beings. However, what is often described as social or psychological is actually biological. Relationships are an essential aspect of evolution: living in groups has been critical for our survival as a species.
    We developed capabilities to quickly judge if we can trust others, largely without conscious awareness, sometimes described as “gut feeling” (see neuroception and interoception).
    Not only our hunter-gather ancestors benefited  from productive human connections. Also in “modern” societies, our well-being depends on sound relationships. 
    A Harvard study revealed that people who are more socially connected to family, friends, and others are happier and healthier. They live longer than people who are less well-connected, and loneliness leads to less happiness, earlier health decline, and decline in brain function.
    Functioning relationships are also critical for motivation and performance at work:
    Sirota and Klein identified camaraderie, defined as “having warm, interesting and cooperative relations with others in the workplace“, as a primary goal of people at work. 
    Blickle and Hogan categorised getting along as a basic human motive: “Human beings are inherently social and at a deep and often unconscious level need companionship and social acceptance, and they dread rejection and isolation.” 
    Building productive relationships is a mission-critical task for leaders.
    What can leaders do to nurture productive relationships?
    1) Attitude: Common how-to advice suggests that leaders should listen more and ask more questions. However, we often neglect that it is not just the “doing” but that the underlying attitude or mindset is crucial: are you really interested in what the other person has to say? 
    Research suggests that our attitude towards others hugely impacts their performance  (c.f.  “Pygmalion in the Classroom"). In other words, if you believe the people you work with are heroes, they might become heroes. If you believe they are idiots…
    2) Consistency: Building relationships is not a one-time activity. It's about how you show up consistently. Do you come across as authentic? Are you walking your own talk? 
    3) Understanding emotions: You need to be aware of your emotions,  regulate them,  get a sense of the emotions of others (empathy), and understand how others respond to your behaviours.
    Leaders need to avoid triggering a “fear response” in others, often evoked by tone of voice, facial expressions, and other non-verbal signals submitted and received non-consciously.  Instead, they need to nurture emotions such as joy, excitement, and trust.
    Emotions are not just “touchy-feely stuff”; what is underlying emotions is a complex neurobiology. E-motions provide energy for action. We have explained this in detail in our Second Crack podcast episode “Emotions @Work - How Leaders Can Release Human Energy in Organizations”
    Reflection Questions for Leaders
    ·  At work today, have I made genuine connections with people? How?
    ·  How do other people perceive me/my behaviours?
    ·  How do I think about individuals at work? Do I believe in their potential? Have I already labelled them in a certain way? Do I really believe they can become heroes?
    For more info, visit: secondcrackleadership.com. 

    • 40 min
    How to Speed-Up Corporate Transformation

    How to Speed-Up Corporate Transformation

    The speed of transformation in your organisation depends on how fast you can involve and gain ownership from all employees. And this depends on how fast you are prepared to ‘let go’ of control.  We discuss a case where we used a world-class tool called Howspace to engage employees in a large company and the implications for leaders.
    [01:20] Changes/trends that set the condition for successful transformation.
    Companies are on longer and more complex transformation journeys, e. g.,  towards greater sustainability. Managing change the traditional way is  too slow.People are less and less likely to just accept change. We must involve people at scale, from early on in the journey.With high complexity,  ‘the top’ of the organisation can’t possibly know everything. People across the organisation must take ownership.To speed-up transformation, we need to scale-up how we involve every employee. Not only gain buy-in but also create a sense of ownership through 2-way dialogue. People need the opportunity to understand the change, to feel heard and understood, ask questions and co-create solutions with their peers.
    [05:58] But is it even possible to involve everyone, and doesn't that take long time? With traditional approaches, yes. But with new tools we can actively involve all employees in shaping and co-creating change, and with help of AI, the tools makes for faster and more transparent 2-way dialogue across the organisation. 
    [10:24] CASE: Without change, this company and 5,000 employees are at risk of going out of business. With a new vision and strategy for greater sustainability,  deeply impacting 8 countries, it’s a top-priority to involve all employees. Unspoken questions among employees were: What about our future? Will HQ invest in us? Will we have a job? Critical  to quickly scale-up involvement to not start losing the best people.
    [13:16] SOLUTION: We used a new digital tool called Howspace. With the tool:
    People can explore and discuss what is changing and where the company is heading.The AI lets us easily understand the input and sentiment of thousands of employees. Not possible without new digital tools.We created one centre where all 2-way communication was placed. Management could easily get a sense of what is happening and get directly involved in the conversations.Contrary to initial concerns, people participated very positively and with a lot of passion. They shared real concern for the challenges, but also optimism and motivation to be part of the journey. 95% of shift operators participated actively. It's easy to underestimate how much people actually want to be involved.
    [21:07] IMPLICATIONS: It's a success case, but with important learnings for leaders. As the scale of involvement increased, we noticed some leaders began to hesitate and even try to slow things down. They might feel too uncomfortable not having all answers, or loosing sense of control. Leaders must think of how they will deal with high level of involvement, transparency and not being in total control.
    [24:23] Wrap-up of key points
    Involve people at scale, get buy-in, and ultimately ownership across the organisation.Use tools such as Howspace to make this possible.Leaders must be mentally prepared for a different speed of change.[26:56] Reflection questions
    What degree of control are you prepared to ‘give-up’,  to make transformation fasterHow would that make you feel ? And how can you deal with that?More about us at secondcrackleadership.com

    • 30 min
    Perception Management: A Key to Influence and Success

    Perception Management: A Key to Influence and Success

    Your success as a leader depends not only on the quality of your work. Whether you want to get a promotion or influence stakeholders to support your next big investment project, you need to make sure that you and your work are perceived in the desired way. Success is a function of performance and perception.
    Managing perception does not mean you need to put on a show or try to be someone else. On the contrary: the best leaders can put themselves into other people’s shoes and cater to their needs while remaining authentic.

    Key Aspects with Time Stamps
    Your impact as a leader, your ability to influence and to be successful, depends on how other people perceive you. Therefore, you need to spend time and effort to manage other people’s perceptions actively, be that as an individual or a team of leaders.
    [01:20] How we see ourselves can be quite different from how other people see us.  A leader may see him-/herself  as very spontaneous and the ability to adjust course quickly as a strength. However, their team members might find their frequent direction changes  frustrating. Or what one considers as providing candid feedback may be perceived as destructive criticism. 
    [04:56] Success is a function of performance and perception. Delivering quality work is a necessity, but it is not sufficient. To be successful, others need to know about and recognise the quality of your work.
    Tony's story: Tony (not his real name) was a director in a large multinational corporation. He became Gerrit's executive coaching client after he applied in vain for a General Manager position. Tony was well-respected and known for “getting the job done.” However, the decision-makers in the organization doubted that Tony had the big picture view they felt was mission-critical for the higher-level role.
    Once Tony knew how these stakeholders perceived him, he focused on better understanding their needs and adjusting his communication style accordingly. Ultimately, Tony successfully demonstrated his ability to see the big picture and was soon appointed GM in another country.
    Managing perception is not only critical for career advancement. It is also crucial to influence stakeholders, e.g., to get the buy-in for your next big investment project.
    [11:47] In a consulting project, we helped a leadership team realise their long-term growth strategy for their company. They needed a major investment to increase manufacturing capacity. They understood that, besides the technical aspects of such a mega project, they needed the buy-in from various stakeholders: their local employees, authorities, communities, and, of course, from the management board at headquarters. They had to understand the varying needs of these different stakeholders. They needed them to trust that this team has what it takes to make the project successful from the various points of view: technically, safety-, and business-wise.
    The local leadership team set up dedicated teams to deal with the different stakeholders to understand their needs and to manage perception — making sure the stakeholders see how their needs will be met through this project, and that the team handling the project was seen as competent. A year later, the Managing Director commented that he had never dreamed they would come that far in such a short time.
    [21:30] Reflection Questions for Leaders
    What do I want to achieve? (e.g., promotion, get buy-in for a project)
    Who are actually the key stakeholders or decision-makers in this case, and what matters to them?
    Is there a gap between how I see things (myself, my results, my business plan) and how my key stakeholders perceive them?
    If so, how can I change their perception and close this gap?

    More info: secondcrackleadership.com

    • 25 min

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