32 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

    Beyond Silos: Navigating Organizational Boundaries, with Dr. Jürgen Scherer

    Beyond Silos: Navigating Organizational Boundaries, with Dr. Jürgen Scherer

    In this episode, we explore how to navigate organisational boundaries. As enterprises expand, silos and barriers often emerge, hindering collaboration across units, functions, and regions. However, adept leaders understand that success comes from bridging such boundaries, both within and outside the organisation.
    Join us as we delve into this vital leadership topic with our valued guest, Dr. Jürgen Scherer, a seasoned leader renowned for his expertise in navigating boundaries in global organisations.


    Key Moments
    Introduction to Dr. Jürgen Scherer [02:32]
    Understanding why organizational Boundaries exist [04:34]
    Navigation: A horizontal approach to overcoming silos and fostering connectivity [07:19]
    Overcoming “friction by design” [11:08]
    Real-Life Examples: Navigating internal boundaries in a pharmaceutical joint venture [22:24] and overcoming industry-wide external boundaries [29:02]
    Summary Insights: The skills and traits of effective navigators [32:57]
    Developing Navigation Skills: How organisations can cultivate more navigators [37:16]

    Reflection Questions for Leaders [43:28]
    Reflect on a past project: How did you navigate challenges and boundaries, and what lessons have you learned?Overcoming friction by design: Where might well-intended department targets unintentionally hinder company-wide progress?What one action can you take today to navigate boundaries more effectively inside or outside the organisation?Who do you turn to in times of opportunity or crisis, and what qualities make them invaluable? How can you emulate their approach to enhance your own navigation skills?----------------------------------
    To connect with us on LinkedIn, click on our names here:
    Jürgen Scherer
    Gerrit Pelzer
    Martin Aldergård

    You can find Jürgen's consulting services on his website www.bxb-exchange.com. Additional info about Martin's and Gerrit's work is  available on  secondcrackleadership.com

    Do you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions for us?  Would you like to explore how we can help you to drive results in your organisations through a company-wide initiative or individual executive coaching? Then email us at  hello@secondcrackleadership.com

    • 50 min
    The GAPS Grid: How to Accelerate Your Development as a Leader

    The GAPS Grid: How to Accelerate Your Development as a Leader

    In today's  episode, we delve into the GAPS Grid, a dynamic tool designed to propel your leadership journey forward. Crafted by David B. Peterson, the GAPS Grid offers a structured approach to self-reflection, fostering clarity and alignment crucial for impactful leadership.*

    At its core, the GAPS Grid is a straightforward 2-by-2 matrix. You can visualize it by clicking here: https://bit.ly/GAPS-Grid. The 'G' quadrant represents Goals & Values, prompting introspection into what truly matters in your life. We explore reflection questions to unearth your core values and aspirations, emphasising the importance of documenting these insights for ongoing growth. [2:56]

    Next, we explore the 'A' quadrant—Abilities—focusing on identifying and leveraging your strengths and capabilities. We discuss the significance of assessing whether your abilities align with your goals, so that you can choose the critical skills to develop for success. [10:30]

    Moving to the 'P' quadrant—Perception—we examine how to identify how others perceive you and the critical role perception management plays in leadership success. Understanding and actively managing these perceptions is essential for navigating professional relationships effectively. [14:55]

    In the 'S' quadrant—Success Factors—we delve into organisational goals and values, highlighting two critical components. [21:00] Firstly, we discuss the pivotal link between perception and success factors for career advancement. Do decision-makers perceive you as possessing the qualities necessary for higher-level roles? This perception greatly influences opportunities for progression within the organisation.

    Secondly, we explore the vital connection between goals & values and success factors for intrinsic motivation. When your personal aspirations align with your organisation’s goals and values, you will find purpose and fulfilment in your work. Conversely, misalignment can lead to a sense of dissatisfaction, turning daily tasks into mere obligations rather than fulfilling contributions to a meaningful cause.

    Join us as we unravel the interconnectedness of Goals & Values, Abilities, Perception, and Success Factors, empowering you to navigate the complexities of leadership with clarity and purpose.
    *see also: Peterson, D.B. (2006). People Are Complex and the World Is Messy: A Behaviour-Based Approach to Executive Coaching. In: D.R. Stober and A.M. Grant, eds., Evidence Based Coaching Handbook. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, pp.51–76. The chapter is currently also available online here.

    More info about us and our work is also on our website secondcrackleadership.com
    Do you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions for us? Would you like to explore how we can help you to drive results in your organisations through a company-wide initiative or individual executive coaching? Then email us at hello@secondcrackleadership.com.

    To connect with us on LinkedIn:
    Gerrit Pelzer
    Martin Aldergård

     

    • 28 min
    Coaching Skills for Leaders And How to Overcome the Obstacles

    Coaching Skills for Leaders And How to Overcome the Obstacles

    Applying coaching skills as a leader is one of the best ways to develop people and boost employee engagement. And in fact, many leaders have attended "coaching skills for leaders" or "manager as a coach" trainings. Why then, we might ask, is not everyone in every organisation fully engaged, yet. Is coaching not working, after all?

    We are convinced coaching does work, but there are factors that keep leaders from applying them.

    What is coaching?

    Coaching should not be seen as a remedy to fix underperformance. Coaching is not about telling people hat to do. According to Sir Joh Whitmore, "Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them."

    A simple recipe for applying coaching skills at work: tell less, listen more, ask powerful questions — and all this on a foundations of trust-based relationships.

    Tell less: Leaders can’t have all the answers; instead, they need to utilise the collective intelligence of the people.

    Listen more: Listening is more powerful than most people think. Who people feel listened to, they feel taken seriously as a person, and this in itself can boost motivation.

    Ask powerful questions: Asking triggers thinking, taps into a person’s own intelligence and leverages potential. It can create buy-in and build self-leadership. Good questions are open and often start with "how" or "why." They encourage solution-focused thinking rather than analysing problems.

    Trust: Coaching is not a mechanical process. The relationship between coach and coachee is as important as a the “technique”. Without trust, coaching won’t work. Seeing the other person full of potential  removes the obstacles that keep them for utilising their potential.

    Not every situation at work calls for coaching though. Coaching is for longer-term development, and also depends on a persons "readiness."

    Leaders can apply coaching skills informally during 1:1 interactions or team meetings, or in a more formal coaching setting.

    It is paramount for leaders to invest the time necessary for coaching to work. This can be challenging because while coaching is important, it rarely ever becomes urgent.

    Lastly, there is no shortcut to mastery in using coaching skills for leaders. You can't become perfect without passing the beginner stage during which you need to live with making mistakes and learning from them.

    Reflection Questions for Leaders:
    Suppose a miracle happened overnight, and all these obstacles that prevent you from using more coaching at work are removed. How will you start discovering that the miracle actually happened?  And after that then, what will you be doing then that you are not doing now?On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you today that your team members are capable to deliver outstanding work? Now, suppose you fully believed that your team members are truly full of potential. How would you then interact differently with them? How satisfied are you with the proportion of time that you spend as a leader in the urgent but not important quadrant versus the not urgent but important quadrant?More info about us and our work is also on our website secondcrackleadership.com
    Do you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions for us? Would you like to explore how we can help you to drive results in your organisations through a company-wide initiative or individual executive coaching? Then email us at hello@secondcrackleadership.com.

    To connect with us on LinkedIn:
    Martin Aldergård
    Gerrit Pelzer 

    • 41 min
    How to Motivate People: A Practical Guide for Leaders

    How to Motivate People: A Practical Guide for Leaders

    Leaders often ask us, “How can I motivate my team?” or “How do I enhance employee engagement?”. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer, as motivation is a highly individual and complex subject.
    But the challenge of motivating people is also what makes life interesting as a leader. Wouldn’t it be boring if we were all like robots, needing three pushes of a button, to be motivated?
    Nevertheless, there are common motivational “themes”, or guidelines, that every leader can benefit from.


    Key moments
    [04:37] A common misconception is that people are motivated by money. While it's certainly true that people have jobs in order to earn money, once individuals feel fairly compensated, other aspects take precedence.
    [09:36] Daniel H. Pink emphasises three fundamental drivers:
    Autonomy is about freedom how to do the work, when to do the work, and, ideally, who with. While there are of course limits to autonomy at work, it is crucial for leaders to act as autonomy supporters.
    [17:42] Mastery entails the joy of honing skills and receiving recognition for expertise. Viewing people development as an investment rather than an expense is a testament to organisational wisdom.
    [23:26] Purpose extends beyond monetary gains. People yearn to contribute to something meaningful, transcending the singular pursuit of increasing shareholder value.


    [25:52] In addition to “finding meaning”, the “Socio-Analytic Model of Values, Interests, and Motives” identifies two additional “master motives”:
    Getting along: Humans have always lived in groups. Getting along with others has been critical for our survival as a species. Furthermore, “at a deep and often unconscious level, people need attention and approval.”
    Getting ahead: At the same time, every group or social unit always has a hierarchy with an unequal distribution of power. Individual strive for status differs, but from an evolutionary perspective, a higher status allows better choices in many areas of life.


    [30:04] Björn Ekenvall said, "You can't motivate people to perform. It's actually the other way around". Helping people to be successful, will generate motivation and ignite a self-reinforcing cycle of performance and motivation.
    [31:15] As motivation is so highly individual, leaders need to understand the individuals they are working with: What excites them? What do they like to learn? What are their aspirations?
    [34:04] Recognition and feedback signify a leader's care, fostering involvement and a sense of importance among team members.


    [38:00] A leader's attitude directly impacts motivation and performance: Leaders who look at their people as heroes increase the chances they become heroes. Leaders who treat people like children might find they behave like children.
    [41:30] Reflection Questions.


    Reflection Questions
    Autonomy: How can I give people more freedom regarding how they work, when they work, and who they work with? Mastery: How can I nurture individuals’ development? Purpose: Does our company have a compelling purpose and vision that goes beyond profit-making?Personal Motivation: What motivates me as a leader? And how might this differ from others?More info about us and our work is also on our website secondcrackleadership.com
    Do you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions for us? Would you like to explore how we can help you to drive results in your organisations through a company-wide initiative or individual executive coaching? Then email us at hello@secondcrackleadership.com.

    To connect with us on LinkedIn:
    Martin Aldergård
    Gerrit Pelzer 

    • 44 min
    Leadership Transitions: How to Hit the Ground Running in Your New Role

    Leadership Transitions: How to Hit the Ground Running in Your New Role

    Embarking on a more senior executive role in your career can be very rewarding, yet it also poses several challenges. In this episode, we delve into the intricate dynamics of leadership transitions, uncovering strategies to make a profound impact in your new leadership position from the get-go.

    [3:10]  Understanding the nuances of your new role compared to your previous one is pivotal. Letting go of familiar tasks and delegating these can prove challenging, especially if you excelled in those tasks and now must entrust them to individuals with less experience or lower skill sets.

    [7:15] Moreover, grasping the unspoken expectations beyond your job description is crucial. 'Stakeholder mapping' emerges as a valuable exercise. Begin by identifying internal and external stakeholders and discern their expectations. Delve into understanding their concerns and how you can alleviate them.

    [12:34]  As leaders ascend within an organisation, the focus inevitably shifts towards strategy and people development. Unlike 'individual contributors,' leaders navigate success by empowering and enabling others. "Leadership is creating the conditions for people to be their best."

    [15:36] Even in high-ranking positions, wielding direct decision-making power may be limited. Leadership pivots towards influence rather than authority. It commences with attentive listening and empathetic understanding of others' challenges. The key lies in making interactions with you enriching, demonstrating how your contributions add value, thereby enticing others to engage with you. (For more on influence, see also our episodes Out of Control — How to Lead Through Uncertainty? and The Charms and Challenges of Leading Sustainability.)

    [19:10] Balancing the urge to swiftly deliver results with the imperative to build robust relationships and understanding the intricacies of your new role. While seeking to showcase your capabilities after a promotion, hastiness can lead to errors. It's prudent to take ample time to thoroughly comprehend your new terrain before taking decisive action.

    [26:02] Leadership training programs offer an avenue to accelerate leadership transitions. However, their effectiveness relies heavily on catering to the needs of the individual leaders. Often, theoretical knowledge from such programs proves challenging to implement in everyday scenarios, making them most effective when complemented by personalised executive coaching.

    [28:46] Reflection Questions for Leaders
    How can I strike a balance between my drive to achieve immediate wins and the time required to nurture relationships and comprehend various stakeholders' perspectives?When comparing my new role to my previous position, what practices should I retain, what do I need to let go of, and what do I need to add on?Considering 'What Got You Here Won't Get You There,' which traits and behaviours that previously propelled my success might now serve as obstacles?"More info about us and our work is also on our website: secondcrackleadership.com.

    Do you have any feedback, questions, or comments? Or would you like to explore how we can help you with leadership development through a company-wide initiative or individual executive coaching? Then email us at hello@secondcrackleadership.com.

    To connect with us on LinkedIn:
    Martin Aldergård
    Gerrit Pelzer 

    • 31 min
    Strategy that Works: Insights from a 12-Month People-Centered Project

    Strategy that Works: Insights from a 12-Month People-Centered Project

    In this episode, we share insights from a 12-month project where we involved all executives, managers and employees in shaping and implementing a new vision and strategy for growth. The project resulted in re-energizing and motivating 700 people at a large chemical manufacturing plant, fostering not only business expansion but also fortifying a sense of ownership and teamwork across the site.
    Key takeaways
    Approach vision and strategy as a process, implementation includedInvolve people in co-creating the vision & strategy to cultivate a sense of ownership and use the collective intelligence of the organisationWhile the process requires more time upfront, the investment pays off rapidly during the implementation phaseKey moments
    01:28 - Introduction to the case
    A brief overview of the case company and the overall approach to the project. 


    05:02 - Phase 1: Gathering input
    We delve into how we engaged numerous individuals right from the project's inception, seeking their perspectives on the future direction. Our emphasis was on understanding people, their ideas, motivations, hopes, and concerns. Unlike conventional strategy planning, there was minimal focus on data collection and SWOT analysis in this phase.


    08:43 - Phase 2: Shaping the initial vision and strategy
    We discuss how, through guided conversations, we transformed initially diverse opinions into a shared vision and strategy by the end of the process. Our focus was on creating opportunities for dialogue, ensuring a shared context, and facilitating co-creation.


    16:18 - Phase 3: Defining a clear and concise vision & strategy
    We address the most challenging phase of the project: transitioning from 'brainstorming' to making decisive choices to arrive at a clear and concise strategy ready for implementation. We share the four pillars of the strategy that were developed, highlighting how it was laser-focused on making the growth vision a reality.


    28:02 - Phase 4: Supporting implementation
    We explore the structure we established to facilitate follow-up, learning, and adaptation during the project's implementation phase. This included monthly leadership workshops, individual executive coaching, and effective communication and involvement of all employees.


    Reflection Questions
    What would I need to consider when designing my strategy process?For instance, how long time do I have? Who needs to be involved? What role does my leadership team play in the process? Who owns the process and how are decisions made? How can I engage managers and employees? What role will they assume? How prepared are managers and employees to be involved? How prepared am I and the leadership team for increased involvement in the strategy process?Based on this, how can I create the conditions that everybody can be involved? How do I make sure everyone's voice is heard?Additionally, how can I, as a leader of a local entity or unit within a larger organization, approach the strategy process differently? How can I drive a growth vision and strategy that doesn't necessarily have to originate from the headquarters?

    More info about us and our work is also on our website: secondcrackleadership.com.

    Do you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions for us? Would you like to explore how we can help you to drive results in your organisations through a company-wide initiative or individual executive coaching? Then email us at hello@secondcrackleadership.com.

    To connect with us on LinkedIn:
    Martin Aldergård
    Gerrit Pelzer 

    • 45 min

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