Do you get an apple a day?

Do you have enough energy? What do you do to boost yourself? Do you get regular inspiration that empowers you as a leader? Does your organization get the necessary vitamins? Do you have a plan to energize your people to take action?

The essence of leadership

Leadership is about moving an organization towards good business results It is about inspiring people to move in the same direction. It is about fostering action that creates success.

Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers – Robin S. Sharma

As leaders, we create strategic input, develop a vision for the company. We set common goals. We make sure the budgets are in set to reach them. We have a full agenda every day. But, have you booked time in your agenda to nourish your organization?

Nourish your organization

Have you created a strategy on how to nourish all your plans and inspire your people to have enough fuel to reach your organizational goals?

An apple a day keeps the Doctor away

Too often, we are too busy to lead to remember that we need an apple a day to fuel the organization. Our people needs an apple, the clients need an apple, our suppliers need an apple, the strategy and plan also needs to be fueled and last but not least, we also need an apple a day as leaders.

You need to find the apple that can re-boost your energy, the apple that lifts you up, the apple that gives you energy to keep going. Inspiration and motivation are key factors to move and take action. All the element needs to be nourished to bloom. It only takes a snapshot.

Leadership focus

We all have weekly meetings. The agenda is full of budgets, issues, stories. We take the time to discuss all sorts of things. Unfortunately, my experience is that we spend far too little time in these meetings to discuss how we should get the organization to move in the right direction and make success a reality.

Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality –  Earl Nightingale

What you focus on is what you get. We need inspirational apples on our weekly agenda. We should focus on how we as leaders should empower ourselves to move the organization. To become better, we should have time to discuss the importance of motivating people and what we as leaders and as a team can do to make sure we create that movement.

My experience is that this happens too little in most organizations My wish for this book is that it gives leaders inspiration to empower their leadership. This is the reason why I wrote Leadership Snapshots. My wish for this book is that it gives you the inspiration to empower your leadership. A snapshot a day keeps issues away, and will give you additional time to focus on the essentials in your leadership.

It only takes and apple, it only takes a snapshot – be inspirational!

@Grete

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Are you still connected?

Did you remember to say thank you? Did you honour your previous company? What about your colleagues, are you grateful for what they gave you? Have you kept in touch with people you met in your career? Are you one of those who quit a company and never meet the people again?

Connect with your own career

Staying in touch with previous colleagues and companies that you have worked in, is vital for your career. Besides all the traditional reasons, there is one reason that is fundamental to yourself. Keeping in touch with previous colleagues and workplaces is a way to respect and honour your own career. You chose those jobs. Keeping in touch is respecting that reason. It is a way to keep connected with your soul. All your positions have created what you define as your career. It has become a part of your DNA.

It’s good to know where you come from. It makes you what you are today. It’s DNA, it’s in your blood – Alexander McQueen

Put your heart into your career. Not only into each position. Keep in touch to respect yourself and your career DNA. Say thank you to every position for what it gave you. Be professional, do not only look at the immediate benefits. Living in the moment, while you stay connected with the past, makes you whole and opens your future.

Thank You

All endings need to be clearly stated. Having a traditional ritual is an excellent way of letting go – both for the company and for the employee. Thank for what they have given you and let them go with what you have given them. Their footprint will always remain in your career.

Saying thank you is a way of healing the emptiness that remains after you leave a company. It enables your hearth to open for a new position. An official farewell states the closure. It gives the opportunity to leave the past behind and to open to future possibilities. Gratitude makes you happier.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings – William Arthur Ward

Hold on to good memories. Let go of the negativity. Respect the company you leave. Sometimes we leave in pain. All pain has a teaching, be thankful in order to integrate the experience into your career.

Thank the people, the position and the company for what it gave you. You will bring it with you into your future. What you gave them was an honest contribution that the company and the people that remains can keep as a gift.

Stay in touch

Maintain a good relationship with all connections at all stages of your career has never been easier. Social medias and all kinds of networks make it easy to stay in touch.
Send a message every now and then and ask them how they are doing, whenever you have important updates, or just to say Merry Christmas and Happy Easter. Keep in touch – easier to go back the day you need to ask them a favour.

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave – Calvin Coolidge

Good relationships are necessary for a good career development. Even if they might not see you again, people might continue to recommend you! It is your long-term marketing. Make sure you invest in getting a positive pay back and that people continue to market you!

Make sure you create wholeness throughout your career. You create it when you join a company, during your on boarding, when you’re an employee, when you quit, when you become alumni…and suddenly when you get back. All stages make small parts of your career. Be conscious at all stages and keep a positive attitude. Decide how you want to be perceived and act accordingly. Make sure you have a vision of where you want to go. Keep connected and be the creative force of your own career.

Good luck with staying connected with your career to open for new opportunities!

@Grete

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Why does 2+2 make 5 in leadership?

Do you find that your leadership style doesn’t always work? Do you search for new ways to exercise your leadership without finding a style that fits? Do you sometimes feel that you are out of sync?

You’re right! Be reassured, it is normal – one size, one color and one style does not fit all!

Style varies from person to person

Although kids might be raised in the same environment, with the exact same parents, you cannot necessarily apply the same parental style. Your style even varies with the age of the kids, with their interests and their personality. It depends on the country and the era in which the kids get raised. It is certainly very different in these technical days than some years ago! The way your your kids gets raised, also varies with the surroundings and the schooling. In addition, we change as parents. We become more confident, hence the children get a different framework.

At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents – Jane D. Hull

Leadership is often like parenting. Your involvement counts. You should adapt your communication to each person, too their situation and to their work preferences. All employees are different. The framework in your business is the same for all, but you still have to find the key that fits each and every employee to make them perform at their best every day!

Leadership adapted to the organizational setting

What makes leadership even more complicated, is that you must do the same exercise with your business. The way you lead depends on the history of the organization, the age, it’s experience in the market, it’s surroundings and the market situation.

Leading a new company requires a different style than leading an “old and wise” company. Leading a steady organization leaves you the possibility to delegate responsibility. Leading in tough times, crisis and bad market situations requires a tighter and more direct leadership than in good times. Leading organizations going through mergers require balancing between two cultures. Different cultures also sometimes requires different leadership styles.

Everything has a cycle and a season –  Ty Dolla Sign

Just like nature adapting to the seasons, you should adapt your leadership. There is not one style fits all situations!

Your personal leadership

During history, there has been a lot of different leadership styles that have been put forward as the correct form of leadership. There is not one secret solution… if that had been the case, only one leadership book would exist!

In addition,  to adapting to the organization and the people, you have your personal leadership style. Your style will also depend on the organization in which you operate. So yes, sometimes leadership just feels complicated. It requires a conscious strategy to find the right way to lead at each moment. You should adapt your style to your people, to your organization and to your market situation to continue to deliver results!

One of my greatest fears is not being able to change, but to be caught in a never-ending cycle of sameness. Growth is so important – Matt Dillon

Sameness is dangerous in leadership. It makes business stagnate. It closes the door to good results and growth. Hence 2+2 makes 5, or at least rarely 4 in leadership. There is never a right answer, it always needs to be adapted. You must ensure you choose a conscious way of leading and that you tailor-make your leadership.

Good luck in adapting your leadership style to your own personal style!

@Grete

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Is there energy for creativity in your organization?

Do you sometimes just feel drained? Your energy seems to have totally vanished? The feeling of having no space left for creativity in your head? Your body just walks around with no focused purpose. You just feel like swimming around like a jellyfish with only one brain cell?

I know that feeling, and I know that quite a few of you have probably encountered the same feeling at one stage.

Get the Brain Back in Business

We tend to get a lot of advices through all kinds of media on how we can cope with low energy. We daily get tons of suggestions on how to boost our bodies for our brains to get back into shape.

Many of us tends to test all kinds of methods, food, sports and voodoo to get back that feeling of mastering our body. We simply hate the feeling of being a jellyfish!

The thing is, we are so desperate to run away from that feeling that we tend to try all remedies at once. We get a blooming start…and then, after some days, we kind of lose attention and we forget about following up on all our remedies. As a result, more than once, we fail.

Structure is the Key to Success

The reason we fail is that we tend not to structure the way we use all the remedies. We fail because we do not set up a plan that is easy to integrate into our daily routines.  We fail because we do not manage to keep up the good work we started. As a result, we fail to get our energy back!

Much of our brainpower goes unused, and many people could benefit greatly from optimizing their mental assets – Walter O’Brian

As much as human beings have that feeling of being exhausted, I believe that organisations quite often tend to feel the same way.  When the employees of a company feels like jellyfishes it tends to be a reflection of a lack of structure.

Each organisation must have a clear set up. It has the function of a spine. It holds the organisation. As a consultant, I regularly meet with companies that lacks clarity in their structure. As a result, employees do not get the possibility to use their full potential. They spend the extra energy on walking around trying to do their best. Without a structure, they use all their brainpower on trying to keep up with just doing. There is no space for creativity and people in the organisation tend to move around like jellyfishes.

Leadership Boosts Energy

Creating a clear energetic structure in the organisation liberates brainpower. People will get the possibility to use their potential constructively. Creating a clear structure gives people the opportunity to positively focus their energy in the right direction.

Leadership is about serving others. Serving your colleagues means to give them the opportunity to have space, structure and energy for creativity. It is a leader’s task to create that structure in which people can use their potential in a focused way that benefits the organization.

Structure is the art of leadership. It is about creating the framework in which people should operate. The framework defines how we do things in our organization. It links all the elements together in a way that benefits the purpose of the business.

By creating this structure, leaders opens for connecting people to the organization in a new way. It opens new possibilities and most importantly, it opens for renewed creativity which can serve the business mission!

Good luck in creating a structure boosting your organisation’s creativity!

@Grete

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Is your company happy? 🗺

If your company could express its wishes, what would it say? Is it happy with its strategic direction? Does it fulfil its mission? Do you follow the flow of where it wants to go? What does your company want? Did you adapt your strategy accordingly? Would you take the time to listen to your company if it could speak?

Follow the goal of your company

The goal of a company itself is to produce results. All companies want to blossom and be proud of what it delivers. The company wants to be seen in the market. It wants to show its success. Your company wants to be useful, it wants to be in service. It wants to have happy employees that deliver good service to satisfied clients.

When a company owns one precise thought in the consumer’s mind, it sets the context for everything and there should be no distinction between brand, product, service and experience – Maurice Saatchi

Did you adapt your strategy accordingly? Much too often, we are too busy leading and developing strategies without following the company flow.

Creating a happy strategy

The happiest country in the world was just announced to be Norway. The criteria are based on per capita gross domestic product, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support and absence of corruption in business.

As business leaders, we should integrate the same factors into the strategy of our companies to create a sound business. Too often, we tend to focus heavily on the financial objectives. Just as for a country, this does not make our company sound and happy. Focusing too much on the financials creates an unbalance in the company.

A strategy delineates a territory in which a company seeks to be unique – Michael Porter

The wholeness needs to be included to create a happy company with good flow in the long-term perspective. Each company needs an internal flow where all the mechanics work together to best serve the market. When we include the happiness criteria above into the strategy, the company becomes a whole. It gets a solid foundation. It reveals its happiness through its uniqueness.

The reflection of a happy company

We are strongly influenced by the situation in our industry, the balance of our company and the mood of our colleagues. We get influenced by going to your company every day. As a consultant visiting different kind of companies, it is fascinating to see how this reflects in the internal structure in the company.

The mission of the company is reflected in the way it is organised and lead. Do you focus on the wholeness you want to create as a leader? Do you focus on creating a happy company that fulfill its mission?

Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not – Valerie Bertinelli

Recruit people that are willing to play the game of wholeness, being positive and solution oriented. Put a ping pong table into the offices, make a sunny beach coffee corner, host creative workshops and create processes with flow.

Listening to your company will give you the opportunity to create a joyful company which is complete and fulfill its mission. Your company will be proud and would want to show it to the market which reflects rewards.

Good luck with listening to your company!

@Grete

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Did you prepare for your climbing challenges?

Did you have any new year’s resolutions for your company? What kind of mountains are you about to climb in 2017? Did you write your objectives? Did you share them with your employees? Do you enjoy the challenge?…and most importantly, did you prepare for it?

The good thing with getting into a new year is that we get new possibilities to get the business going.

Prepare for climbing new challenges

All climbing expeditions prepare their mountain trip in advance. As a manager, one of our biggest roles is to ensure that the rest of the team has the necessary equipment to succeed with their part of the climbing.

The technical equipment needs to be in place. As a consultant, I have more than once met with managers stating they cannot afford to buy updated equipment. I usually reply “Did you calculate the cost of not doing it”? It might be that new technology make you much more productive, hence, the investment cost can actually trigger a total cost reduction.

There’s always the question of how to begin, you have to be very precise – Bert Hellinger

In order to ensure you succeed, your work processes should also be reviewed and probably simplified according to the objectives. It is important that you as a Manager take the lead in this process to make sure you create the necessary focus. Your people need to see you as a driver to choose to be a part of your team.

Get your support team onboard

It is easy to set objectives. Too often, as Managers we pass them on to the organisation without giving the framework. It is so clear in our head, that we forget to inform people why each and everyone is important to reach the top together. Your team needs to know what they should provide in order to make the team succeed together.

Another important managerial task is to ensure your team members have the necessary preparation to be able to achieve their objectives. They might need to be trained in new technologies. They might need to become better to communicate. They might need a coach or a mentor to mentally prepare for the ride. Mental training is a key part to succeed.

Physical strenght will get you to the start line, but mental strenght will get you going

Be honest with your people about challenges. You have to prepare the organisation that an additional mountain might pop up. They usually come from nowhere, and you have to deal with them in parallel. Your people need to be warned upfront to quickly get onboard.

Your role as a leader

Your enthusiasm spreads quickly. You have to enjoy the view of the challenge! You’re supposed to be the driving force. You need the extra energy to make people walk the extra mile.

More than once I have experienced  those tough days as a Manager when it is difficult to breathe, hard to motivate others, difficult to work. Make sure you have an internal or external person in the team that motivates you when you are down.

You need to show your team that you take action on planned objectives immediately. Sooner is better than later. You want your people to copy you to keep the momentum. Do as a flower: the flower does not believe it will blossom and think it has to wait. If you wait, the energy will be gone.

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls – Joseph Campbell

Good luck with your climbing challenges!

@Grete

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Did you say thank you and farewell?

Did you remember to say thank you? Do you honour the people leaving your company? Do you thank them for their daily support? Were you grateful of what they taught you? Do you have rituals for people leaving your company? Do you wish them good luck? Do you organise a farewell party?

All employees in a company contribute to the business success. Some provide more work and some provide less, but all provide their part every day.

The importance of a thank you!

We are all human beings and we need to be acknowledged for what we do to provide our best. The best way to make people re-create good achievements is to immediately thank them and give them credit for what they did.

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave – Calvin Coolidge

To get the most out of a “thank you”, the acknowledgement needs to be put into the context of what is important to the wholeness. Do not only say thank you. Say thank you and tell the person why their performance and contribution has been important to the whole company.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings – William Arthur Ward

As a leader, your job is to motivate – a thank you is an easy motivational boost!

Honouring the people who leave

Some leave the company happily, some people leave with anger. Some people leave voluntary. Other people are asked to leave. In all these situations, all employees having been a part of your business, still energetically remains a part of it when they leave.

Some companies have a long tradition in honouring the people that leave. All endings need to be clearly stated. Having a traditional ritual is an excellent way of letting go – both for the company and for the employee.

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough – Meister Eckhart

Saying thank you is a way of healing the emptiness that remains after the person has left. It enables the position to open up for a new person coming to fill the empty space. For the employee leaving, an official farewell states the closure. It gives the opportunity to leave the past behind and to open to future possibilities.

Honour and create the tradition best suited for your company: a coffee, a cake, an ice cream, champagne, a dinner, a balloon, some good words…

Thank for what they have given you and let them go with what you have given them. They are your future clients. They are you best marketers. Their footprint will always remain in your company.

A special honour to a star that moved on in 2016

Throughout my career I have had great supporters. These People have followed me in good and bad days and made me a leader. These people taught me everything. They might have disagreed with me, but they have always been excellent supporters. I could have mentioned a long list of persons.

These people will always mean something to me. Whether they are together with me today or not – I will always feel their support! Today, one of these persons I want to say a special thank you to, is my father.

With our gratitude, we affirm not only what we give to one another, but also what we are for one another – Bert Hellinger

Thank you for your daily support. Thank you for being proud of me. Thank you for encouraging me. Thank you for teaching me to dare. Thank you for teaching me to speak publicly. Thank you for teaching me to use words. Thank you for showing me what adventures means. Thank you for making me discover the world. Thank you for thanking me when I was cheering you. Thank you for the big events and for all small things. Thank you for giving me life.

A father’s backing brings good career support. Thank you for everything you gave me – I will bring it all with me in business and my daily life. In the same way, you will keep everything I gave you in your soul. I bow in gratitude for everything.

Now, I will continue – be friendly with me when I stay a while – Bert Hellinger

I am grateful to one of my greatest supporters, as many other stars, my father passed away at the end of 2016.

New opportunities opens when we turn the pages. May 2017 be the year of health, happiness, opportunities, laughter, success and gratefulness for us all.

Good luck with your thank you!

@Grete

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Do you Prioritize your Integrity?

Have you thought through the consequences of your decisions? Do they match your values? Do you prioritize your integrity whenever you analyze the consequences of your decisions? How do you balance your business results through your attitude?

As a leader you have to learn to prioritize and to say no every day. Do remember to include your integrity in your prioritization.

Daily Life as a Leader

As a business leader, you make decisions several times a day. You prioritise according to your business strategy. Your long term strategy defines your priorities. You prioritize your action list every morning and you re-prioritize the same list several times a day. Does this sound familiar?

The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities – Stephen Covey

Everyday, you should choose to put actions into your days that are based on your priorities.
Your job is to deliver results. In order to do so, you need to lead your people. You create a structured framework for them to easily prioritize their actions to deliver results in all situations.

The role of leadership is to transform the complex situation into small pieces and prioritize them – Carlos Ghosn

The structured framework you create includes your values. You have to be conscious about your priorities. Each decision you make should be analyzed in light of your integrity.

Consequences of Your Integrity

Knowing you integrity is critical to have long-term success in business. The best leaders lead with their intelligence through their heart. Your personal values and honesty with yourself and your surroundings will give you respect.

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Maintaining your integrity will ensure your treat people with respect, that you do things right the first time and that you work in an easy way providing flow. Prioritizing your integrity in your decisions keeps your business balanced and gives notoriety.

Attitude Confirms Integrity

Traditional management studies focus on the technical part of being a leader. Luckily, throughout my career, I have experienced that my attitude confirms my integrity. As a leader, we have to think through the link between our strategy, our decisions, our priorities, our integrity and how this reflects in our attitude.

When you start to prioritize hiring likable people within your organization, these likable people will attract other likable people – Karen Salmansohn

As a natural part of doing business, we need to make difficult decisions. We have to take actions that have consequences on how the organisation works. We need to adapt the organisation through up- and downturns. We need to make decisions that will upset our people.

As an organisational consultant, I meet with leaders on a daily basis. Too often, I sadly witness that business leaders forget to include their personal values in their daily actions and attitude in all situations. They just skipped thinking through the integrity consequences of their decisions.

Our integrity reflects in our attitude. This is valid when we give the organisation positive information when we motivate our people as well as when we host difficult conversations or reduce our workforce.

It is true that integrity alone won’t make you a leader, but without integrity you will never be one – Zig Ziglar

As long as we always remember to keep our integrity in all decisions, analyze the consequences and integrate it consciously in our attitude, we will get respect and confidence from the organisation.

Good luck with creating success through your heartly integrity!

@Grete

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What about Your 100 Calendar Days?

How did you spend your 100 days? Did you project the future? Did you set the structure for your future delivery? Did you set the direction for your surroundings? Why are these first days in a new job so important?

Just as any President, you get the same 100 days to set the framework for your delivery when you start in a new job. These famous days becomes a reflection of what you will deliver throughout the period you hold the job.

Set the Direction

During these first days it will be your main task to set the structure for your future delivery. You should clearly draw the big lines of your vision and where you want to bring the organisation. You need to create the flow and the spine of your leadership.

In the big picture, architecture is the art and science of making sure that our cities and buildings fit with the way we want to live our lives – Bjarke Ingels

Make sure you define who you want to be as a leader. You need to embrace and take your role. Nobody will give it to you. You need to set the expectations for yourself and for your surroundings.

High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation – Charles Kettering

Defining the process flow and adapting the structure to the future is one of your main tasks. Include your people. Make it a teamwork session. Make sure you communicate clearly to create a common comfort zone.

Respect your Predecessors and Previous Achievements

Respect and acknowledge history. Listen. Do not set aside everything that has been done before. Be aware that some employees arrived before you and that they have an extensive competency about the way the company works.

Great leaders help their people see how they can directly impact the company’s objectives and their own personal goals – Chip Conley

You need to show the wholeness. Make people understand why each person is an important part of the puzzle you’re about to create. Be a leader “on tour” and discuss with your employees. Get input on what they want to preserve and what they expect from you. If you are in a bigger company, make sure you participate to department meetings.

The best way to predict the future is to create it – Peter Drucker

Your mission is to create trust, produce a sense of belonging and building respect to move your organisation into the future.

Prepare for the Future

Spending time together with your team is the task that should be first on your priority list. More than once I have experienced being fully booked with daily tasks two weeks after starting in a new job…. hence you need to focus your time on those who are your team players and whom you should motivate to create results.

At one point I took on a new job, and I just didn’t have time to do anything but work – Sharon Olds

This also requires that you spend some time upfront thinking about what kind of leader you want to be, how you will motivate people, how you will make decisions, what are your qualities in this job, what should be your focus area and what you should delegate.

Be ready the day it starts. An excellent suggestion is to have a teambuilding with yourself upfront to prepare for your new job. This would ensure you do not get into the nitty gritty before getting the total overview.

…and last, but not least, make sure you enjoy these first 100 days. Your enthusiasm is contagious and will enable you and your team to fulfil your vision together.

I still get the jitters every time I start a new job! I love it – makes you feel alive – Camille Guaty

Good luck with shaping your future!

@Grete

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