In fall 2018, I journeyed to Sigtuna, Sweden, to attend the Dynamic Leadership Workshop founded by former Ericsson executive Bo Lundell. The workshop is based on his observations that women leaders are key in bringing a fresh perspective–in fact, a new definition–of traditional business leadership based on tapping one’s inner strengths and becoming an ‘intra-preneur’ or change agent in your own organization.
Lundell opened the workshop sharing a story that illustrated his keen belief that inclusion benefits the bottom line and creates growth. In the early 2000’s, Ericsson was growing and pushing into new country markets. The CEO asked him for help. How could they show up better in these markets, become a trusted partner and influence future business?
Bo recognized that women were key. The women leaders he knew were more collaborative and solution-oriented, but too often excluded from real power and decision-making. This is true, he says, not only in his business, but in every context. “There are 8 billion people in the world. Half are women. And, yet not treated as equals. Further, men tend to lead the conflicts. But women seek common ground, use common sense, and also are fierce competitors.”
During his long career he began a conscious effort to include women leaders. He became an ally and collaborator with Christine Andre Andersson, and Michelle Moarbes Grasberger, strategic HR consultants who led successful major initiatives at the company. The co-founders, including Bo Lundell, Christine Andre Andersson, Maria Boura, Michelle Moarbes Grasberger, Jenny Lundell, Eva Martin, and Åsa Ponten have built a leadership training approach they have taken well beyond Ericsson. The program is designed to help each participate gain a deeper self-awareness of the qualities of a change leader, one’s impact on others, the power of building connections, and above all: trust.
For most of my career, I believe we over-index on building organizational structures. These of course are fundamental. We must document our business goals, align on long and short-term objectives, and define policies and plans, and key performance indicators. But, too often we stop there. And, in doing so we fall short of greatness.
Dynamic leadership is the base of power. And, it is the foundation on which you can truly achieve your goals. It is where true alignment occurs between shared value and purpose. Dynamic leaders establish norms in a culture about what behaviors are acceptable and what are not. It manifests in whether we listen, how we share ideas and reach decisions. Only when we truly collaborate will we be ready to compete.
The further we move away from essential and traditional structural elements–org-charts, training, supervision—the bigger our thinking must become. We must begin to answer questions of a global nature and decide who on the team is capable of dreaming big and achieving greatness, and solve these challenges together.
What comes next? We need traditional structural leadership; but that leaves a gap in these new Dynamic Leadership principles Bo and his team were stressing. How do we bridge that space? As a first step, I’m challenging myself and other leaders who work globally to define Dynamic Leadership and Dynamic Teaming with me. My early definition? Dynamic Leadership must be truly global and include teammates from in country and culture. It must be solution-oriented, flexible, contextual and above all inclusive, with a goal to always build trust. Because without trust we cannot move teams, policy, or innovate. Without trust, we perpetuate the status quo. And, without trust we simply cannot influence others to adopt changes necessary to improve lives or innovate for equity.
In April 2018, Rose Berg, received the Ranny Cooper Award for Exceptional Leadership from Weber Shandwick. (“The Ranny”) honors the tremendous legacy of Ranny Cooper, who stepped down from her full-time role as president of Global Public Affairs last June following a remarkable 25-year career with the firm. The award was designed to recognize a colleague in North America who embodies her four core values: Championship of quality work; generosity in mentorship; passion for making the world a better place; and a community.