License to Lead

The web, podcasts, audiobooks, blogs, and studies are full of stories about leadership, what is important in leadership and how it should be improved. The -isms around leadership change, but one thing remains – people.

Last Spring, we initiated the License to Lead – program. The demand for this program originated from the organizational change, which enabled us for the first time to have a “full focus on people” leadership role at Huld. We call our people in this role as Huld Leaders. The saying people are our greatest asset, is most true for us. We are not in the business of producing or selling gadgets or gimmicks. Instead, we have a house full of top talents whose professionalism is changing the world, beyond tomorrow.

I’m proud to be able to call you, all the amazing talent and the top-notch professionals, my colleagues. You deserve only the best! Some of our leaders are at the beginning of their leadership careers. Others have already gained more first-hand experience. What they all have in common is the passion to learn and to grow as leaders, and to help their team members and colleagues succeed.

Our goal was that everyone having a leadership role would be certified, i.e., they would have License to Lead – certificate. The topics covered and the required competence level for all leaders were defined. Leadership by coaching was chosen as by far the most important aspect of the leadership – that is, how do we help our team members succeed, how are we able to listen, ask and to be interested in our people holistically, not just as part of a process or a project. It is important to continuously develop the leadership culture towards commonly accepted and presented goals and to say out loud what is wanted and what is important to us.

Now, this journey has begun – the content has been created, and we have certified the first 35 Huld Leaders. Our development path together was crowned by the Leaders Day, providing a great opportunity to get to know each other better, to discuss and to share common topics and ideas. During the day, every Huld Leader got a chance to dig deeper into their own leadership identity – what it is now and in which direction should it develop – their own opinion and in the eyes of the colleagues and working community. Do I have a goal in my mind I genuinely feel we all should strive for? Do I contribute to achieving this goal, am I helping others to understand the goal, or am I stubbornly acting in my own way because I am who I am? Our surroundings mirror us, and by listening and observing it is easier to notice which actions work and which don’t. It is essential to notice how our own behavior and actions effect on others and reflect on us. Each encounter is an opportunity to learn something new about ourselves – don’t let these opportunities pass unnoticed. Signals from your surroundings do not mean that you’re not enough or good as you are. However, signals do provide an opportunity to observe which actions work and which not and should perhaps be avoided.

Think about your goals and how best to achieve them. Adjusting your behavior does not mean giving up your values or your identity. Behavior is a visible, situation specific part of us. How do you behave when no-one’s around to see you?

Food for the thought – Do you light up a room when you enter it or leave it?

Text: Susanna Pirinen