Unlock the Potential in Your Organization with Self-Leadership at All Levels

Unlock the Potential in Your Organization with Self-Leadership at All Levels

Christian Fredriksson

Unlock the Potential in Your Organization with Self-Leadership at All Levels

Christian Fredriksson

We at Doings have had the privilege of supporting several of our clients in cultivating self-leadership within their organizations. The effects on both the participants in the programs and on the businesses have been significant. Therefore, we would like to share our experiences in the hope that more can harness the power within their organizations through self-leadership.

In Brief

Self-leadership aims to increase one’s ability to respond effectively to situations. In a turbulent time where adaptability and innovation are crucial for success, we see that the ability to lead oneself is what sets successful organizations apart. To succeed in your pursuit of self-leadership, it’s essential to design it in relation to the effects you wish to achieve.

What is Self-Leadership?

Unfortunately, there’s no single definition of self-leadership. Charles C. Manz defined it as “a process of exerting influence over oneself and one’s own behavior.” Simply put, self-leadership is the art of leading oneself. It aims to enhance one’s ability to respond effectively to the situations one faces.
Self-leadership is built on internal functions such as self-awareness, self-regulation, and inner motivation. It’s about strengthening awareness of how I function, what I value, how I tend to behave, and the effects of my behaviors. With increased awareness, I gain a greater ability to act “right.”

Increased self-awareness, in turn, gives me a greater capacity for self-regulation, allowing me to choose how I want to act, rather than instinctively react. The key to being able to act rather than react lies in the tiny amount of time that occurs between something happening and me taking action. In that small space, there’s an opportunity for me to choose my actions. By thoroughly reflecting on how my personal vision aligns with that of the organization, conditions are created to channel my energy into the right things with high motivation.

Why is Self-Leadership Important for Your Organization?

Many talk about how the world is complex and changing rapidly. I often ask myself what demands this places on leaders and organizations facing the challenge of navigating uncertain and turbulent waters. The key to success lies not only in having a good map in the form of wise strategic plans and effectively executing them. You also need to unleash and channel the intelligence of each employee so that together you can move the ship forward.

We believe that self-leadership cultivated at all levels of an organization is a strategic asset that can transform both individuals’ working lives and the organization’s overall performance. An added bonus is that increased self-leadership also has positive effects in all domains of life – both professional and private. In an organization where each employee feels responsible for their own leadership, an environment is created where innovation, engagement, and productivity flourish. As individuals develop the ability to effectively lead themselves, their decision-making, communication, and collaboration skills improve. This, in turn, strengthens the organization’s capacity as a whole.

So, How Do You Do It?

Promoting a culture of self-leadership involves more than just offering a course in self-leadership, although that’s a good start. A thoughtful learning strategy focuses on the effects your organization wants to achieve, and from there, a self-leadership program can be tailored.
Things to consider include, for example, what learning formats suit your employees. How can you create an encouraging climate where participants can experiment with new skills after completing training? How can you wisely shape learning groups that contribute to the desired effects (for example, strengthening relationships between parts of the organization)? In what order should employees and leaders take the program? And of course – what specific skills does your organization need to strengthen?
Our experience is that CEOs, management teams, leaders, and HR need to work together to create the best conditions for the organization to realize the effects of a self-leadership program. Not least because the strongest culture carriers in the company, often the management team, need to lead by example.

So, if you decide to give your organization and your employees the gift of a self-leadership education, I would like to conclude by saying: Congratulations and good luck!
And if you have any thoughts or questions, you are warmly welcome to contact us.


Here you can be inspired by Leila’s thoughts and experiences on when (the lack of) self-awareness gets in the way of change work. Interesting, we think!

Christian Fredriksson

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Getting the Most Bang for Your Training Buck – 12 Steps to Make Leadership Training Effective

Mest bang for the utbildningsbuck – 12 steg för att få effekt av ledarskapsutbildning

All Doers

Mest bang for the utbildningsbuck – 12 steg för att få effekt av ledarskapsutbildning

All Doers

Welcome to our corner of the internet, where we don’t just talk about leadership – we live it. And we’re eager to share our experiences. Here, we’ll delve into the art of creating an effective leadership training that not only inspires but also delivers results.

In a world that’s constantly changing and where the demands on leaders are ever increasing, effective leadership training is crucial for developing leaders. Leadership training equips leaders to navigate and guide themselves and others through complex challenges. Sending leaders to brisk leadership courses has always been both appreciated and invigorating. But perhaps it’s never been more important than now for them to actually yield results. So how do we ensure that the training makes a difference in how we actually lead?

Here are our 12 best research-based tips for maximizing the impact of your leadership training and cultivating leaders who both want to, can, and dare to lead in the best possible way.

Doings model

Before Leadership Training (Make it Happen) 

1. Needs Analysis and Goal Formulation

Before we can start building a leadership training, we need to conduct a needs analysis related to the world and industry you operate in, as well as the strategic goals and needs of the organization. If you’ve done your strategic competency homework, you have analyzed the specific skills and knowledge that need to be developed. What do the new work methods, technologies, demands from employees, legal requirements, and other demands on your leaders mean?

Based on this, clear goals are set for what the training should achieve and how. So before you start piling up content, learning journeys, and modules, ask yourselves: Why are we doing this and for whom? Formulate your goals and create an image of the ideal participant. This should be the compass throughout the process of creating your leadership training.

2. Anchor Leadership Training with the Organization’s Vision and Goals

For leadership training to provide the most value and impact, it should be linked to your overall vision and goals. This helps participants see the purpose of their learning journey. Always ensure that the content and learning journey also reflect your culture and values, increasing relevance and acceptance. Moreover, it provides invaluable value in the form of your leaders also becoming natural culture builders – win-win-win

3. Preparation and Engagement

Create curiosity and engagement among participants even before the leadership training begins. Do it in a way that suits your organization, but feel free to try a new way to create curiosity and anticipation. The anticipation applies to both sides; also communicate early and clearly what is expected of participants both during and after training, including how important their role as leaders is for you as an organization.

4. Anchoring and Follow-Up with the Boss’s Boss

Another important point to really strengthen momentum and motivation early on is to involve the boss’s boss in various ways. They need to be informed about both content and practical setup to be able to support, follow up curiously, understand, and provide feedback on the continued development journey. We usually ensure this through both an individual action plan. The participant is tasked with developing and following up the plan continuously with their boss. And also by either ensuring that top management attends the training before everyone else. Alternatively (if it’s a more basic course that not everyone attends), ensure they receive a brief overview of the content and theory. All to be able to support and follow up in the best way during the journey.


During Leadership Training (Make the Change)

5. Adapt Leadership Training to Individual Learning Styles

Each participant has their own way of learning. We create learning journeys where we combine digital education (which happens when it suits the individual, spread over time and where the focus is on theory and reflection) with physical or possibly virtual workshops. In the physical moments, the focus of the content is on training, relationship-building, and truly reinforcing learning. Remember that regardless of format and location, a mix of methods and approaches is needed for the leadership training to be effective and valuable for everyone’s different needs and circumstances. Try to tailor the content and exercises of the learning journey to the needs and dynamics of each group.

6. Practice and Share Experiences During Leadership Training

Everyone loves theory, but it’s in reality that it comes to life. Make sure to always link theory to real examples and situations in the leaders’ everyday lives. That’s where the magic happens and where participants will see the value. Let participants engage in a real way and invite them to discussions, role-plays, and case studies, and actively practice together. By allowing participants to practice, discuss, and reflect together, stronger bonds are built between them. This is also important to give participants the opportunity to learn, be inspired, and challenged by each other. These bonds are also invaluable when everyday life intrudes, and a strong network of supportive peers is extra important.

7. Application in Reality

As is well known, it’s the doing that is the key to lasting learning. Your training is not an art installation. Be practical and concrete. Focus on tools and techniques that your leaders can use directly at work. The more usability, the more success. Encourage learning by doing in daily work in various ways during training. This can, for example, be by being tasked with testing a new skill directly in the next meeting or employee conversation. Or by observing and reflecting on how you as a business handle challenging ideas and discussing this with your learning buddy.

8. Reflection for Increased Learning

Reflection is the key to personal and professional development. Reflecting is not just a pause to look back, but a powerful process that gives leaders the opportunity to understand more and grow in their role. Reflection strengthens our learning and increases our self-awareness. In evaluations of our leadership programs, reflection always stands out as a strong motivator for participants. By regularly reflecting, leaders are given the opportunity to gain insights, identify patterns, and strengthen their ability to make informed and wise decisions. And when leaders also have the opportunity to share and take part in others’ reflections, collective competence is strengthened and learning is further deepened.

9. Set a Plan and Follow Up

No one wants to go from a fantastic leadership training to standing still. Conclude each session with concrete actions and a personal action plan. Let your leaders leave the training ready to act. Encourage continuous feedback during the training. This helps participants see both progress and areas for improvement. Examples of good ways to do this include pairing participants with a learning buddy. And always follow up on the individual development plan together with the nearest supervisor.


After Leadership Training (Make it Last)

10. Follow-up and Support after Leadership Training

An important part that unfortunately is often forgotten or deprioritized is various forms of follow-up even after the completion of the training. Ideally, plan different types of advanced training or follow-up workshops already in the initial stages. This could involve group coaching sessions, for instance, with deeper dives and the opportunity for coaching (either externally or with the leader’s supervisor) to support the ongoing development and application of new skills.

11. Evaluate, Iterate, and Inspire

Nothing is static, and this applies to your leadership training as well. Be prepared to adjust and adapt based on feedback and changes in the business climate. This is how you keep your training relevant and impactful. Work iteratively with planning and designing the training (even during the process). Conduct regular evaluations and measurements to ensure that the training delivers the desired effect and to identify areas for improvement. It’s not just about filling seats. Measure success by tracking how your leaders apply what they’ve learned. Results speak louder than attendance, so keep an eye on how your training affects daily work.

12. Promote a Culture of Learning

Don’t forget to view leadership development as part of your long-term strategy rather than a one-time event that’s “done” afterward. Continuous development is crucial for attracting and retaining talent. And to ensure that you remain a relevant employer and organization, both today and tomorrow! Show that you are an organization that values continuous learning – encourage a culture of ongoing personal development. You do this by ensuring that you have the structural and organizational conditions necessary for development and promoting the sharing of knowledge and experiences, both internally and externally.

Also, remember to share and celebrate success stories. By continually highlighting and inspiring the rest of the organization about progress and practical effects, both internal engagement and the desire to develop are strengthened.


Investing in leadership training is, as we know, an investment in both the individual’s and the organization’s future. By following these tips, you can be confident that your leadership training will not only be a temporary, delightful sparkler… but a powerful catalyst for long-term change and success.

Good luck 😊

Here you can be inspired by a learning journey and a leadership training that really had an effect – Alleima’s global leadership development program.

All Doers

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From back of the drawer to Real Impact: Activating Your Sustainability Strategy

From back of the drawer to Real Impact: Activating Your Sustainability Strategy

Carl-Johan Schultz & Mikael Botnen Diamant

From back of the drawer to Real Impact: Activating Your Sustainability Strategy

Carl-Johan Schultz & Mikael Botnen Diamant

In a time where sustainability issues are becoming increasingly central to the success and survival of businesses (thank God!), unfortunately few manage to translate their sustainability strategies into concrete actions that make a real difference. The primary obstacle is neither lack of good intentions nor understanding the importance of steering their operations towards more sustainable business models. Rather, the challenge lies in the actual change management; implementation and activation, moving from words to action.

The organizational challenges are confirmed by data we continuously gather when we lecture or meet with clients. The question we ask is: “What are your biggest challenges right now regarding your sustainability work?”. Regardless of the target audience or when we ask the question, the result is almost always the same: The biggest challenges do not lie in understanding the importance of developing roadmaps, plans, and strategies. Instead, the challenges lie in the organizational conditions to actually implement these strategies and plans. The internal implementation and involvement are insufficient, and the incentives are often nonexistent.

Many transformation strategies end up in the back of a drawer because of a lack of internal ownership, mandate, deeper engagement, and clarity on the how. Or, because all long-term work comes to a halt at the slightest hint of trouble. A common scenario is that the entire company’s transformation work ends up on the shoulders of an often lonely sustainability manager, who struggles to generate interest and commitment from the rest of the organization. For many companies, this means that the sustainability strategy remains an ambitious document that unfortunately does not receive the attention and resources required to be realized.

So, how do you build a strategy that doesn’t collect dust?

  1. Agree on why you want to work with sustainability. The answer to that question usually leads to both clear choices and an expressed level of ambition. And if the ambitions are set at a sufficiently high level (i.e., in line with what research says is needed), sustainability issues need to become part of the core business and be followed up and managed accordingly. Otherwise, they will be deprioritized as soon as temporary setbacks occur.
  2. Ensure that the management is on board. The CEO and management team must lead the way by clearly understanding and buying into the purpose and integrating sustainability work into the company’s overall goals and vision. It is also crucial that this is reflected in the company’s internal processes and structures, from decision-making to reward systems.
  3. Anchor it throughout the organization. If you succeed with both points above, you have come a long way. Then the issues cannot lie solely on a lone sustainability manager, but the ownership is everyone’s. It requires anchoring throughout the organization to succeed, where every individual, regardless of position, understands their unique contribution and responsibility to drive the change forward. Make sure to involve employees, who in many ways are the ones who will implement the strategy, to understand their why and what the transition entails concretely in their tasks. Communicate, educate, engage, and listen.
  4. Follow up, evaluate, and learn. Finally, to ensure that the sustainability strategy is not just an item on the agenda but a living part of the company’s DNA, regular follow-ups and evaluations are needed. This includes measuring progress towards set sustainability goals and openly communicating these progressions, both internally and externally. By highlighting successes and learning from failures, a culture of continuous improvement and innovation is encouraged.

Activating a sustainability strategy is about bridging the gap between vision and reality. When you succeed in doing that, you contribute not only to a more sustainable world but also create a stronger, more attractive, and competitive business model for the future.

Carl-Johan Schultz & Mikael Botnen Diamant

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Pay Equity Analysis – A Tedious Necessity or an Untapped Source for Strategic Business Development?

Pay Equity Analysis – A Tedious Necessity or an Untapped Source for Strategic Business Development?

Lena Noaksson

Pay Equity Analysis – A Tedious Necessity or an Untapped Source for Strategic Business Development?

Lena Noaksson

Regardless of how we relate to pay equity analysis, there are many arguments for conducting them: Strengthening gender equality efforts is one, as it is a legal requirement that will soon be intensified by new EU legislation. But how do we ensure that the work creates real value to the organization

Salary Transparency and New EU Directives

Equal pay for equal work has been a statutory right in Sweden for over 60 years. Since January 2017, all employers in Sweden are required to continuously both map and analyze the wage differences within the organization regarding gender. If the employer has more than ten employees, the work must also be documented.

The purpose of pay equity analysis is to ensure that the organization’s salaries are gender equal. The requirements are also intensified in the European Union the coming years with the introduction of the so-called pay transparency directive. This means clearer transparency and measures concerning fair wage setting, tougher requirements, and burden of proof for the employer, and including the rights of non-binary individuals.

The goal of the requirement for pay equity analysis and the new EU directive is the same; equal pay for equal or equivalent work, regardless of gender. And once and for all, to close the wage gap between women and men, which still lingers at an average of 13% – somewhat lower in Sweden. Unfortunately, this figure has not decreased significantly over the past ten years.

Check-the-box or Strategic Business Development?

So, what purpose does pay equity analysis serve if the wage gap still exists? In many organizations, unfortunately, it largely comes down to just checking off the legal requirement. This often means mapping and analyzing wage differences between genders, where each member of the management team argues and defends “their employees”. Perhaps reactively addressing any unfair differences. Or worst-case scenario, finding loopholes to defend them…

Organizations that instead work to create value with the pay equity analysis, use them to make strategic decisions. These decisions provide directions on how to reward desired performance. With this approach, structured dialogues can be created around expectations for assignments, efforts, responsibilities, and shared development forward. And ultimately, results on the bottom line!

Untapped Potential

There is enormous untapped potential in the work of pay equity analysis, we believe. As a management team, taking the opportunity to create consensus on what defines good performance, what expectations and demands you have for specific roles, and how much you are willing to invest in different roles and areas is obvious.

But it is also an excellent opportunity to establish how you, as an employer, ensure strategic competence supply, where the development of roles, demands for new roles and competencies are advancing rapidly. Do you have consensus on how you want to prioritize the work of developing your employees internally vs. constantly struggling to find “new talents” outside your own organization? How do you ensure that you have a learning organization that is equipped for the constant competence development required?

Support for the Business Strategy

Harnessing the power of illuminating the structural choices we make to reward certain roles and individuals in certain ways should be one of the most fundamental business strategies. Just as much as agreeing on why we have a certain pricing strategy towards our customers.

By consciously working strategically and systematically with these topics, you as an employer and organization ensure both your attractiveness and competitiveness going forward.

If you chose to see pay equity analysis as an essential part of your business development, this will provide you with the compass both for how to ensure sustainable performance and results, both today and tomorrow!

Are you interested in learning more about how we at Doings work with strategic salary setting and competence supply, do not hesitate to contact us.

Lena Noaksson

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Psychological Safety - no darn cuddle fest!

Psychological Safety - no darn cuddle fest!

Leila Ljungberg

Psychological Safety - no darn cuddle fest!

Leila Ljungberg

Finding the magical recipe for psychologically safe teams and organizations is something most organizations aspire to, thanks to its many proven effects and benefits. Even though most of our clients are curious to understand more, we (almost) always encounter a few managers who start squirming in their chairs when we talk about psychological safety.

The concern always revolves around similar reasoning: That it’s going to become overly nice here, that it will no longer be okay to set standards, and that no one will “perform” anymore.

Before we delve further into psychological safety, it’s high time we also talk about what it isn’t. No one says it better than The Queen of Psychological Safety herself – Amy Edmondson:

Psychological safety is NOT about:

  • Being nice
  • Job security
  • A guarantee that all ideas will be applauded
  • A license to whine
  • Freedom from conflict
  • Permission to slack off

So, what is psychological safety?

Psychological safety can be simplified as an environment where everyone can express what they think and feel without fear of negative consequences. The effects when successful are numerous, such as increased creativity and efficiency, enhanced learning, more satisfied customers, and satisfied, high-performing employees, to name a few.

For an organization to achieve real success in a world where creativity and innovation are crucial to success, it’s not enough to hire smart and driven employees. Not even the best employees can contribute 100% of what they’re capable of at all critical moments. Sometimes it’s because they don’t realize the need for their knowledge, but more often it’s because they don’t want to stand out, make mistakes, or clash with their boss or colleagues.

For the work to be successful, the workplace must be such that everyone feels they can share their knowledge and ideas. That’s precisely what the concept of psychological safety is all about.

Kindness vs. Performance

If you think about a team where you’ve experienced being your best self, a team where everyone dared to speak their mind – would you then say it was a climate that was kind but without performance? In the examples that pop up in my head, it’s the most high-performing teams that have had the highest psychological safety.

And it hasn’t always been “nice” – quite the opposite, quite a few doses of tough love, you know – tough love. Straightforward feedback but with the best of intentions, focusing on refining and improving the outcome and growing together along the way.


How psychological safety relates to performance standards

Experiment Your Way Through

To create a psychologically safe environment, it’s crucial how we express ourselves. Like when we have different opinions or need to give feedback. But above all, when we receive a feedback or input from someone who dares to come forward or just takes on another perspective. It’s not always easy, but we must do our best in not punishing or diminishing initiatives like this.

I know it can feel a bit scary and difficult to find new ways to respond and react. But one idea might be to actually give ourselves a dose of psychological safety. What if we, with all the empathy we can muster, try to learn, experiment, and play our way to new ways of interacting with each other?

If we dare to give ourselves space to learn? Can we ask to have a trial conversation and think a little so that it feels safer to try? Can we give ourselves the space to say “I need to think about how to respond a bit.” Or “That was wrong, I’ll try again.”

Psychological Safety - How to say it

Think Like a Scientist

Speaking of experimenting – challenge yourself to think like a scientist. The difference between a classic manager and a managerial scientist, according to Amy Edmondson, is that:

  • A manager provides answers, while a scientist asks questions
  • A manager specifies results, while a scientist shows direction
  • A manager supervises and evaluates while a scientist sees opportunities and makes data understandable
  • A manager rewards achieved goals while a scientist welcomes mistakes and celebrates discoveries
  • And, most importantly – a manager isn’t dependent on psychological safety, but a scientist is.

Because this is the whole key message of psychological safety; to create secure, learning environments where we can perform at our very best, grow together, and become even better! That we perform better is a fantastic thing about psychological safety, but that we enjoy it, learn, become more innovative, and develop is perhaps even more wonderful.

In conclusion, a few more tips on the topic of psychological safety:

  • Want to read more about the more scientific definitions of psychological safety? Wikipedia has it.
  • Want to watch Amy’s fantastic TED Talk on psychological safety? Click here!
  • Want to delve deeper into misunderstandings about psychological safety and the risks associated with it? Click here.
    Want to know more about stable vs. fluid teams and psychological safety? Read this article.
  • Want to be inspired in a lighthearted way by a leader who creates psychological safety? Read Emma’s blog and series recommendations here.
  • Want your team/company to get better at psychological safety? Send a love letter here.

Leila Ljungberg

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"What have you done to us?" - a voice from Alleimas Leadership Program

"What have you done to us?"

Kristina Vallin

What have you done to us?

Kristina Vallin

“What have you done to us?!”

The participant smiles while saying this during the final check-out round after three intense leadership learning session days at #högbobruk in Sandviken. The others start giggling, nodding their heads.

The content of this program has been worked out in deep collaboration with Alleima during 6 months. This resulted in clear and well anchored learning goals connected to the Alleima strategy and long term goals, a substantial digital training and well designed physical learning sessions. 100 leaders will have passed the program this year. It is clearly an understatement that project leadership skills have been key in rolling this out!

So what did he mean “done to us”? It gives the connotation of being subject to influence rather than co-creator of learning. And yes, we really did design the entire program to enhance self-leadership and autonomy. Well – it was so simple it could really have gone lost in translation.

Me and my brilliant co-facilitator Peter Röjhammar usually meet a lot of managers that stay mainly in their heads, not using their emotional skills to a larger extent. And for this group it would have been understandable if they did – language barriers, new people, new country, new food etc, you got to keep your guard up a bit. But we really wanted them to experience how using your emotional skills can help opening up and start collaborating on a deeper level, co-creating psychological safety, enhancing learning and so on. So we encouraged our participants to take a silent break for 30 minutes. No talking, no interaction with other people, phones, computers, music, books, anything but walking in the beautiful nature surrounding Högbo Bruk.

And yes! This, at first sight, small change added so much more value than we could have ever expected. For many of our participants silence and reflection is a scarce resource. For some silence only occurs when using noice cancelling headphones, or maybe at night when parts of the city sleeps. And reflection then – very occasionally and almost never as a planned activity.

So – what did we learn? Of course the obvious – that learning design needs to follow the needs, attitudes and behaviours of the participants, and that reflection can come in different shapes; talking, writing or just being with yourself for a little while, observing your feelings, observing the surrounding. The most important though may be that we as facilitators underestimated the power of time spent on reflection. We thought they would be tired of reflecting after these three days, however it seems like the opposite where reflection together in teams, with your learning buddy or for yourself have given new energy and tons of new insights about how to deal with all different dilemmas in the daily business.

And for me and Peter – we are just even more humble and grateful for experiencing people connecting with themselves and with others for a more positive and sustainable future. Thank you Alleima leaders for this – you know who you are 💫🙏

Kristina Vallin

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Leadership - both the problem and the solution

Leadership - both the problem and the solution

The Doers

Leadership - both the problem and the solution

The Doers

If you’re interested in leadership, Gallup’s annual global engagement survey is eagerly awaited. This year, it dropped in June. Congratulations to humanity! Engagement, which has long been unbelievably low, is now at an all-time high at 23%. But let’s not pop the champagne just yet. It’s still way too low, of course. Engagement is not just a nice bonus and a delightful feeling of satisfaction at work; it is also a crucial factor in the organization’s success. According to Gallup, low engagement costs the global economy an unreasonable $8.8 trillion or 9% of global GDP. Unfortunately, another thing that has increased in this year’s report is stress. The numbers show a perceived daily stress level of 44% globally, a steady increase over the past ten years. Gallup argues that both the problem and the solution spell leadership.

The Relationship Between Engagement and Stress

The increased stress is, of course, due to several factors, but one of the clearest is finding the right leadership. This is especially important for support in navigating uncertainty and strengthening engagement. A high level of engagement, in turn, acts as a buffer against stress; Gallup’s analysis shows that engagement has 3.8 times the impact on employees’ stress levels as their physical workplace.

Winds of Change

If not before, it became crystal clear during the pandemic that it’s no longer possible to lead based on old standards with a micromanaging approach. The new world order made it especially clear that it’s time for new leadership. Leadership that looks at results and value creation rather than presence and hours. Leadership with the ability to truly listen, communicate, and motivate, regardless of what the physical workplace looks like.

The Solution: New Leadership

The change starts with leadership, and it must happen now. Research is clear: inadequate leadership leads to poorer collective performance. But it’s equally clear that the right kind of leadership can work wonders. Not only making the company more successful but also reducing stress and making life more meaningful for employees.

But it’s not the leaders’ fault that they’re not good enough. The demands on leaders today are enormous. That’s why we’ve spent a lot of time on leadership development in recent years. It ranges from exploring how we ourselves, with our challenges, in our environment, want to lead and live. To navigating, evolving, and persevering when we don’t know what awaits around the corner. To finding the most value-creating and tailored training programs for our clients that work on factory floors as well as in hybrid setups with employees and leaders scattered around the world.

There is incredibly valuable research on what we need to feel good and perform at work. At Doings, we understand leadership in complex environments. And we love tricky challenges – put us to the test!

The Doers

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When (lack of) self-awareness stands in the way of change

When (lack of) self-awareness stands in the way of change

Leila Ljungberg

When (lack of) self-awareness stands in the way of change

Leila Ljungberg

Have you ever experienced that work situation where everything seemed to be in order? The strategy was in place, communication was synchronized, everyone was ready and motivated. And then… nothing happened?
No matter how much we refine and calibrate in terms of direction and strategy, we often see that it doesn’t translate into action. The culprit? The human factor, as it might be stated in an incident investigation.

Change occurs at both the organizational and individual levels.

We work daily to help companies articulate their direction, vision, and create engagement around it. Identifying ways to strengthen behaviors and move towards their strategy is a key focus, all to bring about sustainable change.

For this to truly happen like magic, one crucial thing is required: individuals must be willing, prepared, and motivated to grow with the change. This entails strengthening their self-awareness. How do I act? What value does it create? How can I maximize the value without breaking?

When we work on both structure and culture at the organizational and individual levels, incorporating strategy and behavior, we observe faster progress, more efficient change, and increased engagement to contribute and find solutions. This lays the foundation for long-term change.

Self-awareness – or the lack thereof?

We live in a society where we are measured, driven, and quickly become accustomed to confirmation when we perform. It’s not uncommon for a crisis or a health condition to prompt us to start working on self-awareness and take care of ourselves. We argue that this work should start earlier and be continuous throughout life, especially in the fast-paced work environment where the pace of change is high.

It’s when we are in a recuperative state that we have the space to challenge ourselves. That’s when we have the energy and initiative to reflect on ourselves genuinely. It’s only then that we have the strength to receive feedback and act wisely. Self-reflection and personal development require, in addition to energy, both the will and courage from the individual. It also requires security and clarity from the cultural system, particularly evident in change efforts. When our clients work on direction, the cultural system, and individuals, we see that they succeed more extensively and sustainably.

Strengthen your self-awareness

Personal growth and increased self-awareness are, of course, lifelong endeavors. It means being incredibly curious about oneself and inspecting inwardly while adjusting outwardly. And it’s those continuous, good little habits that make the big difference. Here are three of our favorite reflections to nurture. Make it a habit to ask yourself these questions regularly:

  1. How do I want to be perceived by others? Why?
  2. What behaviors do I use to demonstrate that?
  3. What more can I do?

How do you increase your (and others’) self-awareness?

Leila Ljungberg

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jason sudeikis som ted lasso

TV-series and leadership

TV-series and leadership

Emma Forsgren

TV-series and leadership

Emma Forsgren

It’s autumn, and finally, we get to curl up on the couch and binge-watch series. Regardless of what I’m watching, the organizational and leadership enthusiast in me always finds parallels. I started with Ted Lasso (highly recommended!) mainly because the Queen of Psychological Safety, Amy Edmondson, recommended it as an entertaining example of creating psychological safety. Now, we’re watching Snabba Cash 2. Not for inspiration for good leadership, to say the least. On the contrary, I’m struck by how many would have survived if these guys had even a tiny, microscopic bit of good leadership in them. Instead of literally threatening someone’s life every time they disagree.

So, what’s the point of this? Most of us are lucky enough to avoid death threats at work, of course. However, really poor, controlling leadership still exists. And while it may not kill employees, it certainly kills the culture, motivation, collaboration, and all the other wonderful, fun, and successful aspects we desire in a workplace.

Control Leadership

  • When I was in my twenties, I worked in an alpine village in Austria in the winters. It was seven absolutely fantastic years – I made friends for life, met my husband of almost 20 years, and learned everything I know about off-piste skiing, Tyrolean German, and après-ski. But also everything I know about really bad leadership. A few examples:
  • When my employer heard that some kitchen staff had eaten ice cream in the kitchen after closing, he chose not to talk to them but instead installed surveillance cameras in the kitchen.Another employer called one evening to inform a loyal employee who had worked for him for many years that she didn’t need to come the next day. Or any other day, without any explanation or argument.
  • While my kitchen colleagues were preparing a staff pasta (included in every 11-hour shift), made from the ends of the filet mignon (you know, the ones that don’t look as nice and can’t be sold), the boss walks into the kitchen and loudly says so all employees can hear: “What are you doing? That meat is too good for staff! Cook it up, and I’ll give it to Jimbo.”

Jimbo was her dog…

This was 20 years ago, but this type of leadership, which causes motivation and engagement to plummet like leaves on a stormy October morning, still exists today! And it contributes to the trend we are now seeing with quiet quitting, an increase in both mental health issues and poor work results. The other day, I heard, for example, that the new owners in a company put a note in the kitchen, among the fine china, and wrote “Management’s tableware” on it. Another workplace, sales-focused, had a Wall of Fame for the best sellers – and a Wall of Shame for the worst. Seriously. Today. How is this possible?

Trust before Control

I think it’s about forgetting to dare to trust each other. We are so conditioned to believe that control creates order that we forget there are other, much more effective paths. Especially for complex tasks that require collaboration (i.e., most of what we do today), research is abundantly clear that we need to feel motivated and psychologically safe to perform well. In the absence of trust, we create cracks, an ‘us and them’ feeling, frustration, and maybe even saboteurs. Conversely, with clear trust and a genuine belief that people want and can do their best if given the chance, we create a positive spiral of many wonderful things. Motivation, performance, inclusion, and ambassadors, for example.


For those who might now be thinking, “But can you just trust people like that? That’s naive! You can be fooled and exploited.” To you, I want to say:
Try it! Take the risk. The next time you encounter a problem that needs solving, try, instead of building in more control, to let go of it. Invite. And choose to trust in people’s ability and willingness to contribute. Create conditions for employees to succeed and see what happens. Trust the process. The world needs more Ted Lassos. 😊

Emma Forsgren

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