Good at relationship-oriented leadership?

by Therese Johansson

It is fascinating to have the insight and acceptance that everything we do is in the nature of a living, ever-changing organism.

I train and develop companies, organizations, managers/leaders and employees on a daily basis. I guarantee that we face the same challenges in NLC, as in the companies we collaborate with. We have just prepared the NLC to face a period of growth, where everyone working within the company has had a say in the new directives. Despite this, when we pushed the button, we entered the process of change and instead of cooperation, it became counter-operation.
- How is it that? you think now
- Yes, it's called being human. Man is not perfect and will never be perfect, but we can take our responsibility and train ourselves to be a little better day by day!

The importance of daring to be challenged as a manager/leader

Of course, I have a "sparring partner" who challenges me as a business leader. I have to admit that I feel a certain irritation when I am lectured in my own words.
"Therese, you can't just be a leader. You also need to have the courage to be a manager and ensure that NLC's framework and what NLC stands for, is lived up to in practice by you and your team.”
Did I get annoyed with my "sparring partner"? Nix, I got annoyed with myself. It is easy to run around and tell "conclusions" here and there, but living as you are taught requires, for example:
• Continuous daily training, reminders and repetitions
• A brave and honest "sparring partner"
• Continuous inspiration and development material with exercises etc.
• Do, act and show, not talk and talk about
• Etc

The relationship with my horse

In this metaphor, my horse is my co-worker and I, as the rider, am the boss/leader. Now I take another example of how we cannot hide our responsibility, behind how long we have been manager/leader.

My horse is incredibly good at kickboxing (kicking out the back). In my wild pursuit to get him to stop running with his butt in the air, I am continuously training for coaches, several different coaches with different angles to clarify. I rode for a trainer last week and we filmed while I rode. There she made me aware that my hand followed forward when I rode lightly (up and down in the saddle). The problem was when I sat down in the saddle, I pulled the reins back. What I communicated to my horse was to accelerate and brake at the same time. The punishment was that he communicated to me "that I should toughen up" by throwing my ass up to the ceiling...
When my trainer and I left the stable, she said;

- Your horse is very secure with you and dares to speak up properly when something is wrong instead of shutting down.
I took it as a very big compliment as I would have had an incredible stomach ache if he hadn't spoken up when I apparently sat and gassed, braked at the same time = conveyed different messages, year in and year out.

Create secure relationships

What I want to say with this metaphor is that we as managers/leaders must have the courage to create secure relationships with our employees so they dare to speak up when we do not have the skills and experience to do or communicate correctly. Thus we develop together just as my horse and I develop together. We are a team and we need each other to move forward in our development. Sometimes, however, my horse is out cycling and then he may need a well-deserved correction to stay within the framework (read leadership). In order to improve the competence and timing, in all my communication with him, I train continuously for coaches, together with him.

Together, without prestige, we become better and stronger.
Choose cooperation instead of opposition!