ForTheDoers Blog

Coaching, courage and caring – keys to successful leadership

Eveliina Dahl 25 November 2021, 15:40 EET

The pandemic has in many ways been a catapult for a new corporate way of working. It has also required us to lead ourselves and our teams in a different way, with a balancing act between accountability and freedom. We believe that people skills will grow in importance and that coaching, courage, and caring are all key components in our way of leading.

We have learned several things during the past two years, both as individuals and as organisations. Self-leadership has grown stronger and the formal leadership role has also shifted focus, from operations and performance to coaching and creating engagement and motivation. The coaching approach is a foundation in our open leadership principles at Fortum, and during the past years we have seen the importance of the coaching approach in the internal dialogue.

In the leadership trainings that we ran this autumn, more than 600 Fortum leaders discussed and reflected on Hybrid Leadership. Topics like how to create engaging hybrid meetings and the art of courageous leadership were discussed. Sharing best practices and reflecting together with other managers are fruitful ways to adjust to the new way of working.

It takes courage to lead, but it takes even more courage to lead in times of insecurity. It can be uncomfortable to lead a team when the future or even the next day is uncertain, but those who are proactive, who reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses, who speak up when something is wrong, and who help others to flourish are all taking steps of courage.

Leaders are essential in the internal dialogue

Leaders have the power to create engagement and show direction, and they are crucial in any company’s internal communications. International research shows that, regardless of business or continent, employees see the closest manager as the most essential source of information. This conclusion is also mirrored in Fortum’s global survey on internal dialogue, which we conducted among our global workforce earlier this year.

So, how are our line managers doing? The majority of our employees are pleased with their managers’ communication. 81% say that their line managers support a two-way dialogue, and 75% say that their managers make them feel engaged. Well done, Fortum managers!

Not only do managers play an important role when it comes to performance and engagement, but our leaders are also important role models for our organisation when it comes to self-leadership and wellbeing. By allowing yourself to find ways to recharge and reload, through downtime and recovery, you lead by example.
We should all remind ourselves that developing as a leader and fostering a successful team is not a sprint, but rather a marathon.

Eveliina Dahl

Senior Vice President, People and Procurement

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