This is why you should choose your own boss

By Puk Falkenberg, 29. April 2019

Half-year strategy days make room for reflection

Every six months, we meet and take a good look at each other and what we have built. Is our purpose still relevant? Are we still aligned with our shared direction and purpose? What are we going to focus on for the next six months? And most important, HOW are we going to reach what we set up to do?

One of the – to me important – elements in this process is the ‘Choosing your own boss’-part. It rarely takes more than 10 minutes, but it sets the scene for how we all will work together, help and mentor each other as well as focus on ‘people first’ in our colleagues.

The reasons to actually choose your own boss and mentor are clear: It gives you, as an employee, the CHOICE to choose from whom you can learn the most.

What’s the process of choosing your own boss?

The process is fairly simple. Two weeks before our strategy day a notice is send out on Slack, telling everyone to reflect and think about who to choose as your boss or mentor at the upcoming strategy day. At the strategy day each employee shares:

  1. who we choose as our new boss and mentor,
  2. why we choose that person,
  3. and what we would like to learn from that person.

The reason why I keep writing boss and mentor is because the role you are appointed are more of a mentor and coach than an actual boss. But If you were to fire someone (or have a tough conversation), it would be your appointed boss and mentor who had that conversation.

When appointed, you are not on your own. We have a one-to-one toolbox kit, where you as a newly appointed mentor can dive into different models, tools and schemes that will help you mentor, guide and coach your colleague.

What does it mean to choose your own boss?

To be appointed as someone’s new boss and mentor is both exciting and nerve-racking. The first time I was pointed at, about six month ago, I had NO idea what I should do as someone’s new boss and mentor. But I knew we would find the right direction and go somewhere. I was confident in that. But what does it mean to be in the role of ‘the boss’?

You’ll take on the role as boss, mentor, and coach in one big soup of those roles. This means that you have a few airtight responsibilities:

  1. Ensure that you agree mutually on a rhythm for your touchpoints. A rhythm that both is practical and ensures enough support in the right frequency.
  2. Make sure your colleague gets the right support, help, and time to reflect and think-out-loud as needed.

How it speaks to the ‘people first’ guiding principle

‘People first’ is one of the bearing points in modern leadership and is a principle that is recognized in many leadership philosophies. Take a look at these 10 principles of organizational democracy from WorldBlu* as an example. Even though it’s not WorldBlu’s main focus anymore, we can still use them for reflection on every initiative or project we do involving people. Read: Think about these 10 principles in everything you do in your organization.

And if you go through them in the context of choosing your own boss, you’ll see that more than one applies.

*The 10 principles are no longer on their website, but take a look at this TEDx, where Traci Fenton talks about the 10 principles.

How the 10 principles of organizational democracy apply

Purpose + Vision: In our toolbox for one-to-ones we have our Impact Stories. These helps us create our purpose and vision of what we would like to strive to reach. What are our dreams? How are we going to leave an impact? How does this fit into our shared purpose? In our conversation template for the one-to-one meetings, describing your dream job and your personal purpose is the first step.

Dialogue + listening: This is for sure a principle you as a boss and mentor to somebody should strive to ALWAYS focus on. Listen to what your colleague says, needs help for, wishes for, or are in doubt about. Sometimes listening is enough. Other times you need to do the talking, guiding and mentoring.

Fairness + dignity: I remember some leadership guy once saying that to lead everyone equally and with fairness, you must lead everyone individually. And there is something to it. You need to see your colleagues need and help the best you can. People first. But also, you need to be fair without judging that some needs might be different or even weird in your eyes. You should be accommodating differences of those you mentor, guide and help as a boss. People are people and should be respected for that alone.

Transparency: Each one-to-one toolbox and conversation template for every employee in Bloch&Østergaard are accessible through our SharePoint site. In this way we have transparency, and you can be inspired by others dreams and visions. And as we have a great deal of transparency already, it’s hard not to have that in regular one-to-ones as well. But if you don’t, find out how transparent you can be.

Accountability: So, I think this is almost self-explanatory. Choosing your own boss makes you and your new boss accountable for each other to have regular one-to-ones and all that happens in between. When we have a network of bosses and mentors across our small organization this also means that we held each other accountable and help each other being a great boss to one another.

Individual + collective: We actually talk about how each of us contribute at our weekly Friday meetings. We ask ourselves: “What have I done this week to help create organizations where people want to show up?” Sometimes, this talk or reflection is talking into our one-to-ones, but most of the times, it’s said and shared collectively.

Choice: This is actually in the headline of this blog post and is indeed the purpose of choosing your own boss; to choose from whom you can learn the most from the next six months.

Integrity: We talk about values, ethics and morals in plenum. We discuss whether or not to say yes to potential clients who doesn’t help the world become a better place, or the values we bring with us to our clients. Sometimes, we use time on our one-to-ones to calibrate or talk through specific situations. It’s really nice to be able to have these small discussions on integrity. It leaves me proud that we care.

Decentralization: Hopefully, choosing your own boss will not just be something we do when we’re only a small organization. Hopefully, we’ll do this as we grow always having the mentoring power decentralized.

Reflection + Evaluation: A part of the before-mentioned one-to-one toolbox is also retrospectives and keep-and-try exercises. These are used regularly in everything we do, and it would be odd if we didn’t use these tools when mentoring as well. I can only recommend doing a keep-and-try once in a while.

It takes two to make a good boss/employee relationship work

The point is, if you’re a bad boss it’s most likely that you’ll never be chosen again – and maybe even damage the relationship to your colleagues. So, try, do and make it your most important task – It’s all about people first!

Are you looking for
a coach or
a professional mentor?

The world and your employees have changed.
Do you want to keep up
– and shape the future?

Looking for a thought-provoking speaker
with knowledge of the future
and how to turn it into daily life?

Curious on what we do?

Take a look under #blochøstergaard on Instagram

Instagram post 18069444715132398 Kender du forskellen i værdi og effekt på at afholde lange lederudviklingsforløb versus at afholde one-off workshops? 🤔

@erikqstergaard har skrevet om både de indlysende grunde, men også de ikke-så-indlysende grunde. Og spoiler: Det handler om kontinuerlig refleksion og psykologisk tryghed. 🤓🧐
#blochoestergaard #leadershipdevelopment #leadership #culture #learningmoments #reflecsion #psygologicalsafety #leadershipprograms #modernleadership #futureofwork
Instagram post 17890932808394758 Her er en mand, der tænker. 🤔 Måske kommer der noget godt ud af det. ☺️👍🏼
#blochoestergaard #brainstorm #leadershipprogram #culture #futureofwork #futureofleadership #organizations #modernleadership #tealdotsinanorangeworld
Instagram post 17860613851505543 Yay! @Erikqstergaard er featured med hans yndlingsemne på bloggen for hans yndlings konference: Global Peter Drucker forum! 🥳🎈 Emnet er selvfølgelig "The rhythm of the ecosystem", hvor tankerne udspringer fra hans kommende bog Teal Dots in an Orange World. 📗 Så er I nysgerrige, vil se et sneak peak af bogens emne, eller bare er nysgerrige på hvad @globalpeterdruckerforum's blog kan, så lad turen gå til linket i bio, hvor du finder blogindlægget. 📲😃 Repost from @globalpeterdruckerforum - The rhythm of the ecosystem
by Erik Korsvik Østergaard @erikqstergaard

#GPDF19 #ecosystems #ShapeTheDebate
#globalpeterdruckerforum #gpdf19 #blochoestergaard #ecosystems #tealdotsinanorangeworld #teamdots #rhythmofbusiness #futureofwork #futureoforganizations #leadership
Instagram post 17895099886378234 Et af de fedeste tools er en ONA - organisatorisk netværksanalyse. Lyt med i denne podcastepisode, hvor linebloch_ og pukfalken tager dig i hånden!

Repost from blochoestergaard using RepostRegramApp - ONA'en er og bliver et vores yndlings værktøjer. 🛠🙌🏼 Derfor har vi nu også dedikeret en podcastepisode til den. 🎧 Hvis du er nysgerrig på, hvad ONA'en egentlig kan, hvordan du kan spotte forandringsagenter, nøglemedarbejdere og endda se dem, der måske ikke er en del af kulturen, så er det nu, du skal spidse øre. Gå ind i din nærmeste podcastapp, søg på 'Fremtidens Ledelse To-Go', tryk start på episode 34 og læn dig tilbage. Og, som noget nyt kan vi fortælle, at podcasten også er at finde på den nye podcastplatform Podimo. 🙌🏼🥳 Velkommen til podcastverden podimo_dk vi glæder os til at se, hvor det bærer hen. 🤩
Episodens værter er: linebloch_ og pukfalken. 🎙🤓🦠 ______________
#blochoestergaard #ONA #OrganizationalNetworkAnalysis #organizing #organization #futureoforganizations #modernleadership #ledelse #fremtidensledelsetogo #podcast #podimo #podimopodcast
Instagram post 17842221949663917 Strategidag blev afsluttet - som vanligt - på #nimb #blochøstergaard #strategidag
Instagram post 17894026597385763 Tid til at få taget nye billeder. 📸 Vi har besøg af @trmediadenmark, som tradition tro foreviger os. Det er skide sjovt og billederne bliver altid fantastiske. Glæd jeg til de endelige resultater. 📷🤩
#blochoestergaard #strategidag #moderneledelse #futureofwork #teamet #fremtidensledelse #blochøstergaard
Instagram post 18063170149179770 Hvert halve år har vi strategidag, og i dag er sådan en dag. 😄🙌🏼 Det betyder vi alle er samlet hele dagen med det formål at gå igennem vores forretning og stretagi. I år har vi følgende på vores agenda: Formål, Business Model Canvas, Aktioner, Business Value Poker og så skal vi alle vælge ny mentor for de kommende seks måneder. 🙂 - Og sidst men ikke mindst så spiser vi god mad og drikker cocktails. 🥂
Vi vil løbende dele hvad vi laver på story, så følg med - og stil endeligt spørgsmål, hvis I måtte have nogen. 😃
#Blochøstergaard #knowledgesharing #inspire #futureofwork #futureofleadership #enable #futureofwork #leadership #modernleadership #modernorganization #organization #organisation #blochoestergaard #changemanagement #workshop #waysofworking #agilewaysofworking #modernpeopleleadership #strategidag
Instagram post 18094061290067286 Har du lyst til at hacke fremtiden? Vi afholder i år (igen) Hacktober. Konceptet går ud på at bruge 24 timer på at hacke fremtidens organisationer. Er du frisk?
Send mig en besked eller besøg 💪🏼👍🏼 #hacktober #blochoestergaard blochoestergaard
Instagram post 18017949880237455 Følger du vores vidensbombe af en nyhedsmail? 📧
Hver måned deler vi artikler, podcasts og videoer som vi har fundet interessant og relevante. Alle fortalt med et overordnet tema, der skaber sammenhæng fra den viden du modtager og til hvad du kan gøre i din hverdag. Så manger du, dine kolleger eller leder relevant inspiration? Så følg linket i bio og sign-up i bunden af siden. 🖋✉️📥🤓 _______________
#Blochoestergaard #nyhedsmail #signup #futureofwork #moderneledelse #futureofleadership #leadership #changemanagement #waysofworking #agile #agilechange #modernpeopleleadership #peopleleadership #organizing #theresponsiveleader #modernoeganization #innovation
Instagram post 18068572408088482 Yay! Bogen The Responsive Leader har vundet bronze i independent Publisher Book Award 2019. 🎉😃 @erikqstergaard er SÅ glad og stolt af, at nogen har fundet bogen brugbar og værdifuld.
Tillykke til Erik, for at vinde bronze i kategorien “business/careers/sales”. 🥳
#Blochøstergaard #theresponsiveleader #futureofwork #innovation #organization #leadership #change #knowledgesharing #inspire #futureofwork #futureofleadership #enable #futureofwork #leadership #modernleadership #modernorganization #organization #waysofworking
Instagram post 18080702920101874 Kender du begrebet VUCA World? VUCA står for: Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity og Ambiguity. Men det alene, gør dig ikke klogere på, hvad VUCA betyder og hvilke muligheder det bringer. For hvad betyder det egentligt at leve i en VUCA verden? 🤔 Det har @pukfalken skrevet lidt om i seneste blogindlæg, hvor hun kæder det, at vi befinder os i en VUCA verden sammen med at se mulighederne i vores rolle som leder. 👩🏻‍💼👨🏻‍💼 Find blogindlægget via link i bio. 👉🏼🖥
#Blochøstergaard #futureofwork #vucaworld #innovation #organization #leadership #change #knowledgesharing #inspire #futureofwork #futureofleadership #enable #futureofwork #leadership #modernleadership #modernorganization #organization #waysofworking
Instagram post 18079546552108502 Udvalgte tools og modeller linet op. What’s not to like! #blochøstergaard #blochoestergaard #altergodt #workworkwork
Instagram post 17843827171617045 Boganbefaling 📖👉🏼 The Fearless Organization af Amy C. Edmondson er en klar anbefaling fra @arb.use og @erikqstergaard. De er enige om, at Amy gør begrebet 'psykologisk sikkerhed' nærværende og håndgribeligt. Hun beskriver konceptet på en simpel og nem måde, har forståelige cases med og bruger research og konkrete eksempler på at understøtte pointerne. En klar anbefaling til både medarbejdere og ledere, som er interesseret i psykologisk tryghed og hvad det betyder for en organisation. 
Stjerner herfra: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ __________________
#blochoestergaard #amyedmondson #thefearlessorganization #psykologisksikkerhed #Psychologicalsafety #organization #organizing #tryghed #arbejdsplads #blochøstergaard  #theresponsiveleader
Instagram post 18075485578115819 Der er nyt i indbakken til de af jer, som følger med på den front. Følger du ikke med, så følg link i bio og scroll ned i bunden, hvor du nemt kan signe up! Vores nyhedsmail er altid fyldt med artikler og inspiration - og det er ikke kun vores eget indhold, men det vi finder spændende og relevant at dele med jer. Så sign up og bliv inspireret 👉🏼💌📥 #blochoestergaard #yougotmail
Instagram post 17848873723574171 Der er under 100 dage til @erikqstergaard’s nye bog 'Teal Dots in an Orange World', og nøj hvor vi glæder os. 🎉

Et hurtigt tilbageblik fortæller os, at for 2 år siden sad Erik og @linebloch_ og redigerede på den første bog: 'The Responsive Leader', og selvsamme øvelse for 'Teal Dots in an Orange World' er afsluttet. 📖🥂 Nu begynder næste fase i bogprocessen: Indsamling af anbefalinger og endorsments til bogens cover og udarbejdelse af en markedsføringsplan. 🤓👏🏻#throughback #theresponsiveleader #tealdotsinanorangeworld #blochoestergaard
Instagram post 17843546344615078 💬 ”Karriererådet, som jeg ville ønske, at jeg havde fået tidligere, er at du er bedst, når du prioriterer din egen tid. Det handler ikke om at have travlt, eller se travl ud. Det handler om at skabe værdi hele vejen rundt; for dig selv, dine kolleger, forretningen og for samfundet. Det er svært, hvis du ikke selv prioriterer din tid, eller ved, hvornår du er mest effektiv. Hvis du har en colgate-kalender (nul huller), sidder i møder som ikke er relevante eller giver mening og laver pseudo-opgaver, så er det svært at være effektiv og skabe værdi. Hvis jeg havde vidst, hvor vigtigt det er, at du kan prioritere din tid, og dermed vide hvordan du leder efter værdi; siger ja til det der giver mening, og nej til det der ikke gør, så havde jeg brugt mere tid på at øve netop det. Prioritering – og ikke kun af tid – er i virkeligheden en stor del af ens liv og arbejde. Sætningen: ”Det har jeg ikke haft tid til” er i virkeligheden et udtryk for, at man valgte at prioritere noget andet. Og så bør man spørge sig selv: Er det fordi det ikke er vigtigt?” – pukfalken, Partner og rådgiver i Bloch&Østergaard.
👉 Læs mere om Puks ledelseserfaringer, og få indblik i hendes rejse fra at være medarbejder til at blive leder i artikel via link i bio.
📸 runelundoephotography.
• • •
#dkledelse #ledelse #lederne #lederskab #råd #karriere #lederudvikling #medarbejder #job #work #blochøstergaard #minlederrejse