In a fast changing world and an increasingly insecure economic and political environment resilience, adaptability, lifelong learning and trust seem to be the new differentiators deciding on success or failure. Artificial Intelligence, Digitalization, Agility, from ’product to service’ and from ‘service to experience’ seem constant asks to change what we know and how we operate.
On the other hand we talk about flexible working-time and -place, mobility, work life integration, New Work and new ways of leadership. Workforce is diverse, multi-generational, eager to develop and firm in ensuring they follow a purpose and do not sacrifice their personal striving for fulfilment.
Would it not be surprising if leadership would not have to define itself afresh?
Angela Todisco is Head of Human Resources EMEA North. That includes end-to-end HR responsibility for France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, and the Nordics. She is responsible for shaping and executing the People Strategy for over 8.000 employees within the region.
Angela started her professional career as Recruiting Consultant and joined DNV Germany as HR Business Partner in 2001. Since joining SAP in 2005 she held different responsibilities in SAP´s HR Business Partner team.
In September 2017 Angela was appointed Head of Human Resources EMEA North. In this role she is leading the team of HR Directors in her region and is the trusted HR Business Partner for the Regional President for EMEA North. She is driving various strategic HR initiatives, aiming at enabling leaders and employees to run at their best and unleash their full potential in an open and trusted environment that fosters innovation.
Leaders are thrown back to simple values
We come from a system where the best expert was promoted because he knew the job best. In a time where knowledge is convenience and information is available nearly infinitely, this does no longer seem to work as a road to success.
Nowadays on a scale of most important things for a leader technical expertise ranks somewhere in the middle, after inspiring and motivating others, displaying integrity and honesty, problem solving, drive for results, clear and powerful communication, promoting teamwork and building relationships. Does this sound dehumanized or sacrificed to automatization?
Seems like the faster the world moves the more we are thrown back to simple values. The current motive of a ‘servant leader’ seamlessly fits into a learning culture of encouragement and enablement. Leaders see themselves benefitting from and supporting their teams rather than exploiting them for their own next career step. In encouraging their teams to be at their personal best they add to employee satisfaction and retention and with each percentage they increase around 45 billion $ on their companies operating profit. So this is not just nice to have but if neglected damaging economic success.
Christine Caine states: “To build a strong team, you must see someone else`s strength as a complement to your weakness not a threat to your position or authority.“
The power of WE is no longer a possibility
So, with SAP`s value proposition “Bring everything you are – become everything you want” this individual aspiration to outperform oneself is the permission to stretch boundaries and discover options beyond the habitual paths. It also is a clear commitment to foster growth and diversity – with that an outspoken guiding principle for leaders to help their teams grow and develop. Leadership principles underline this: Drive simplicity, develop amazing talent, ensure customer success.
Leaders who keep focused on prioritizing goals, developing their teams, keeping communication up also in critical situations, and embracing insufficiency rather than covering up will build natural followers and will be self-sufficient in turbulent times. With utilizing the advantages of a connected world and the availability of diverse talent to sparkle innovation the power of WE is no longer a possibility but a clear mandate.
And we will have reached a new change in leadership when we do no longer have to lable them.
SAP is the world’s largest business software company. We serve some of the most amazing customers – and we always have exciting projects on the go. Our mission is to Run Simple, and we’re big on using our technological and business know-how to make the world a better place. Our people are innovators, leaders, and all around great human beings. They come from many different countries, speak many different languages – and bring their own unique experiences to the table. At SAP, you’ll flourish in an environment that encourages free expression, collaboration, individuality, and diversity. Gender equality is an important part of our mission – and we’re committed to having at least 28% women in leadership by 2020 and 30 percent in 2022.