Kategoriarkiv: leadership development programmes

Free leadership development sessions for Women

Yesterday, I released Half the World’s Free leadership development sessions to women in Mumbai, India. More than 1000 women immediately showed interest for the programs. Unfortunately there is a weakness in the link between the FB ad and the system which is releasing the free sessions. For everybody who want to join, please use this link to get the free sessions on your personal email.

https://halftheworld.simplero.com/page/66279.js

Isn’t this fantastic?? Half the World’s free leadership learning sessions; » 4 Steps Towards Becoming a Confident Woman Leader» has had a response far above my expectations. While we debate why there are so few women in leadership positions, even in Norway, to me this is a strong signal that women want to lead, and they want gain leadership knowledge, which enables them to break away from traditional thinking, cultural and political barriers, and  the famous glass ceilings, which still exist about women’s roles and responsibilities.

I am so happy to hear from all the women who have taken time to send me messages of appreciation, commitment to leadership and determination to learn.  It is a call for further action, and I am looking very much forward to the continuation.

These online learning sessions are free.   Women, who would like to join, can register either on my FB adverts which are circulating to recruit women from different countries, on my FB page, Half the World, or on the contact form on my website:
www. halveverden.wordpress.com.

Although I won’t be advertising these free programs forever, women can join on their own leisure by contacting me. There is no time pressure on finalizing the free program, and there are no tests or exams at the end.

The important right now is the investment these women makes in their own learning and the breakthrough this start may make to women’s participation in their own countries, in government, organizations or private enterprises and businesses. While they now reflect on their own motivation and aspirations and how to develop further skills and experiences, they have already started an important journey and joined a movement which can become very big if we continue to join hands around the world.

leadership and learning

Leadership is no quick fix, and especially not for women in developing countries where they have had little or no chance to lead. We know that women will continue to challenged and scrutinized as leaders. However, the better we are prepared, the more open we are about our challenges, the more knowledge and experience we will gain, the better programs we develop to address the challenges and break barriers and glass ceilings.

Leadership development is a never ending journey. This is why it is so important that women join hands and form groups and networks for learning and experience sharing. «To travel alone is lonely, to travel together is an adventure, where we see much more, learn easier, meet others, and experience things we would otherwise never have detected about ourselves, and others!»

women power circle

We have just started this fantastic journey, SO  «A luta continua» ! The most important now is that we are on our way !

With more women in leadership position, change will come in many areas where participation of women has been tokenism. Realization of women’s rights for women will be on women’s premises. This is long overdue as women have been excluded from decision making decisions about matters that concern their lives for far too long.

womancan do it

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Sett deg på taket og la kråka ta deg!

 kunstutstillingenTrysilfjellet-Kreta-InnspillingavHVprogramvideo 227

Jeg sendte nettopp inn et nytt Meldekort for Arbeidssøkende til NAV. Det føles like selvmotsigende hver gang jeg gjør det, men siden jeg nå en gang er arbeidssøker, må jeg likevel gjøre det. Jeg fikk godkjent «arbeidsløshetstrygd» som det en gang het,  for to år fra 2014,  og melder derfor fra til NAV om at jeg fortsatt vil ha det en gang hver 14 dag.

«Hvorfor», spør du sikkert, gjør jeg det,  jeg som er frisk og rask, høyt utdannet, kompetent, arbeidsvillig og arbeidsfør, som har mer enn 20 års erfaring fra topplederstillinger i flere FN organisasjoner ved hovedkvarterer og i utviklingsland? Svaret er ganske enkelt; jeg er for gammel til å få jobb i Norge, og ikke minst til å komme inn på arbeidsmarkedet igjen !

Jeg fikk jobb i UNICEF i Tanzania og forlot Norge i 1993. Fram til 2013 var jeg og min familie «midlertidig utvandret» fra Norge, noe som man blir når man jobber for FN. Vi bodde og jobbet i sju forskjellige land på fem kontinenter men har aldri snudd Norge ryggen i denne lange perioden. Vi har holdt kontakt med familie, venner og tidligere arbeidskollegaer, lært ungene norsk ,og holdt oss godt orientert om det som skjer hjemme.

Jeg tok en Mastergrad i Ledelse av Innovasjon og Endring ved universitetet i York nylig, for å fylle på den tidligere utdanningen min og sette de internasjonale erfaringene mine i nytt perspektiv. Jeg hadde aldri drømt om at jeg ikke skulle få jobb i Norge da jeg vendte hjem med all min rike erfaring og «up to date» kompetanse fra et svært allsidig opphold i utlandet i bagasjen.

Men så var det alderen, da. Jeg var jo naturligvis over 45 da vi kom hjem, og hadde vært ute av det norske arbeidslivet i 20 år. MEN, jeg hadde jo arbeidet hele tiden i alle de åra vi var ute, og gjort karriere i  FN systemet. Blant annet har jeg vært UNICEF Representant i Uganda (a.i.), og The Islamic Republic ofIran, Direktør i UNAIDS i Geneve,  og i UNICEFs Nødhjelpsdivisjon i New York. Jeg  avsluttet min utlandskarriere i stillingen som UNDP Representant og FNs stedlige koordinator i Namibia.  Min rike erfaring har diskvalifisert meg for jobber  i Norge,  et land som ellers klager over at vi har for få kvinner med ledelseserfaring fra toppstillinger og ledererfaring fra utlandet!

Jeg har gått på med friskt mot,  men stadig fått høre at » Du er overkvalifisert», til jeg sluttet å spørre og bry meg om og søke nye stillinger. Jeg visste jo hva svaret ville bli.

Jeg har også oppdaget at » de» mener at jeg «kan for mye» til at organisasjonen tørr å engasjere meg, siden jeg har kompetanse, erfaring og innsikt som utfordrer organisasjonene spesielt fordi de ikke ønsker at folk med profesjonell innovasjons- og endringsbakgrunn skal stille kritiske spørsmål og pirke for mye borti intern organisasjonskultur. Det kunne lett bli for mye «kritikk «, og det er i hvert fall noe OrganisasjonsNorge ikke vil ha noe av. Vi har det bra som vi har det!  Det offentlige Norge er ikke bedre, og ser heller ikke verdien i å tilegne seg kunnskap og innsikt fra oss som har arbeidet på forskjellig plan i FN systemet.

Sannheten er likevel først og fremst alder – ingen vil ansette en godt voksen kvinne, en senior arbeidstaker, uansett hvor godt kvalifisert, frisk og «oppegående» en måtte være i hodet og fysisk. «60 er det nye 40», leste jeg i en artikkel her om dagen. «Det betyr at vi må ta bedre vare på folk over 60 siden de ikke lenger er like utdaterte som sin foreldregenerasjon», leste jeg videre. «Ha, ha, Give me a break,» tenkte jeg, som har sendt mer enn 100 jobbsøknader og bare fått avslag. Det er bare noe de sier for å tekkes oss voksne, politisk. Det gjelder i hvert fall ikke på arbeidsmarkedet.

Norge er i forandring og det har helt klart endret seg mye over de siste 20 åra. Det er i langt større grad blitt et aldersfiendtlig land  der voksne folk ikke respekteres for sine bidrag, og der «alderskortet» bare spilles når de politiske partiene vil tiltrekke seg oss velgere. Det ble derfor et stort kultursjokk for meg å komme hjem til Norge. Faktisk et langt større sjokk enn det jeg fikk da jeg reiste ut for å jobbe i utviklingsland første gang.

Et forhold som jeg ikke slutter å forundre meg over, er at mens du som senior blir meget høyt verdsatt for din innsikt, kunnskap og erfaring i utviklingsland, ja til og med i USA,  underkjenner Norge nettopp denne kunnskapen, kompetansen og erfaringen som irrelevant. Hva er det som skjer i forståelsen av verden mellom utviklingsland og Norge? Passer kunnskapen og erfaringen våre ikke inn i det verdensbildet myndigheter og organisasjoner liker å tegne ut fra et norsk politisk perspektiv?

Tror de kanskje at vi er blitt hjernevasket eller innskrenket i tankegangen av å jobbe med utviklingsspørsmål  og nødhjelp på heltid over mange år ? Eller er de kanskje redde for å vise svakheter i egen kunnskap om det som egentlig skjer der ute ? Mange spørsmål dukker opp når det er så liten åpen debatt om slike saker i et land som Norge.

Det er en slags regel i Norge at» du ikke skal være ute for lenge». Har du vært ute i flere år enn det som passer inn i den norske normen diskvalifiserer det deg nemlig for jobber her hjemme. Du blir mistenkt for å ha mistet kontakten med » det norske» eller perspektivet på det som er riktige meninger fra den norske tankebobla. I et samfunn med økt fokus på internasjonalisering og integrering,  blir jo dette helt feil,  eller?

Fra å lede og aktivt arbeide på høyeste nivå med gjennomføring av store og viktige programmer, prosesser og konvensjoner i samarbeid med regjeringer og organisasjoner, er det fortsatt vanskelig å forstå at INGEN organisasjoner i Norge har bruk for slik kompetanse og erfaring. Det virker helt absurd , særlig etter den siste  ukas debatt i media der det påpekes at det er svært stor mangel på kvinner med internasjonal lederkompetanse og erfaring her i landet.

Selv om sikkert mange synes at en heller bør sitte  i en god stol og lese noveller, er det andre som av helsemessige årsaker mener aktivitet er det beste for sinn og kropp.  Jeg tror på det siste. Å jobbe og bidra i samfunnsutviklingen, bruke sin kompetanse, lange og rike arbeidserfaring, og føle seg nyttig,  må ikke bli uglesett.  Likevel – » i dette «annerledeslandet», tror mange fortsatt at folk over 45 er utgått på dato.

At eldrebølgen kommer er det mange som snakker som om den er en fjern trussel. At den faktisk allerede er over oss er det svært få som tørr å innrømme.  Etterkrigsbarna er allerede pensjonister og flere kommer. Skal Norge som samfunn klare sine forpliktelser overfor oss som vil kreve full uttelling av pensjon og andre ytelser, må vi være glade for at det finnes folk som ønsker å arbeide utover den fastsatte adersgrensen.  Men da må vi også få adgang til arbeidslivet på lik linje med de yngre, og arbeide med saker  vi kan mye om og har stor erfaring med.

Interessen for et inkluderende, integrert  og vennligsinnet arbeidsliv,  åpent for voksne arbeidstakere,  må prioriteres og framelskes av de store organisasjonene; NHO, LO og de andre fagorganisasjonene.

Hva har så dette med NAV å gjøre? Jo, det er nemlig der vi ender, vi som egentlig ønsker å  være yrkesaktive,  som vil bruke og dele kunnskapen og erfaringene våre,  som nekter å gi opp statusen vår som arbeidssøkende selv om åra går og antallet grå hår øker. Vi som tror på livslang læring og at deling av kunnskap er det viktigste som skjer i arbeidslivet og samfunnet, vi som fortsatt håper at noen vil ta oss inn i varmen for å dele og delta. Alternativet er jo å sette seg på taket og la kråka ta deg, men det er jo egentlig ikke et alternativ for et oppegående menneske?!

Etterord; Selv om jeg  er svært  overrasket over at jeg ikke har kommet inn i arbeidslivet igjen etter at jeg kom hjem til Norge,  er jeg stadig optimistisk. Jeg jobber imidlertid med å skape min egen jobb, og har mange prospekter i sikte selv om det tar tid. Heldigvis har Innovasjon Norge og Hedmark Kunnskaps Park tro på det jeg og det hjelper stort på selvtillit og selvfølelse.

Siden jeg er opptatt av diskusjonen omkring verdien av et inkluderende arbeidsliv har jeg med vilje brukt  min egen situasjon til å illustrere hvordan høyt kvalifiserte, kompetente og erfarne voksne kvinner blir ekskludert  på arbeidsmarkedet i Norge i dag.   Jeg skjønner ikke at Norge som nasjon har » råd» til å holde så mange av oss  utenfor arbeidslivet for så isteden  betale oss for det.

 

Lost in translation!

 Jante illustrasjon

When I travel, mostly in Africa, I always experience interesting things. This time it is about language. While I travel with ease in countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, getting to some extent  along with my not so good Kiswahili, and my Norwegian English, I also disembark in countries like Mozambique where people speak Portuguese.There, I am at least for the time being totally lost in translation. Getting around in English is a challenge, even in Maputo, so when I am lost and trying to make myself understand using a few English words, people shake their heads, smile at me, and that’s it!

And then, there is also language and language! You do not necessarily understand the spoken English in any African country because you speak English. The local English, where there is one, will be sprinkled with «herbs» and slang from that country or the local community’s dialect. This often pose another challenge, and an even greater one, since local  people do not  necessarily understand why you do not understand!!

Now it is Portuguese and while I understand a few words and expressions, I am unfortunately not in position to formulate any sentences! I am leaning on my friends who have lived here for some years, and after they have entered the conversation, locals continue to talk with them rather than me, and I, I am utterly lost in translation, having no clue about what is being discussed over my head!

«Portuguese is an easy language to learn», many says. «Since you know English very well, you won’t have any problems to learn the language», just get started.

Weeeell, I took the challenge and started, just to realize that I had bought a Brazilian Portuguese program, which of course, according to the Mozambicans, at least, is a very different Portuguese than what they speak in Maputo, and a very, very, different one from what they speak in the provinces and villages, if they speak Portuguese there at all !!

Last time I visited, I was asked if I had any information material about Half the World in Portuguese, it would help such a lot to effectively disseminate the enterprise’s vision, mission, philosophy and programs!

A good idea, I thought, and engaged the only Portuguese person I know about, who fortunately happens to live in our village.

Graca,  who is not only an expert teacher in Portuguese, but also an English teacher at our daughter’s school, fortunately took the challenge and translated swiftly my information brochure to Portuguese. Happily, I brought it along to Maputo, thinking that it would be easier to finalize the brochure here with a local bureau, and print it right away!

How wrong could I be?? I sought expert advice from an old colleague who told me that almost everything that’s being produced of printed material for use i Mozambique is designed and printed in South Africa!  «Mozambique», he told me, «is the most expensive country to do any printing in! Take it home, he suggested, «and bring the brochures along in your suitcase next time you visit!  And…….., by the way, ask some Maputo Mozambicans to read through your Portuguese brochure text! There is a rather big difference between the Mozambican Portuguese and the one they speak in Portugal !»

Hellooo!!! –  if you thought that the same language is spoken or even written the same way everywhere, you better change your mind! No

Fortunately, I brought a few hundreds of my English brochures along and use them until I get the right version Portuguese text for my brochure and my understanding of Portuguese right.

Cheers,

Invester i deg selv! Utvikle ditt ledertalent!

Halve Verdens lederutviklingsprogrammer for kvinner, utviklet av kvinner for kvinner,  er nå åpne for registrering.

De nettbaserte programmene er laget for deg som har en travel hverdag og som trenger fleksibilitet til å studere når du har tid og mulighet – om dette er hjemme, på jobben eller andre steder der du har internettilgang. Programmene er interaktive og setter deg i kontakt med andre kvinner som er i samme situasjon som deg gjennom webinarer og Facebooksiden som er opprettet spesielt for programdeltakerne.

Kursprogrammene vil bli satt i gang i løpet av senhøsten og tar for seg temaer som gjør deg til en bedre og mer reflektert leder og diskuterer utfordringer som kvinner møter i lederrollen. Les mer Invester i deg selv! Utvikle ditt ledertalent!

Half the World’s Web-based Leadership Programmes for Women in English are now open for registration !

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I am happy to announce that Half the World’s internet based Leadership Development Programmes for women at introductory and middle level are now registering participants for programmes starting soon, hopefully already mid-August 2014.

At the moment Half the World offers two web-based leadership development programmes for women:

1. Introductory level leadership development programme, targeting women with very little or no leadership experience but with interest to learn and take up a future career in leadership.

The Introduction to leadership programme consists of 5 video lectures supported by 2 webinars and assignments to be reflected upon by the participants, and discussed during the online webinars. The programme has its own workbook, which will be shared with the participants after registration. Les mer Half the World’s Web-based Leadership Programmes for Women in English are now open for registration !

Authentic leadership – the future leadership style?

 

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Most leadership theory is written by men for men. Thousands and thousands of leadership and management books fill shelves in libraries and bookshop around the world. Some are more appealing than others, but they have one common purpose, to make us believe that their theory and their strategy will save your business, enhance your economy or make your organisation run more smoothly, and make the world go around.

While there are dozens of leadership theories competing for our attention, claiming that one is better and more relevant in today’s market than the other , the world has never experienced seen such a number of leadership crises that we see today.  The list is too long to mention them all, and it is often enough to read news or watch TV and your home is filled with the international leadership crises- be it Syria, South Sudan, Central African Republic or Darfur, or the international financial crisis or corruption, which is undermining development and progress in a large number of countries around the world, or the exploitation of resources like minerals, gas and oil in countries which are known to have high corruption levels and weak governance structures and leadership.

I am not surprised though that there are so few female leaders in high level positions and leadership since very few women would like to live the same lives under the same pressure and conditions that most men do.  When that is said, I think it would be worthwhile to assess whether the world would have been easier

It is difficult to point to ONE successful living leader in public and private enterprises, if you do, somebody will always make a claim on the person and tell you the stories you have not yet heard!

I often wonder what we are missing in these times where there is so much knowledge, skills and experience around that could inform and help leaders to perform better, be more focused and exercise their leadership function more effectively?  Are we missing something, or have we lost something essential in our lives?  Are we performing in a role rather than being our true selves? It is true that leading is also about performing and that we step in and out of different roles as leaders all the time. But do we need to loose our inner values and norms to become world class leaders?

I do not think so and I would therefore like to introduce you to another leadership theory, which is becoming more and more popular especially among female leaders, namely Authentic leadership.

Although the theory is becoming increasingly popular, literature on this topic is limited. The best known book on this theme was written by Bill George in 2003, while Sheryl Sandberg’s «Lean In» from 2013 also addresses some of it’s features. Robin Sharma is also one of the most popular writers and coaches who is promoting authentic leadership through his courses and individual sessions.

After researching the topic and assessed how it well it would apply to women’s leadership, Half the World is promoting Authentic Leadership to women who want to pursue a career in  leadership or improve  their leadership practices.

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We believe that the times of old fashioned male authoritative leadership styles are gone and that there is a need for a leadership style that promotes what is also appreciating feminine values and promotes women as they are; honest, genuine and attentive to the challenges they meet.

Authentic leadership is without doubt also a leadership theory, which can help men understand and lead women in a better way and also find their own way to become better leaders. While Half the World emphasizes this as a female leadership style, it should therefore also be of interest to our male counterparts.

Many leadership experts promote authentic leadership directly and indirectly and often links it to transformational and inspirational/motivational leadership theory. This is good since authentic leadership promotes transformation and motivates change with leaders and individuals.

What distinguishes authentic leadership from other leadership theory is that it is about being your true self also when you are trusted with leadership responsibilities. So what is it and who is practiced?

Since there has already been quite a lot of research in this area, I will introduce you to a set of guding principles,which have been developed by Holden Leadership Centre at the University of Oregon,USA, for what authentic leaders do;

  1. They speak their truth. In business today, we frequently ‘swallow our truth’. We say things to please others and to look good in front of The Crowd. Authentic leaders are different. They consistently talk truth. They would never betray themselves by using words that are not aligned with who they are. This does not give anyone a license to say things that are hurtful to people. Speaking truth is simply about being clear, being honest and being authentic.
  2. They lead from the heart. Business is about people. Leadership is about people. The best leaders wear their hearts on their sleeves and are not afraid to show their vulnerability. They genuinely care about other people and spend their days developing the people around them. They are like the sun: the sun gives away all it has to the plants and the trees. But in return, the plants and the trees always grow toward the sun.
  3. They have rich moral fiber. Who you are speaks far more loudly than anything you could ever say. Strength of character is true power – and people can feel it a mile away. Authentic leaders work on their character. They walk their talk and are aligned with their core values. They are noble and good. And in doing so, people trust, respect and listen to them.
  4. They are courageous. It takes a lot of courage to go against the crowd. It takes a lot of courage to be a visionary. It takes a lot of inner strength to do what you think is right even though it may not be easy. We live in a world where so many people walk the path of least resistance. Authentic leadership is all about taking the road less traveled and doing, not what is easy, but what is right.
  5. They build teams and create communities. One of the primary things that people are looking for in their work experience is a sense of community. In the old days, we got our community from where we lived. We would have block parties and street picnics. In the new age of work, employees seek their sense of community and connection from the workplace. Authentic leaders create workplaces that foster human linkages and lasting friendships.
  6. They deepen themselves. The job of the leader is to go deep. Authentic leaders know themselves intimately. They nurture a strong self-relationship. They know their weaknesses and play to their strengths. And they always spend a lot of time transcending their fears.
  7. They are dreamers. Einstein said that, «Imagination is more important than knowledge.» It is from our imaginations that great things are born. Authentic leaders dare to dream impossible dreams. They see what everyone else sees and then dream up new possibilities. They spend a lot of time with their eyes closed creating blueprints and fantasies that lead to better products, better services, better workplaces and deeper value. How often do you close your eyes and dream?
  8. They care for themselves. Taking care of your physical dimension is a sign of self-respect. You can’t do great things at work if you don’t feel good. Authentic leaders eat well, exercise and care for the temples that are their bodies. They spend time in nature, drink plenty of water and get regular massages so that, physically, they are operating at planet-class levels of performance.
  9. They commit to excellence rather than perfection. No human being is perfect. Every single one of us is a work in progress. Authentic leaders commit themselves to excellence in everything that they do. They are constantly pushing the envelope and raising their standards. They do not seek perfection and have the wisdom to know the difference. What would your life look like if you raised your standards well beyond what anyone could ever imagine of you?
  10. They leave a legacy. To live in the hearts of the people around you is to never die. Success is wonderful but significance is even better. You were made to contribute and to leave a mark on the people around you. In failing to live from this frame of reference, you betray yourself. Authentic leaders are constantly building their legacies by adding deep value to everyone that they deal with and leaving the world a better place in the process. Source: Robin Sharma, author of ‘The Saint, The Surfer and The CEO’.

I am sure many of you will identify with the above principles and appreciate why Half the World claims that authentic leadership is a style that suits women best.

I would very much like to hear your comments and receive contributions and comments on this issue.

Please use the contact form and the email link to keggemeister@gmail.com for this purpose.