The long-haul leaders

Ragnhild Kvålshaugen

Listen to podcast – What are the magic tricks of long-serving CEOs?

According to research, long-serving CEOs perform better, but still, the average tenure for top managers are only 3-7 years. How do those that stay longer at the helm manage to continuously develop the employees, the culture, and performance throughout long periods of time?

In this episode of Stay Ahead you will hear Gjensidige’s CEO Helge Leiro Baastad and Professor Chair Ragnhild Kvålshaugen talk about strategies to always keep a fresh perspective by balancing stability and change.

Extreme ambitions, humbleness, and ability to adapt

Managers that hold their chair for shorter time-spans often have the need to show off their worth, and can end up being focused on delivering short-term goals.

But top leaders must have a long-term focus, spending enough time on the strategics, while at the same time having the ability to adapt and be agile. On the more personal side, the leader should be humble and authentic, being open about own strengths and weaknesses

After holding the CEO-role at Gjensidige for almost 20 years, Leiro Baastad has also found it useful to state extreme ambitions that motivate and energize the employees.

Tasks, change, or relationships – What to focus on as a leader?

According to Kvålshaugen, research on leadership emphasizes three dimensions: orientation to task, change, and relationships. The latter is the most crucial one, which aligns with Helge’s strategy to focus on the people in the organisation.

Learn more about the tactics that can be implemented to develop the renewal of employees, leadership teams, and the organizational culture throughout the years.

In the episode, you will also hear about:

  • The value of top management rotation
  • Does leadership education actually train people in becoming leaders?


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Published 19. April 2022

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