Grow as a Leader With Siteimprove

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By Emil Wulff
Oct 03 2017 — Career Development

Over the years, we’ve invested a lot of time and money into employee benefits that make Siteimprove a great place to work. Now, we’re taking our commitment to our employees in a new direction as we’ve started focusing on professional development within the company. One Siteimprover with first-hand experience of the new direction is Brian Lundkvist, who’s been with Siteimprove for five years. Brian has taken part in an extensive leadership development program and now feels that Siteimprove shows a genuine interest in his personal development.

“It is quite unlike anything I’ve seen before,” says Brian, the Head of Siteimprove’s International Support. He continues, “This gives me something completely different in regards to the company’s commitment to me.”

The LEAD Academy

Brian, a manager based in the Copenhagen headquarters, is referring to the Leadership Exploration And Development (LEAD) Academy, a leadership program that he and his managerial colleagues at Siteimprove participated in during the spring of 2017. LEAD Academy participants take two days out of the calendar on three separate occasions to take a break from daily routines and instead focus on becoming better managers. During the development program, participants have four individual coaching sessions with external trainers, and group work sessions with their colleagues.
When the LEAD Academy kicks off, each manager undergoes a “360” evaluation, which, Brian notes, provides valuable insights into individual leadership style:

“You do this ‘360’ where your peers, your team, and your manager provide their feedback and give you a complete picture of who you are as a leader. With that knowledge, it is much easier to start moving in the direction that the company wants me to, and that I want to.”

The evaluation is followed up by another at the conclusion of the academy, which enables the participants to measure their progress and see if they’ve overcome the challenges that they identified during the first evaluation.

You’re Not Alone

The LEAD Academy gathers managers across the organization, giving participants the opportunity to share knowledge and build relationships with their peers. Even with very different backgrounds and experiences as managers in Siteimprove, Brian noticed they all faced some of the same challenges.

“The program has given us an enormous level of trust between the middle managers who participated. It has resulted in a different kind of openness between us and provided us with the opportunity to be direct with a colleague, free from personal politicking. We’ve learned to talk together, we’ve shared secrets and weaknesses, and we’ve built this trust between us. I have really gained from it all.”

Brian is certain that all managers in Siteimprove could benefit from attending the LEAD Academy:

“When we are eight people struggling with the same issues, it is quite likely that there are 30 or more with the same issue. Those people could learn from what we’ve been through and become better managers from the program.”

An Investment That Comes Back Tenfold

The training in LEAD Academy equips Siteimprove’s leaders with leadership theory and tools that they transfer to their daily work and they actively use them to rise to their personal managerial challenges.
After participating in the LEAD Academy, Brian quickly received feedback from his team thanking him for being more direct in his feedback and more clear in his expectations, and he believes that all his managerial colleagues in the company can benefit from the program.

“I have no doubt that the LEAD Academy is worth it. The investment comes back tenfold. I can use what I’ve learned about myself in the LEAD Academy to become the leader that I want to be, and that Siteimprove wants me to be.”

The LEAD Academy will now be rolled out to all Siteimprove offices globally and is just one of the several current and future professional development initiatives within Siteimprove.

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