Mark Jenster about Inspiring
How do you inspire your management team and how can you make everyone shine on both a personal and professional level? This question is central during the Business Benchmark Meeting Inspiring & Making Excel of the EFBQ. During this meeting, CEOs share their knowledge and experiences with each other. At the meeting on September 12, Mark Jenster, General Manager of Securelink Nederland B.V., inspired the other attendees with an enthusiastic story about leadership. EFBQ's Business Benchmark Manager Claudia Verbree asked him additional questions about how he inspires his team on a daily basis.
What does leadership mean to you? Leadership is giving direction. I have learned that we are all equal, but not the same. It's about respect and giving each other the space to be who we want to be. I believe in a flat organization, but I also believe that people need guidance and a need for clarity. Everyone within our organization can think along about strategic choices, but not decide. I am very clear about that.
How do you think you can make people excel? I want people to develop. It is all about empowering people. That you give them the opportunity to excel in their field. I do this by finding out what drives people, what gives them energy? What is your added value? For yourself, but also for your team and our customers.
During the Business Benchmark Meeting you will talk about the link between your experiences in the military, your mission in Iraq and your current leadership style. Which elements match? Thinking as a team, the energy, direction and camaraderie. These basic principles from my army days are still relevant in my daily management. In the army it is a basic condition that you take good care of your people and then of yourself. You motivate your people by setting a good example yourself. In the military, that could mean that you were the first to defy the assault course. Now that has a completely different charge by making people feel safe, for example.
Securelink Netherlands uses the theme "Better Together" for this year. How do you translate this into your internal organization? Our teams choose a different theme every year. Last year we chose to get to know each other better and to focus on culture. This year, the emphasis is on better collaboration. During the kick-off of the theme "Better Together" I showed a photo of my broadcast in Iraq. Our team there had just been shot for the first time. Immediately afterwards, a photo of us was taken. We are all smiling on it. Why? We had trained together for months and had so much confidence in our team that fear did not have to play a leading role. As a team you are just as strong as your weakest link.
What does your daily management look like? My goal is to spend at least 50% of my time on coaching and steering. I strongly believe in management by walking around. Every day I make a round within the company to catch up with different people from different departments. That way I hear what is going on in all layers of the organization. As a management team, we are actively developing as a team. We work on this every week. I also consciously devote time and attention to all team leaders and every four weeks to the Works Council.
What advice do you want to give to like-minded people? Authenticity in leadership is essential. In my view you have two types of leaders: the born leaders and the managers. If you know your starting point, you also know what to invest in. I manage growth and get a lot of positive energy from it. As a leader, I therefore fit better in a growth role and would not easily join a well-defined organization.
What kind of inspiration did you get yourself from the EFBQ Benchmark Meeting Inspiring & Making Excel? I am a fan of the EFBQ. With every CEO present, I hear two or three things that I would also like to introduce. That can be very small, but also larger considerations. During this last meeting, a company talked about walking with the management team. Another way of coming together. A very simple, but effective example that is directly applicable.
More information about the Business Benchmark Meeting Inspiring & Excellence? Check the agenda for the next date or contact us directly.