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In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, Telenor has learned a few things about what it takes to lead in a flexible work environment. The company has embraced the tight-loose-tight principle, in which you have to be tight on setting expectations and giving direction, loose on giving people the freedom to find the best way, and then tight again on the follow-up and holding people accountable.
We found a few leaders across the Telenor family who have been working this way for a while. Christina Endresen, CEO of the newly established Telenor Infra, is steering her team based on a leadership philosophy built on two decades of experience.
What did you want to be when growing up?
Independent, first and foremost! Secondly, being young during the time «LA Law» aired on TV, I wanted to become a lawyer.
When did you become a leader?
I became a leader when I was 25 years, heading a Nordic sales and service team in a Norwegian insurance company.
What’s your leadership philosophy?
The most important element of being a leader is the ability to care for your employees, to want the best for them, and to be supportive. As leaders, we can learn and train within the methodology and achieve results with our team. However, it’s all based on a solid establishment of care, emotional connection, and transparency between you and your team.
What’s the greatest challenge you face as a leader?
Telenor Infra is still a very new company. So right now, the greatest challenge is to establish the organisation and create a common culture while we at the same time need to ensure safety and keep a distance from each other due to COVID-19. Being able to engage with personnel is one of the strongest impacts I as a leader can have on my team, so now I need to learn how to transfer this ability to the digital arena.
Who inspires you?
That’s an easy one! The Telenor Infra employees are my main inspiration and engagement drivers. I’ve also been blessed with working for many great leaders over the last twenty years. I have learned and adopted countless thoughts and tools that have been useful for my own leadership style and philosophy, much thanks to them tossing me great challenges constantly. I love that.
What’s the one thing you want to do once all the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted?
On the first day, I will give everyone a hug. On the second day, I will call everyone in for a big strategy workshop. I can’t wait to experience the unique engagement and discussions live. Finally, we will enjoy a good and well-deserved meal together.
What does Tight-Loose-Tight leadership mean, in your own words?
Tight-loose-tight for me is all about setting direction and purpose. Just having control is not adequate for a leader. Through a T-L-T leadership, I can strengthen the self-organised teams with a focus on impact and impact tracking, and I can help create a solid framework and assist in removing obstacles for my team members. I believe that a transparent culture with a focus on testing and learning will achieve good results.