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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. Lars Kristian Ståtveit is one of those leaders.
Norwegian, but lived in Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Norway and Thailand the last years.
What did you want to be when growing up?
An entrepreneur. I actually did follow that through with starting a clothing company with some friends when we were 17 – but ended with bankruptcy. Maybe I’ll try again one day.
When did you become a leader?
Six years ago at Nike leading the product strategy for NIKEiD (customised shoes) for Europe. It was a great team with a super diverse background.
What’s your leadership philosophy?
My years in Telenor have been focused around Agile Transformation, and I am passionate about the principles and values that come with the culture – mainly servant leadership, empowerment and our very own tight-loose-tight. I believe people want to do their best when given the chance, and our job as leaders is to nurture a system and culture that enables our experts to do their best job.
What’s the greatest challenge you face as a leader?
Telenor is a big company, and a lot of major changes happened the last years. My job is to try and modernise Telenor and dtac through improving our processes, team setup and way of work. But change is hard, and bringing everyone along on that journey is an interesting challenge.
What does Tight-Loose-Tight leadership mean, in your own words?
For me it’s all about changing the management focus from output to outcome – understanding clearly where we want to go, empowering our teams to figure out how to get there, and then following up in a structured way.
Who inspires you?
This is probably going to sound like a cliché, but I have to say Elon Musk. The guy took a massive risk, putting all his money into building electric cars before anyone believed in it and rockets to take us to Mars.
What’s the one thing you want to do once all the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted?
Travel back to Norway to meet my two new nieces that were born this summer. It’s really fun to be an expat in Bangkok, but I miss being able to see my family and friends during vacations, especially now that we have new family members.