In this proficient episode, Manfred Gollent, Founder and CEO of QLI International LLC, shares how he helps his clients to become the most effective leaders and culture innovators that they can be.
You will discover:
– Why what you thought was leadership is actually just contribution
– The one job every leader must accomplish
– The key to managing a remote workforce
Hello, and welcome, welcome once again to the secrets of the high demand coach, and I’m here with yet another high demand Coach. And this is my now friend, Manfred, we’ve got to talk a couple of times now. And I always enjoy conversations with Manfred, because you can just tell in everything he does, he’s, he’s got a seasoned career behind them. He knows what he’s talking about, and he cares deeply. Now, when I say seasoned career, he’s had a successful career in the global corporate world for some 30 plus years. His executive roles include leading the facilitation of strategy development and business improvement processes for subsidiaries in four different continents. And throughout his professional career, he’s acquired extensive experience in all areas of management, including marketing, sales, financial operations, product development, and manufacturing. He’s served on boards in Norway, the UK, France, Belgium, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, and Australia. And don’t forget the USA. His his industry expertise includes aviation and cargo services and industrial manufacturing and global systems, medical services and not for profit organizations. Man for there’s so much in there. And I feel like it doesn’t even begin to express just how remarkable an individual you are. So what, before we get into how you help your clients, and you know what you’re working with them right now? I’d love to just hear a little of this story. You tell us a little bit about what all that time was like? And how did that ultimately lead you to make the leap into coaching and consulting?
Well, first of all, thank you for having me, Scott, it’s great to be with you again. Well, what you’re seeing is I’m old. Yes, I have been a few times around the clock and have some extensive experience in large corporation and global business. The reason I am in coaching, and I’m doing this now, since 2006, as a mainstay, is really, I learned very early on in my career, from great mentors and great supervisors and leaders that I had the joy to work for, that leadership is vitally important for any organization, for profit, nonprofit doesn’t matter. It’s really leadership and either makes things happen because they are able to engage the people in the organization and roll them towards common goals or mutual established goals and, and, and towards progress for they are unable to do so. And therefore responsibility, they’re responsible for the failure or a lack of progress. So, from that, I have always put a lot of emphasis on on owning my own leadership ability and leadership effectiveness, which of course, it to say it that way, but 50% of leadership is self leadership. Yeah. And because when we talk about leadership presence is really our the product as a leader of leadership. It’s us, we are presenting we are the example. And if we are not setting the right leadership example, it is hard to engage people and get them on board and, and follow. So I put a lot of effort in becoming a reasonable, effective leader and, and well, the last 15 years of my career, I did turnarounds at startups for the conglomerate, what is Norwegian conglomerate that I’ve worked for? And when I finally retired from my corporate life, but I was was not the question what I’m going to do as a next step, and certainly coaching, leadership coaching and working with with people park partnering with my clients to help them to take themselves to the next level in their in their appeal ability to engage in them at all people.
I love that. I love that. So kind of in that vein, what would you say some of the most important work you’re doing with your clients right now?
Well, it starts out typically when I work with a client that they come to me for or discussing leadership. What is really you When we talk about leadership, there is many definitions. And everybody has his own little spin on it. And, and they are all right in their own right, I have a very simple definition. And that leadership is creating results through people, the word is through, and, and anything else, because they say, an effective leader is has to be a visionary, and has to create that vision. And when the leader does that visioning, then he or she becomes a contributor. Because that’s not the leading part leading is when you create the results through the people that are in your reom. Of the Leadership Project. And that is, that is how it typically starts. And we, when I work with clients, the first couple of times is really getting to know each other. Because coaching, believe it or not, is really a highly collaborative effort. I can’t do anything as a coach. Unless my client works with me. Yeah, by the end of the day, the work is done by the client.
Yeah, it’s so true. I actually wanna take a step back, because I’m stuck on this statement that you just made almost in passing. And then we’ll jump to coaching here in a second. But you said, when you’re visioning, you’re not leading, you’re contributing. And and that that’s powerful. I want to make sure folks don’t miss that. Because what what a lot of us see as leading right being the idea person, casting a vision is just one of the many, right any unnecessary and helpful contributions that we make to a team. What are some other things that folks think they’re leading, but they’re actually contributing?
Well, that’s plenty of things that a leader does every single day, as he or she contributes, it doesn’t matter if it’s calling a meeting, organizing a meeting, or well, working with customers, because of key leaders have worked with key customers, these are all contributions that they make and unnecessary. But when they are leading, when they put the leadership hat on, make it that way, then it is what they are able to do through the people. And so that’s a very important issue, because it’s all about engaging and enrolling people in the course, that an organization is going for or our company is going for, and that has plenty of research done every single year about how people are engaged on disengaged and the last few years, really, the number of disengaged people in an organization have gone up to two thirds holy 1/3 of the organization are by self declaration, fully engaged or engaged. The rest is Oh, participating. And if you think about the more actively disengaged, which means looking somewhere else, and if you if you consider this for a moment, as leaders, we hire people on any any level of the organization, we hire people to do certain things. If you then consider that only a third of the people is truly in the program and actively working on it. Multiple potential is left to energize you and that is a leadership ask nobody else that’s the leadership task.
And I think there’s this really interesting time because I’ve been watching the the kind of rise and fall of of that metric, in particular in engagement. So engagement when everyone went home to start with engagement went through the roof, there’s like there’s freedom. It’s like there’s something that like it’s all handled and then it had I think the single biggest month to month increase since I forget who’s tracking it, you know better than I but it’s like the single biggest month a month and then two months later is like the same single biggest fall that’s ever experienced. And one of the things a lot of leadership, especially by your definition, happens, shoulder to shoulder, right, it happens when we’re working together. And a lot of the tools that we have as leaders to do that are limited in this kind of quasi remote environment. So is that a challenge that your leaders are facing right now? How they engage and enroll people in their organization in a remote workforce? And how are you helping address that?
Well, the biggest challenge, mostly, again, on every level of the organization, on the CEO, to the front, frontline supervisor, are, are challenged with is, shall I say that the visual control, and I’m putting control special because we don’t control really, when we see people that asks a doctor raising their offices, in front of their computer and doing something we think they are working, we don’t really know exactly what that they’re doing. We hope that we’re not playing computer games. But the thing is, when they are outside of that visual, then we make all kinds of assumptions. When people are not immediately reachable, well, they’re not working. So that there is a lot that goes on right now, in leaders heads, because they have not established the relationships with their people that they can first of all, fully trust and receive trust is a is a bi directional, directional effort, it goes both ways. I cannot expect you trusting me, unless I am extending that trust, first, that particular is a leader. And in essence, what What it also means the highly effective leaders are those that are able to make themselves redundant. And what I mean by that is not that they can be kicked out easily, but that they are team, their people will function at least over a certain period of time. Without their immediate interaction with our immediate director direction control. influence will that when you manage as a leader, to create that redundancy, for yourself, then you have a team and I feel typically a team that will work no matter if they are in office, if they’re at home, if they are on the way, whatever it is, because they are you have managed to engage and roll them and get them really into the program. That is Will that work with my clients? To help them to create those relationships and, and maintain them and foster them and enhance them constantly to make that happen, then it’s immaterial. Whatever. If you think about one of the big companies WordPress I guess you know, WordPress, it’s, it’s one of the major if not the major platform for websites around the globe. They started in 2001 2002. They have never had a physical office. They don’t have a brick and mortar office. They have Meanwhile, over 20,000 people working worldwide, all virtual, very successful. Is it possible? Absolutely. Yeah. Really take a certain maybe a different leadership effort to do so. Absolutely.
Yeah. Yeah. So if you were to kind of take a step back and look back over the the years of your career, how would you say leadership has changed over time? And are the the expectations we have of leaders any different than they were several decades ago?
Well, most certainly. Well, absolutely. I think because simply the whole environment has changed 30-40 years ago and that was a time in essence grew up in business. If things were not as fast paced, changing, there was plenty of pressure, don’t get me wrong. But we didn’t have those dynamic changes, interruptions or sudden stops and goes. And in our economic and business environment, communication was completely different. I remember, as a sales engineer, I have an engineering background. But after about three years of engineering, I had enough of that. And went into sales and then later in operations. And so as a sales engineer, when I was traveling, there was no mobile phone. We communicated with telex, you probably don’t even know what that is. But that was kind of the fast communication or landline, that you have to get somewhere. Today, this is a complete different roles, to overinflate impacts and influences, how we leave what tools we use, how we use those tools. And of course, back then, they are generational differences was the baby boomers and the pre baby book. That were the two generations in business. Today, we have five generations because we’re still baby boomers leftover like myself. We have chain x, we have Gen Y, and Gen Z, and we have the latest and greatest generation I leave it’s still up, but what we are, what name we are ultimately assigning to it. And the reason for that is basically all those environmental changes. And I don’t mean ecology in this case, but general environment that fast changes have created a faster change in in the profile of generational commonalities. Yeah, because if you take the baby boomers, the other two groups that is the early and the late the way, but it was over 2022 years. Now, we’re talking about five years. Difference in commonalities. Yeah. The people that that today, the youngest one that come into the business environment, have probably never seen a, a is a telephone, radio where you throw money? I don’t know what that is ever confronted with?
Yeah. Yeah. So in light of that, all that’s changed and how you’ve been, when you’re diving deep with leaders recently, what would you say is the biggest secret that you wish wasn’t a secret at all? What’s that one thing that you wish everyone listening or watching today knew?
I would say the biggest big secret that shouldn’t be a secret. And, and it’s not, it’s not that common. It’s constantly learning, be open, to learn, take measures to constantly learn. I myself, I, I certainly I’m reasonably experienced, I have gone through all kinds of process. I dedicate 20% of my time, a whole day a week to my own continued development at my age, because I needed to keep up with all had developments that are going on and to stay on the cutting edge for my clients and for myself. So anybody that thinks Okay, now I’m 50 I have been for 25 years actively in the business. I’ve learned what I needed to learn, I have my MBA and my, my whatever degree is not the lock that I can get anymore. is lost. Because five years later, that individual is up. And I hate to say it so brutally clear. That is in my book, one of the most important areas Stay connected, stay on top, be always ready to get new information digested. process it, use it, build new habits. It’s necessary to stay in the program.
That’s so good and and from, you know, from every one of our interactions, I can tell you for everyone listening, this is so true of man credit. It’s again, it’s just so obvious and everything you do and the way you approach life. So there’s definitely sound wisdom in that. And it’s wonderful to see someone actually taking their own wisdom and working with that. And that’s a great segue to our next question, I’m actually gonna have you take off your coach hat for a moment, put on your CEO hat and talk to us kind of what’s the next stage of growth look like for you? Why is it worth so much of your time to be continuing to pour into yourself for the future?
Well, first of all, I cannot relate to the concept of retirement. To me, it sounds like buying. And this is, of course, incorrect. And I accept that. That’s probably a very strange approach to life. But for me, what I’m doing is I am not doing what I love to do, because I love people. And, and I’m doing it because I enjoy it. And I get paid for it. What else can you do? But, but my Microsoft is more focused on my own development, as I mentioned earlier, that is that is really my main growth focus, because that way my, my business will grow with the clients that I get. I’m I’m not, I’m not looking for 1000 new clients, and looking for those. And I can’t help them. Yeah, I’d love to work. I’m very selective.
I remember hearing Dan Cathy share a little anecdote about his dad Truett. Cathy, the founder of Chick fil A. And there’s at the time, when Boston Market was just taking off. I think they’re opening 1500 stores in a year or something crazy like that. And the Chick fil A management teams look into saying, Hey, this is a real like, competitor competitor, what are we gonna do? How are we going to keep up? And translate? Yeah, hold on a second, like, no, like, we don’t succeed by having more stores, we succeed by taking better care of our customers, and the stores will come.
End of the story.
Yeah, it’s so true.
And where is Boston Market today, and where is Chick-fil-a?
Yeah, yeah, it’s so true. And, and so I love that you’ve highlighted the growth is not this kind of up into the right numbers based thing. There’s an element of that for sure. But if we can just focus on our own development, and the growth will follow. So remarkable, Manfred, just such an honor and privilege having you on the show. Thank you so much for being here. Some folks are listening. And they’re just saying, How can I get this guy’s information? So how someone wants to get in touch with you see if you can help. How can they? How can they reach out?
Very easy on LinkedIn, I think I’m the only Manfred Gollent. There is on I don’t know how many billion people are on LinkedIn two, one and a half, whatever. So that’s the easiest and otherwise, my email is [email protected].
That’s fantastic. And that’s Gollent check them out on LinkedIn. Yep, Manfred Gollent. Manfred, thank you so much for being on again an honor. Just a privilege. And for everyone watching listening today and your time and attention mean the world to us. I hope you got as much out of this conversation as I know I did. And I cannot wait to see you next time. Take care.
Contact Manfred Gollent
Manfred Gollent enjoyed a successful career in the global corporate world for some 30+ years. His executive roles included leading the facilitation of strategy development and business improvement processes for subsidiaries in four continents. Throughout his professional career he has acquired extensive experience in all areas of management including marketing, sales, financial operations, product development and manufacturing. He served on company Boards in Norway, U.K., France, Belgium, Spain, Singapore, Taiwan, Australia, and U.S.A. His industry expertise includes aviation and cargo services, industrial manufacturing in global systems, medical services, and not for profit organizations.
Want to learn more about Manfred Gollent’s work at QLI International LLC? Check out his website at https://qli-international.com/
Podcast Booking Status: Open
We are looking for podcast guests, and we want to share your story.
Are you a coach, consultant, or advisor for entrepreneurial organizations? If so, let’s do a great show together – and we can promote you to our audience on all our social media channels, website, and email list.
- As a coach, you should be experiencing some very good momentum AND be grossing $100K or more annually. We’ll be talking about how you help your clients achieve extraordinary results.
- Consider yourself as equally people and results-oriented in your mission.
- High-authority expert management and independent coaches who work with founder-led entrepreneurial organizations of 40 or more employees. We also encourage guests that are operations/strategy and culture consultants, advisors, and leadership coaches to be guests (no specialties in marketing, branding, sales, or IT, please
- Please, no new coaches (under 3 years), published authors, non-independent coaches, or non-business coaches/consultants.