Leadership in the Digital Age, Gunnar Sahlin, Partner with Gaia Leadership
Leadership in the Digital Age
Taking the Library forward
Leadership skills for the 21th Century
Gunnar Sahlin, Amsterdam 2013 – 09 - 16
• Customers in Europe, North America & Asia
• Offices in Stockholm, Malmö & Shanghai
• 32 partners
• Top Management & First
• Private & Public sectors
• Structure & Culture
• Individuals &
Leadership in Libraries
• What do we mean with new models of leadership in library and
• What is the difference between the leadership of today
compared with the leadership some decades ago?
• What kind of leadership do we need in libraries?
• It is some very interesting research about leadership today.
Could we find new ways of leadership, influenced by the
Libraries in the digital age and the
importance of a new kind of leadership
Leadership in the digital age
A general view and some examples
Shape and describe a vision and realize it
• “People buy WHY
we do it, not WHAT
we do or HOW we
Integration of culture & structure
We need ways to work that support our values &
we need values that support our ways to work
Extraordinary result arises when there is
a strong inner drive of the individual –
and when connected to the
organization's purpose, vision and goals.
Acting as second-line manager in libraries
• Showing an avid interest in issues in the world around us and living
with the issue of how my own business is integrated into the whole.
• Deepening my understanding of internal and external stakeholders,
being able to exercise my own leadership in relation to other parts of
the organization and in relation to the surrounding world.
• As a manager of managers having ownership of the various strategic
perspectives and areas, the vision, values, my own goals and
• Expanding the time perspective in my leadership, from a more short-
term and operative approach to a more long-term and strategic focus.
• Going from expert-oriented leadership to being a leader who leads
based on goals and results.
• Shifting focus from details to a more general focus.
• Stop rolling up my sleeves and doing it myself to instead creating
scope for having an overview, adopting a long-term approach and
dealing with strategic issues.
• Working to create common objectives and consensus on important
issues in partnership with the managers in my own business unit/my
own management group.
• Increasing awareness of my own need for control and finding strategies
to be able to supervise and monitor in a way that generates
commitment among my managers and employees.
• Tackling existential issues, such as my own value, my need for
acknowledgement by clarifying, creating and owning the role as
• Leading my own management group based on a high level of
awareness, facilitating and developing the management group in both
operative and strategic issues.
An organizations long-term ability to compete in
the public world is in direct proportion to it´s
ability to create and develop leaders
The communicative leadership
• Build up a structure for communication
inside and outside the organization
outside the organization
• Building networks and looking for partners outside the library