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Transforming C-suites into T-suites

Frode Andersen Frode Andersen

In the business world there are plenty of titles that start with C – Chief. Is it time to change this way of describing a leading position?

The society and the business world are in rapid change. Leadership theories and research imply that new ways of leading is necessary in order to meet a world that is constantly changing and characterized by high uncertainty. Autonomy and self-determination is important elements in order to meet the challenges in an innovative way. Additionally, these elements makes it easier to take action and adapt quicker when the circumstances shifts. Further, safety and trust is essential for self-determination – as a leader you have to show trust as well as creating a safe environment to fail and learn.  Trust based leadership, relationship based leadership and servant leadership is often emphasized as successful leadership styles when it comes to meeting the new challenges that lies ahead of us. All of these leadership styles have trust as their key element.

In contrast to the leadership styles mentioned above you have transactional, controlling and autocratic leadership which is characterized with power, control and centralized decision making. Hence, this is often linked with less flexible hierarchical structures, which is based on the belief that one or a few people can control and monitor the company into succeeding. Being a Chief/boss has historically been used to specify where you are in the hierarchy. Maybe it is time to think new when we a putting labels on our leaders. We need titles that are adapted to the key attributes that are essential for the leadership role today.

In order to help the employees reach their full potential and thereby create a successful business, it is important to show trust and credibility. It is also highly appreciated by clients and the community in general, that we have trustworthy and credible leaders that contributes to a sustainable and innovative business community.

Maybe it is time to change the C-suites and rather focus on the important characteristic of a leader today – being trustworthy. We need trusted executive officers, trusted financial officers, trusted operational officers, trusted transformational officers, and trusted informational officers.

We do not need the C-suites anymore; we need the T-suites.