Johan Grip, Sweden

“Both the organization and the individual need to develop”

The challenge of leadership is for me is about managing two ‘pairs’ of aspects: individual and organization; and culture and structure.
I have been a partner at Gaia Leadership since 2007 and the company’s President between 2009 and 2016. Combining the role as CEO and consultant has allowed me to become a better leader and consultant myself – I have faced the same challenges as our customers do to some extent.

As Vice-President of DHL Global Forwarding, I am a previous Gaia Leadership customer. My role covers, among other things, running several large-scale change projects, everything from company mergers to major business sector changes. My role also involves working with the company’s management group, business and strategic planning.
I gained more valuable experience from my time as a management consultant at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and from my ten years as an elite volleyball coach, first for a Swedish First Division volleyball team and then as assistant manager of the Swedish men’s national team.

My experiences have given me insights into how long-term results are created and into how to achieve success in change management programmes. To achieve long-term results, both the organization and the individual need to develop and grow. A leader’s task is to match the vision and goals of the organization with the individual’s desire to develop. If individuals have the chance to develop at the same time as they contribute to the organization’s development, a great deal can be achieved.

The interaction between structure and culture is just as important – between the ‘hard’ and the ‘soft’. We often have too much belief in the structure and forget the fact that leadership, performance culture and values must drive the company forward towards its goals. I would go so far as to say that we can afford to neglect the structures provided the company has a highly developed culture. But we can never do the opposite.

For me it is important that Gaia Leadership has the capacity to help our customers with both – to support the customer so that the individual and the organization, as well as the culture, and structure develop.

Johan Grip
Partner at Gaia Leadership since 2007