The power of feedback

With the leadership role comes increased status and influence.

Along with that, there's also the tendency for more people to have opinions about you, the work you do, and how well you perform in it.

Leaders often have the somewhat dubious honor of being categorized as either good or bad leaders. Ramboll's surveys show that the Nordic work environment is filled with leaders who function well, as well as a significant number who struggle in their roles.

However, reality is seldom as straightforward as being either a good or a bad leader. Like everyone else, leaders have their strengths and areas for development. Nevertheless, the areas where leaders struggle tend to receive more attention, potentially overshadowing the resources and strengths they possess.

For a leader, it's essential to have good self-awareness and continuously work on their leadership skills.

These skills are closely tied to the expectations associated with the position. Various stakeholders such as your superior, colleagues, and the individuals you lead often have different expectations of you as a leader.

Thus, you find yourself daily navigating through the conflicting expectations of different parties.

Succeeding in a leadership role involves skilfully navigating the interface of these expectations. This doesn't mean you should fulfil all of them or try to please everyone (which is often impossible due to conflicting desires).

Instead, it requires that you are aware of these expectations and actively use this information to prioritize.​​


The new generation of leaders is acutely aware of this dynamic.

In your daily routine, many of these expectations will become evident to you through conversations and feedback you receive.

However, there are also some challenges here. Some individuals actively demand your attention and are better at communicating their perspective.

Others primarily focus on present "crises" and overlook long-term and strategic goals. This can result in you getting a limited, incomplete, and fragmented view of how you fulfill the leadership role and meet expectations.

This is where 360-degree leadership feedback comes into play, providing an objective and comprehensive assessment of how your leadership behaviour is perceived by your superiors, colleagues, and subordinates. Additionally, you conduct a self-evaluation to clarify areas of alignment or divergence between your own perceptions and those of others.



With the results from a 360-degree feedback, you have a solid foundation for prioritizing your further development.​

As a crucial aspect of the method, the feedback reporting aids the leader in identifying strengths as well as areas for improvement. It's built upon well-established principles from positive psychology, where one utilizes their existing strengths and resources to enhance the areas that require improvement.

This is why we refer to the 360-degree feedback as a developmental tool. How you can leverage your resources to grow in your leadership role is the core question here. This question holds far more potential than the traditional query of who isn't performing well in the role.

So, are your managers receiving sufficient feedback, challenging them to take new steps? And if one of your managers find it difficult to be as supportive as the need, do they know what part of their strengths they can use to compensate for this?

Arnt O. Storeng

Managing Consultant

Xact By Rambøll

M +47 945 26 452