Extra chairs had to be brought in when Stine Bosse visited Cphbusiness Alumni

On Wednesday 27 November 2019, Cphbusiness Alumni gathered 120 alumni, students, employees and business partners at Kosmopol for a talk with Stine Bosse, former CEO of Tryg.

24 February 2020

Stine Bosse's talk "Om balance I hverdagen og det hele liv" took participants on a two-hour journey, where she shared her experiences of life and management. Along the way, Stine Bosse created a dialogue with her audience by giving them small tasks that were received with great commitment.

Doing the dishes and the smell of people

Stine Bosse's first advice to figure out if you might have management potential, is to be able to answer yes to the following two questions:

  1. "Do you like people?"
    You have to like people if you want to be a manager. Not just a little, but really well, and how they smell, and everything else about them.
  2. “Do you like doing the dishes?”
    As the latter question is said aloud, silence occurs and in the end, the participants look at Stine Bosse in wonder. The explanation of this question ties to the two things she believes it requires to be a leader; namely repetition and patience - to be able to stand yourself, even if you have to say the same things many times in a row, because people want to be acknowledged in what they are doing is the right thing and preferably all the time.

Red – yellow – green

According to Stine Bosse, employees can be divided into three categories: red, yellow and green.

Green employees have a can-do attitude and usually cannot stand managers. They are autonomous and often have far better ideas than you have.

Yellow employees make up the largest group and as a manager, they are the ones you need to inspire.

And then there are the red employees. These employees are constantly critical, reluctant and adaptable. They come in two categories: the infectious and the non-infectious. The latter is not a problem, but you have to get rid of the infectious ones because they try to get others on board the negativity train. It is not about being happy and positive all the time. However, their reluctance and negativity must be dealt with, to avoid the red ones infecting the yellow ones.

A mixed bag of candy

Stine Bosse also made a call for action to the next generation of managers not to try to create a life similar to that on social media. The reality is that life is a mixed bag of candy. Weekly there is something that does not go our way and that we would have liked to be different. Therefore, it is extremely important to help each other to cope with the small everyday challenges so no one ends up feeling like a failure.

Sometimes things we never dreamed of happening, such as crises, challenges or resistance, hit us. However, they help us become stronger and we grow when there is friction. It is important to use such challenges constructively, to be able to cope with them so you grow from them.
There was also praise for the new generation, whom Stine Bosse believes is much more aware that the important moments do not come back and work must, therefore, come after family life.

I'm a little younger than her and I've started to be able to mirror myself a lot more in her in terms of where you get your values from. Some of the things she gave as examples of what has made her a good manager, are many of the same things that I have also used and what I also feel make me a good manager today.
Anonymous participant
Diploma of Management

Have children early

One advice that Stine Bosse had on achieving balance in your private life and your career was to have children early. This is due to the flexibility you have when you study compared to when you have a job. Stine Bosse had two children while studying law.

What gives you energy?

At age 46, Stine Bosse was diagnosed with Melanoma – a turning point for her outlook on life. She reconsidered her entire life and priorities and was advised by a business psychologist to write down what energised her and what drained her.

The exercise made Stine Bosse realise that she felt energised when out and drained at home. She reviewed her relationship and spent two years making it work, however, eventually she had to admit that there was nothing more to be done. Since then she has lived by herself, which she enjoys to the fullest.

You can easily feel whole even though you live alone. All those hours you do not have to spend watching The Great Bake Off with your partner can be spent on what you are passionate about and it is important to bring that into your relationship. You have to give each other space. It is devastating being forced to come home and sit on the couch.
Stine Bosse
Former CEO of Tryg

Being diagnosed with Melanoma has led Stine Bosse to ask herself twice a year if life is how she wants it to be and then review if something should be added or let go of.

Becoming a grandmother is life-changing

At age 50, Stine Bosse was faced with yet another great choice in life. She did not want to retire from Tryg and the cancer had reminded her that life does not last forever. The trigger for leaving Tryg was when she became a grandmother. Stine Bosse discovers how much of an impact becoming a grandmother has had on her the day her driver points out that she arrives on time when she has meetings, but always at least half an hour early to pick up her grandchildren.

I think she played a lot on the men’s terms about 10 years ago. She is interesting, and I like the way she expressed herself, and I think a change has occurred in terms of her becoming a more feminine leader and being more in touch with feminine values. She was cool before, but now I look up to her.
Anonymous participant
Diploma of Management

After the talk, there was an opportunity for participants to network as well as get some food and drinks.

More information

See pictures from the event on Facebook.

Watch the video from the event here.

See the upcoming alumni events here or on Facebook.