InterviewMay 12, 2019
Erik Algreen and Oliver Bernhard are the founders behind Headlight. A personal training program for your professional lives, Headlight sets out to change the way individuals approach work for the better. Both founders have experienced leadership challenges in their own work life, and found a way to deal with them. An alarmingly high number of people don’t – and that’s a risk not only for us as individuals, but also for our society.
Erik and Oliver, how’s work?
“The majority of us have a hard time figuring out how to have a healthy worklife. Either because we adapted it as a part of our identity. Or even worse, are just content with the way things are because those were the cards we were dealt. Well, maybe that’s the case, but then it’s up to you to shake things up. And Headlight is here to help. ”
“The poet Khalil Gibran once wrote: “Work is love made visible,” and we fully subscribe to his idea. If more people showed up engaged at work, life would be better. It would be better for the individual, and better for the society. 71% of the workforce in Denmark don’t enjoy showing up at work. Only 19% are excited about it. And 10% are actively unengaged; they talk trash about the company or colleagues to people they know.”
That’s not good.
“It’s an issue with potential severe consequences for both individuals and organisations.”
Things have to change.
“They do! We usually use the phrase ’to whistle behind one’s plow’. To be confident and happy about what you do, to take charge of your work life and know you are happy with what you do, is what this is about. You can boil it down to showing up happy every day. The numbers themselves are could improve drastically, and one of the ways is for people to initiate change.”
Are we afraid of the responsibility of taking charge in our professional lives?
“That’s definitely one way to look at it. We make sure to stay busy and focused on the next paycheck to distract ourselves from what this life is really supposed to be.”
So I guess something has to change.
“Absolutely. Let´s talk about change and why some people choose not to change. One of the most common phrases we hear is “I would love to change. I just don’t have time right now.” There are lots of excuses to why people don’t want to invest in the own worklife. We’ve heard them all, and we’ve most likely used them as well ourselves.”
I guess you have to be invested in changing yourself before you enter the program?
“Certainly. The decision to change is yours and yours alone. We can’t help you with that, it has to come from within.”
Give me the elevator pitch. What can you do for me?
“Headlight is a 3-months program that helps you reach as many of your aspirations as possible. The program kicks off with a Studio Day. Erik Algreen, who is our Head of Program, hosts the day and guides you and 6-10 likeminded, wonderful people through a series of assignments. At the end of the day your Hidden Curriculum is uncovered and transformed into personal vision and vocabulary for your work life.
And then what? We say our goodbyes and all is good?
“Nope. That’s when the real work begins. In the three months after the Studio Day you have two video sessions with your Trainer every month. Together, you choose to approach work in a way that’s consistent with your vision. There’s no homework or curriculum.
But how do you make sure that I move forward then?
“We want to be an integral part of your work life with small assignments and hands-on advice you can implement straight away. The training is focused on making adjustments to your general approach, your decisions and actions in your work life, so your work will become as rewarding and meaningful as possible. We have developed an array of tools that your trainer will introduce you to and help you apply in the relevant situations to support your process.”
But how exactly do I know if this is something for me? How can you assist me?
“When was the last time someone asked you this: “What is missing in your work life today?” You’ve probably never made a checklist of what makes you happy and satisfied. If you don’t have that checklist, you don’t know what’s missing and what makes you a better professional. This is where we come in to push things forward. We want you to ask yourself a bunch of questions, because the only person with the right answers is, yes, you guessed it, you. But here’s the thing: At Headlight, we don’t know what questions are relevant to ask you. But we know how to silence to noise so your own questions to yourself, followed by your own answers, stand out loud and clear.”
Change must come from within. I get it. What if I’m scared?
“Let’s get one thing straight: We love you. We love everyone. And we deeply want to change people’s approach to work for the better, forever. We’re here to change things for the better, for real. We will not push you over the edge, but we will not allow you to go back to your old ways either. And that’s a promise.”
Who are the usual participants in the program?
“Participants in the Headlight program are individuals just like you and me. They go to work, they sense that something can probably be better, they initiate change. People like us who have decided that there’s room for improvement in our work life. If you believe there’s potential to change and if you just need that little push in the right direction, Headlight is for you.”
Erik Algreen and Oliver Bernhard are always looking for people to be a part of our ever-growing community of alumni who wants to change work for the better. If you want to know how Headlight can play a role in your worklife, do not hesitate to get in touch.
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