In today’s world of work, you will face many changes and other challenges. How can you equip yourself and your team to act effectively in these digital times, with their shifting contexts and unexpected challenges?
My book The Unpopular Boss – Why Excellent Leaders Are Not Nice has received some criticism. It’s content is not new and therefore, according to some, is nothing more than grandstanding.
I think this is true – to some extent. Of course I do not claim to have reinvented the wheel. At the same time, I stand by the fact that the approaches given in the book lead to excellent leadership, even in our increasingly digital age. However, even though these ideas are well established, they are increasingly being ignored by many leaders. Yet, in times of fast-paced change, the leadership behaviors detailed in this book are more important than ever.
Roundabout half a year ago, two close colleagues of mine betrayed my trust. We had an agreement, but neither one of them kept to their word. They abused their position of power and there was nothing I could do against it! What should I do next? Continue reading
Imagine your employee comes storming into the office…he is extremely agitated, has just talked with a customer… “Boss! All hell is breaking loose! The client just called, he desperately needs the replacement. I’ve already called the store – they don’t have it. Mrs. Prisca from Services has also just called in sick. What shall we do?” Continue reading
Do you still remember the last time you truly fell head over heels in love? Perhaps this is the case now or perhaps it was a few weeks ago or months or even years. What did you do in order to see the love of your life? What did you make possible? From where did you manage to squeeze the time? Continue reading
In today’s world of work, we are constantly faced with changing conditions and similar challenges. How do you arm yourself and your team to act with excellence in these shifting and demanding digital times?
You all know people and employees who are always grumbling, constantly dissatisfied, and overall spreading a bad mood. The job performance of such people is generally middling or even sub-par.
Why is that?
In a recent leadership seminar we had an exciting discussion. I stated my opinion that power changes people. This caused quite a debate about what that means exactly and whether it is necessarily always the case. A participant quoted from Dacher Keltner’s book The Power Paradox. I was intrigued, bought myself a copy and read it all in one go. Most exciting!
Delegating is easy, isn’t it?
In many cases, yes: Your employee is motivated, knows that new tasks arise regularly and end up on his or her desk. And since the employee is also competent, he carries out the freshly delegated task promptly and in very good quality.
But what if the employee, for whatever reason, has little or no desire to take on the new task?
Unfortunately, this happens regularly. But as always, there are ways to solve this problem.
In lectures and seminars, I always ask managers: How much do you want to lead?
This includes: Making clear announcements, setting priorities, giving recognition to good deeds, very good and outstanding achievements, recognizing conflicts and solving them sustainably, appealing to low-ranking people and bringing them to an acceptable level, to be the contact person for one’s own boss, to be role a model, even bring top performance and so on and so forth.
Am I happy?
This was the question I asked myself last week when I was in Mannheim for a training session and was thinking about my life:
Again I’m traveling on the train through Germany. Again I’m far away from my family. Again anonymously staying in an hotel, sitting with my laptop in the hotel room. I’m really annoyed by my life right now. So I wonder whether I am really content or whether I live in a average happiness.
What do you think, could Madonna ever get burned out?
But Madonna does not have a 40-hour week!
No, she works much longer than 9 to 5.
Why does she work so much?
Because it’s fun f0r her.
Think about what has gone through your head as a plan or idea lately. There were certainly nice things. Maybe you wanted to get the old guitar from the basement and practice the Beatles song again. Or do you want to invite the nice neighbors to coffee? Or with the mountain bike experience the winter forest? And what did you do? Probably not much. Or even none of it?
I can’t hear the excuses anymore!
- “I’d like to, but I can’t.”
- “My boss would never allow me to do that.”
- “My wife would throw me out, if I would do that.”
Or whatever else excuse they come up with. They all have something in common: They’re a hidden way of saying: “I do not dare to try something unknown.” Or: “I’m scared shitless.”
I know what you want! And I also know what you don’t want. It’s not rocket science, but very simple: You don’t want swim in the ocean right now, or relax on the beach, go surfing, sailing or diving. Not in the Maledives, nor in Hawaii or Majorca.
You also don’t want to hike in the Alps. And you don’t feel like doing a motorcycle tour through North America. You don’t want to relax in the Jacuzzi and you don’t want to take a nap. Absolutely! I know that you don’t want to do all that!
In the world of 1000 possibilities, everything comes down to making a decision.
So let me ask you something:
Would you like to be on a beach in Hawaii right now?
Would you like to enjoy a cocktail, the sun and the warm sand?
Once upon a time a decision was made …
I’ll bet that several of you are raising your hands in front of the computer – or mobile phone screen because you want to shout: “Yes, here! I would like to be in Hawaii!” My comment: No, you don’t.
“Starting a new job at 55? Are you crazy?“, an older man says to the other man in the adjacent shower stall.
I’m at the indoor swimming pool, taking a shower, too, and eavesdropping on the conversation.
“Why? The new job sounds exciting. I’m really looking forward to it!“, man number two says as he starts the cold tap and then puffs and pants loudly under the chilly water.
“You weirdo! Do you want to risk your early retirement?“
I finish up and leave the shower area. I’m happy for the confident guy and his new job, but his acquaintance’s objections make me think: Why is it that retirement is such a desirable objective? Early retirement, that is! I fail to relate to the underlying concept of life.
Women get a lower salary than men, people with professional experience earn more than younger people, self-employment lets one earn more than employment.
No, that’s not a study about unjust salaries, cited for the umpteenth time; but the result of a special research that recently appeared in my inbox: the average amount of the fees paid to speakers and coaches.
But tell me, why would I show any interest in this?
My business is a tribe, and I am the chief. Or how else do you explain the result of the Linked Personnel Panel regarding quality of work and economic success that took place at the end of last year? Continue reading
It’s well known that the Volkswagen’ leader, Martin Winterkorn, doesn’t tend to hesitate and likes to challenge.
He has recently given the GO! for a new project, which success is still questionable:
Have you ever played in an orchestra?
Those who did and who played professional classical music probably experienced a dominant conductor and leader –
a person who does not only lead the team on stage, but every day in practice.
Imagine you would play in an orchestra now …
an excellent position just two days ago.