Why are business people obsessed with leadership

Corporate governanceSeven basic principles of wise leadership

Basic principle 1: Communication as a confrontational dialogue

Everyone lives in his or her milieu with the associated worldview and is focused, sometimes fixed, on this way of seeing and experiencing. There are few who are able to open their gaze through communication and to wander back and forth between different “worlds” and perspectives.

However, the partners in a communicative process will only reach each other if they speak the other's language and really want to understand their starting point.

Basic principle 2: Think from the outside in

The original purpose of founding almost every company at the time it was founded lies in the environment: either a deficit that needs to be remedied or an opportunity that needs to be used. In other words, the company is initially managed externally. With the formation of the company, internal interests naturally arise that affect the interaction with one another, for example:

  • Who is playing what role?
  • Who is in charge?
  • How do you cooperate?
  • How do you communicate?
  • Who has what power to enforce his opinion, etc.?

It is not uncommon for internal interests to gain the upper hand over time without reference to the original objective, the environment is more and more disregarded, sometimes to the point that it is no longer perceived at all how framework conditions and thus premises change to such an extent that even the future viability of the company in its current form is fundamentally called into question. The only thing that helps is: take countermeasures with power and turn your gaze outwards again.

Basic principle 3: Balance between leadership impulses and systemic self-control

If the leadership impulses are too strong, the organization's will to self-control can be significantly weakened and control responsibility can be delegated upwards (backwards); If leadership impulses are missing or if these are too weak, the system may remain in its internal comfort zone like in a cocoon, because without "targeted irritation" it is more likely to align itself with internal interests.

Basic principle 4: Learning organization as an overall goal

Not developing concepts and making decisions over the heads of those affected, but involving those affected from the start is an essential criterion for success, that changes are supported and the prerequisite for the system to learn. However, the principle of self-help has its limits where too many personal interests are involved. Sometimes a higher-level platform is therefore required that is large and neutral enough to give the really contentious points enough space on the one hand and which also enables bold, unconventional solutions on the other.

Basic principle 5: Dealing constructively with resistance

Change and resistance are Siamese twins. Many simply try not to take notice of the resistance and to roll over it. Others react annoyed or even personally offended. When it comes to resistance, every change manager should be aware of three things:

  1. Resistance is a perfectly normal reaction in a situation where you see your own interests at risk. It is not the occurrence, but the absence of resistance that must arouse suspicion.
  2. Resistance often does not appear with a violent roar, especially at the beginning, but in an elegantly concealed form. Third, kShowing open resistance doesn't mean being in favor of it.

Basic principle 6: Be prepared for surprises

Planning is one thing, preparing for surprises is another. Both are necessary. But how does it work? There are two things to do:

  1. Establish an early warning system by establishing an information link to all points that are important for the implementation. On this basis, an exploration and feedback system can be set up that provides all the necessary information about how things are really going in real time, almost simultaneously with the action, in order to adapt the interventions that are still in the planning stage accordingly.
  2. Even the best information is only useful if feedback is desired at all and if the bearer of bad news does not have to fear being beheaded. And that is still part of everyday life in many hierarchical institutions.

Basic principle 7: Cheerful obsession - there is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine

Anyone who experiences changes as unreasonable - and this is not the exception, but the rule - will always try to escape the changes in the long run. He will do a lot to dilute, delay, or undo it while the internal programming is still aligned with the old world. There is no self-drive for the new, rather an automatism of seduction to return to the familiar. Anyone who wants to thwart this automatism has to come up with something, for example keeping the topic in the spotlight with a corresponding communication concept and / or making the new situation more attractive than the previous model and / and making a return to the familiar impossible by reducing the requirements. In any case, the new will not assert itself in the long run by itself.

Because the change manager is dealing with people who are not machines, but very emotional and volatile, I recommend him a dash of inner cheerfulness - true to the motto “nothing human is alien to me”. This special mixture of passion, serenity and inner serenity should help him to maintain his sovereignty even in stressful situations.