Spread the Passion

“Wer keine Leidenschaft versprüht, sollte nicht leiten, denn beide, Freude und Frustration, stecken andere an” [Tomas Härry | Von der Kunst, andere zu führen]

> Who doesn’t spread passion, shouldn’t lead, because both, joy and frustration, infect others <

“What made your week?” is a classical opening question to my team’s weekly 30min call on Fridays. Each one shares highlights, moments of victory and situations to be thankful for.

Even after a long week I tend to leave the teamcall uplifted and strengthened because I have heard so many positive reports that my passion for my team and job is fueled again.

One Friday I thought it might be helpful to also talk about the downtimes of a week – just to lead in a balanced way.

I wasn’t prepared for what happened…

After the first person shared his/her frustration the atmosphere already shifted to the bad. It became more intense when more people shared their bad moments… until everybody was quiet and depressed within 10minutes. Uff!

I am a skilled moderator – but this team dynamic that I started was hard to handle. I always try to end the call positive – but in this case I hardly made it to sealevel before ending.

Sharing my view with a colleague, we both agreed that the question for frustration didn’t do any good at all. And will never be asked again!

When leading people, we need to be aware and conscious of what we want to achieve. As leaders we are in charge of the topics shared and the atmosphere created – including handling our very own frustrations.

So – what are we doing with the downtimes of our weeks?

For sure there need to be sessions with a team where frustrations can be adressed openly. But we must be aware that we need to be one place, talking face2face and have enough time to sort things out. We need to have time to recover from the bad emotion and work through it, so that we can leave the meeting in a good mood.

As leaders we need to work through our emotion in advance – being a good example and not crashing a whole team with our negativity. Harder done than said. But worth it when having a highly motivated team at the end.

I want to challenge and encourage to stop talking about your frustrations and instead start lifting others up, celebrate successes and bring a positive atmosphere to your team.


Pen and Paper

Whenever I enter a library or a bookshop I take a deep breath … that smell of printer color on paper, that compressed history between book covers, the pure knowledge and art on a few square meters – it all relaxes my mind and takes me into the here and now.

The here and now.

The time where we actually live. But how often are we really present!? Most of the time we ponder on the past or wonder about the future. But the here and now is sometimes hard to grasp. But how can I get into the present? And why is it worth to spend a few moments a day in the here and now?

Take a pen. Take some paper.

The beauty of writing unfolds in the moment we start to put our thoughts on paper. That’s the moment when the ideas stop spinning, when the mind needs to focus. Just start by writing down everything you are thankful for. Continue by adding everything you love doing and end with good wishes for friends and family. Easily you get into the present.

The reward is peace.

While writing you calm down. You escape all those worries about the past and fears of the future. Life gets easy since you only see the moment you are in. And in this very moment you only write. And writing is peaceful.

Walking with purpose

The other night I was having dinner in a fine argentinian restaurant in the middle of Milan chatting with some colleagues. The internationality of the group, the fine Malbec wine and good company inspired us to share our envisioning of good vacation.

One colleague admitted that he and his wife cannot find a suitable vacation solution together – so basically she was getting her beach-resort-experience whilst he was looking for a comfy chair with seaview and getting drunk on fine spirits.

In retrospective I am not sure whether I reacted suitable. Actually, what is suitable in the pure presence of this devastating truth!?

The absence of purpose and vision within this very successful men’s life struck me. Don’t get me wrong – there doesn’t need to be a purpose on every step you take. But if you are living a purposeful life I suspect you might use your days off as recreation time, load yourself with power, joy and inspiration for the next episode of crazy work ahead.

In Milan, I actually also met another man. He first seemed quiet, distinguished and quite old – to be honest. But when he started to speak in the meeting, his eyes beamed, every word well chosen, addressing precisely the topic why he had attended the gathering. You could sense that he knew who he was, what he was here for and what he wanted to achieve.

He talked with purpose.

Both men had a great career, earned a lot of money – even worked in the same company. Still, the huge difference between them was obvious.

I believe, the latter man had an answer to his “why?”. He knew his purpose in life – and drawn from there his purpose for the meeting he was attending.

Do you?