• Boots

    Your detours write history

    Every good storyline evolves around a person who needs to overcome challenges – a big loss, an unfortunate turn in life, a challenge too big to overcome alone. We get intrigued by those kind of stories and suffer with the main cast until the (happy) end. Yet, in our own lives, we are quite upset once even a single little step doesn’t work – the delayed promotion, the reduced bonus, the unfair feedback. In movies, we can acknowledge how obstacles strengthen the hero of the story. In our own lives, we cannot even accept a little hurdle. We feel that the missed chance to get to the one great university…

  • Highheels

    Career (un)planned!?

    Talking to business people, you realize quickly that most people have started their careers with some sort of plan. You can see it in their CVs, too: elite university, year abroad, the right internships But are these colleagues the most inspiring ones? When I recall the happiest and most inspiring leaders and colleagues, they all had one thing in common: some sort of unpredictability crossed their life that led them to their current position. They took their chances when they had the option: the musician who went into consulting; the consultant who took a sabbatical and biked through african countries; the doctor who started a career in business coaching. They…

  • Highheels

    Why should I even head for a career?

    Whenever I ask women what ‘career’ means to them, I hear ‘personal development’, ‘having impact’, ‘developing others’ and further more. What is never a driver is ‘money’, ‘power’ or ‘status’. Interestingly, most coroporate careers offer exactly that: status, power and money. They are tightly connected to the hierarchy levels within the ranks. And ‘running through these ranks or ‘climbing the ladder’ is the general definition of doing a career. As this system has been designed by men for men, it is no surprise that there are little incentives that are attractive for women. Unfortunately, a lot of women do not pursue a career because the immediate gratification seems irrelevant to…

  • Highheels

    When silence kills your team spirit

    I remember a team call that went horrible bad. For some reason the atmosphere already alternated from ignorance to arrogance of the participants and not one idea made it through the devastating critics of the outnumbered naysayers. As a result noone wanted to share any idea, thought or update. It hit climax when the boss asked an important question and noone of the management people in the call wanted to answer. The silence weighted heavier than any argument could have. I was reminded of this call when I recently went into another team call in which one team member ignored the question of the moderator. Even after offering three time…

  • Highheels

    How weakness could be our strongest teambuilding (Part 2)

    So, now that you want to change (see Part 1 of this article), let’s examine in Part 2, how can you change your company culture. Culture is naturally created from the top. That means, whereever you are the ‘top’, you can shape culture. If you ‘only’ have an intern you can lead, than this is your playfield. Actually, it is the best playfield you can get as you can try and learn without hurting too many people. Culture shaping always starts with shaping yourself. If back biting and proclaiming colleagues a ‘lame duck’ is normal behaviour for you, you won’t find anyone who trusts you. You might feel superior –…

  • Boots

    Grief is a sneaky bitch

    The warmth of the sunlight is touching my face, I can smell the first flowers of the year and the birds are singing a melody of hope. In these moments I believe, I can actually make it. That life has something positive for me that needs to be explored – despite the cold black emptiness within my heart. This icecold horror that nests within my core is a constant reminder that my life as I knew it, is over. Forever. ‘Forever’, echoes the creepy darkness while releasing a good portion of hopelessness. I loved my life. I didn’t want anything to change. All of this happened to me unplanned, unwanted,…

  • Highheels

    Why leading a few is harder than leading many

    When people think about leadership, very often they envision a large group of people. Getting up the career ladder results in many people in their department – corresponding displayed in the income. But is this the place to learn leadership? From a personal perspective, I learned the most of my leaders when I have been one-on-one with them or in a small group. In these moments I was able to connect to them – and sense what drives them. They shared their heart more openly and I could understand their reasoning and decisions. Yet, they were still my leaders and I was aware of the hierarchy involved. Same is true…

  • Highheels

    How a ‚well done‘ feedback kills your career

    “I only got positive feedback for my slides”, the new joiner smiles at me proudly. He just had the first project weeks with his new manager and the slide deck was the first deliverable he contributed to the project. As much as I am happy for young professionals to get positive affirmation, I am wondering whether feedback should also include the parts what can be changed!? People contributing in projects without getting feedback that puts them on a learning journey, will stay good but won‘t get better. And as the only-positive-feedback continues, they are assuming that they were lucky this time at best – and, at worst they are learning…

  • Highheels

    ‘Move talk’ – winning the asshole-style

    Do you remember the last time you gave a presentation and someone in the room made an inadequate, non-content-related comment? Everyone laughed and you felt overwhelmed. Somehow you got out of concept and your presentation was weakened. Afterwards you were frustrated and you would have loved to say or do anything. In literature you can find this concept being named ‘high talk’ (content related talk) that was hit by a smalltalk comment. It is done by people in the room who cannot challenge your content but who know how to discredit you as a person or in your role – and if you are not prepared, you lose your technical…