• Highheels

    Why it is good to have no clue what to do

    When I led my first project team, it felt quite overwhelming. Assigning tasks to my team, talking to the client, keeping my internal stakeholders up to date, managing the scope, keeping track of the numbers … sometimes I didn‘t know what to do first. On top, the solution for the client didn‘t fall off the shelf but we needed to interview people, ask questions, define deliverables and agree on a way of working to getting to the results. Sometimes I really wished to know everything already. At that time, a lot of the solutioning was created in the evening when I went swimming. Under water I could think. I could…

  • Highheels

    Don’t consult your people for leadership

    “What a shitty weather”, he complains while his car is fighting through wind and rain out of the city heading to this place in the middle of nowhere. The navigation system points to a spot along the lonely road. His assisstant had sent him the coordinates with the information to take a warm jacket. His boss requested him to come. Something about leadership – if he remembers correctly. But why on a Saturday? and why at this place? Through the fog, a parking lot unfolds. He reduces the speed and turns right. His colleagues are already there. Nice. Now he needs to spend a weekend with the same people he…

  • Boots,  Highheels

    What to do when a team member quits

    “I need to leave the team”, she sighs. After training her the past year in different roles, I have offered her a leadership position in the team. And while she was thinking about it, she realized that she needed to focus on another role in her life. And that role is not in my team. I have mixed feelings: I am more than proud that she thought deeply and made a decision (these are the type of people I want in my team!) all while I am sad because I will not work with her in the future anymore. Did people quit in your team, too? It is very easy…

  • Highheels

    Why the next promotion is not a goal

    I am chatting with a friend about goals. “My next goal is the promotion in a year from now”, she says. I am nodding. Sounds reasonable. There are these job profiles which make goal-setting easy – there is always an upcoming promotion. A system that mimics the trained sequence of school and university deletes the necessity of finding a ‘why’ for continuing the job. You don’t have to think for yourself. You can just follow the beaten path. I am wondering if this is one of the reasons why you find so many uninspired and uninspiring people in hierarchical companies with clear career paths. I am wondering if this missing…

  • Highheels

    RoL – return on love

    „Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return.“‭‭‬ ‭ The Bible, Ecclesiastes‬ ‭11:1 The picture of shipping grain across the sea implies uncertainty. Back in the days, you couldn’t know whether your ship will reach it’s destination. You didn’t know whether the grain was still good when reaching the harbor; or if the goods were valuable at the market. After many weeks, your sailors would return and you would find out what you get in return – Spices? Salt? Fine linen? … or just some average payback? Despite the risk of not getting a return, people continued sending grain over the sea, trusting that…

  • Highheels

    Who is your heir?

    While doing a career we can be so focussed on our own success that we hardly think of the next generation. But this one-way-street thinking incorporates the risk of missing valuable support along your career journey. This support comes two-fold: first of all, you need people who fill in your position once you move on to your next step. And secondly, a hungry next generation pushes you to progress as it generates a healthy competition that ensures that you don’t become lazy (which you don’t want to become anyway). Ideally, this next generation is part of your network and wants to see you bloom as you want to see them…

  • Highheels

    ‘I messed up’ – how you turn your messy leadership moments in fruitful team culture

    A few weeks ago, I messed up in a team meeting on a Friday afternoon. I was tired of the week. I was at my worst. I was unfair to my own team. When I took some time on Saturday to reflect on the week, I realized what had happened. During my tiredness, the worst side of my ego took over and I let my own team feel as loosers. When I saw what I had done, I was angry at myself, unhappy and shocked. Instead of building a cool cuture where everyone thrives, one selfish comment attacked so much trust and teamspirit. As I could not call my team…

  • 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

    Who is your minister of honor?

    For a few weeks now, there is the role of ‘minister of honor’ in my team. Whoever holds this role is responsible to encourage all team members. And although this sounds somewhat silly or easy-to-do at first sight, it it neither nor. People who have been in this role mentioned that it isn’t easy to find the right words for a chat message to encourage someone. They said that they were wondering how to live this role in a creative way. Actually, these are reflection moments that I cherish. If you hand out responsiblity in your team, you give a person the chance to grow. In this case, the minister…

  • Highheels

    Why you need to defend your team culture

    Your team culture is important. It is the very reason why people join, perform better than expected or leave once they don’t feel they want to contribute anymore. But did you know that a good team culture needs defense? Let‘s assume, you have established the following team culture: 1. Everyone greets in the morning 2. Everyone helps one another 3. There is no backtalk accepted In order to establish this culture, you will need to speak explicitly about these three points in team meetings. You will give details why these behaviors are important so that everyone in the team understands why they should do the effort of behaving that way.…