Leadership is not easy. Some people want to wear feathers but not be the chief. Others truly want to lead. And then there are those who want to lead but step into this significant role completely unprepared, without knowing what lies ahead. To be able to fill this challenging position correctly and avoid serious mistakes, systematic preparation is required, something every company should ensure. Should. The reality often looks different.
At the Impulse Day of the WIFI Management Forum in collaboration with “Die Presse,” modern leadership approaches were presented by successful thought leaders and executives in the “New World of Work.”
The art of leadership begins with oneself.
A good leader knows their capabilities and limitations and is open to new ways of thinking and behaving. But above all, a good leader is characterized by one thing: the courage for self-reflection. The ability to accept criticism and self-reflection should ideally go hand in hand. Thought leader Anja Förster quotes Marshall Goldsmith’s idea of ”Feedforward“. The basic idea is as simple as it is ingenious: not “feedback” but “feedforward” – the solution lies in the future. In this approach, someone else provides ideas and suggestions for improvement with a forward-looking perspective, rather than focusing on negatives from the past.
Good leadership must confront its self-image/perceived image, as demanded by Dieter Rappold (Managing Director of the digital agency knallgrau GmbH) in his lecture “Going Beyond Us.” Many leaders fear this challenge, yet it is an essential aspect of their personal development and improvement. This applies to factors like profitability, efficiency, motivation, engagement, team building, and, in the best sense, purposefulness. “Purpose arises whenever people connect what they do with what matters to them,” says Anja Förster. In her new book, you can find exactly 66 1/2 encouragements to do what truly matters in life: „Do what you love!”.
Reunion with Anja Förster (on the right) at Impulse Day 2015
At the company Neni, they do what they love. You can clearly feel it when Haya and Nuriel Molcho passionately talk about the history, challenges, and successes of their business. “You have to clearly separate private life from work. Of course, I have more life experience. But in the company, my sons are my equal partners on an equal footing. I don’t allow anyone to underestimate them just because they are young. I also demand this from our external partners. Anyone who does not treat my sons as equals is not the right partner for us.” The Molchos exemplify what modern leadership is all about: a respectful and equal partnership across generations. “Life is beautiful” is their slogan. And I believe every word they say.
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