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What is it that makes a good leader, and therefore us, a good leader in a company?
This is a question that people try to answer for themselves, or through recurring surveys. In many cases there does not seem to be a sustainable solution and often the expectation of a manager is that he or she will lend a hand in the operative business and do the management work on the side – in both cases in equal parts.
Is that even possible and does it make sense?
If we ask ourselves the question, what weighs more heavily, the corporate goals that we try to implement from the top down, or creating conditions for ideas and wishes of the team members in order to build a strong foundation in the team?
And what role do buzzwords like VUKA, New Work or TEAL organisations play?
We will address these relevant questions in the coming articles and examine what we as leaders can do to build the foundation for an efficient and loyal team based on trust.
Was everything better in the past?
Work plays a very central role in our lives. After all, we spend a very large part of our time with like-minded people within a team or company.
After all, in addition to our private lives, family and love, we also seek our identity in the professional sphere and experience a form of belonging, security and our sense of self-worth.
While our grandparents lived in a production economy and our parents in a service economy, we find ourselves in an identity economy.
We are placing ever greater value on “meaningfulness” and trying to contribute something meaningful to society.
Businesses lose their value if it is only about making a career or simply about earning money.
It wasn’t necessarily better in the past, but it was definitely different. Many people today are looking for a vocation rather than a job. A job that gives us flexibility and fits the uniqueness and lifestyle of the personal situation, where emotional and physical well-being is given high priority, helps with psychological and economic development, and that all still makes sense.
For us team leaders and thus representatives of the company, this means in the current working world that we should give people, in addition to the salary, a real prospect of being able to realise themselves.
The new buzzwords of the working world
Not only are the individual needs of employees changing, the demands on companies are also undergoing a transformation.
Buzzwords like VUCA (Volatility, Unsecurity, Complexity, Ambiguity), Working World 4.0 and New Work are increasingly (supported by decentralised work during the COVID-19 pandemic) pushing into the centre of attention and describe that companies have to find ways to deal with the increasing demands.
Creativity, initiative or self-organisation are more important than ever.
Companies, teams and leaders need to address the issue of fostering the individual skills of our team members. Otherwise, we will quickly be left behind in our fast-moving world of digitalisation.
The new megatrend is called New Work and is the umbrella term for a possible upcoming major change.
A megatrend is a development that could apply over the next few decades.
Different topics are taken into account, e.g. from
- technological development
- the changing image of employees with regard to the concept of “work
- a different awareness of values on the part of customers and society
- the increasing (and massive) digitalisation
Thus New Work describes a considerable intervention in existing thought patterns – whereby the first step begins with the question of meaningfulness and not with the associated salary at the end of the month.
With the concept described above, work would be in the service of people, and so the slogans of our way of thinking change over the years and generations.
From “We work to live”, to “We don’t live to work, we work to live”, to “We no longer work to live”.
We no longer work to live, and we no longer live to work. In the future, it will be about the successful symbiosis of living and working. (From the book “Being in Organisations” by Anna Jantscher and Nicole Lauchart-Schmidl)
The Belgian consultant and author Frederic Laloux describes TEAL as a model that depicts the developmental stages of a company. TEAL is the new stage we are currently facing and have to deal with.
TEAL is the English name for a blue-green colour (aquamarine, sea green, emerald green, petrol), which in turn is derived from the colour of the common teal.
Laloux describes three major milestones of TEAL companies:
- Hierarchical structures are replaced by self-management and distributed leadership.
- The focus is on meaningfulness and the development of one’s own potential. Employees are to be viewed holistically and not only from a professional point of view. Relationships in the team would be deeper and more transparent, leading to more liveliness.
- The meaning and purpose of the company becomes the primary motivator and orientation point for employees.
In the next article, let’s ask ourselves why there are such big differences between the desire for self-fulfilment and wholeness and the experienced reality in many companies.