When I am working in development processes with managers, especially for digitalization, disruptive innovations and future scenarios, they are very often wishing for the perfect recipe of answers to their questions of: 

“How shall we deal with our employees?”  

After some time most of them find out, that they don’t even know how to deal with themselves in their own situation of uncertainty, affection, rising challenges and emotions. After some more time of exponential thinking and in-depth analysis of scenarios, transformation and disruption potential the perspectives expand. If openness similarly rises and a higher focus of reflection is achieved, it very often comes to updated questions:

„What is the purpose of our company?” – and

„What’s the meaning of my future job … and life?“

These are questions neither small nor easy to answer, but in digital transformations they usually turn out to be inevitable. To wish for a quick answer might be a professional reflex (=management misconception) to relief the enormous tensions they cause. So keeping these questions open for a search in dialogue is what we are aiming for.

The majority of managers is not used to questioning themselves in a deeper way like this. Maybe because they never had to before. Now if they do, it is helping them to set their focus and accelerate their own personal development, creating self-awareness and self responsibility based on a deeper grounded set of resources – like meaning and purpose.

Generally I would say, that people who lead and manage others – especially through transformations – would be well advised, to deliberately build their psychological background over time. Starting with themselves as the first focus of reflection and practice, of cultivating personal mastery and then learning, how to interact and communicate with the complexity of other individuals. And what a good part Viktor Frankl’s findings could offer for them…

In this little video (4:20 mins.) Viktor E. Frankl, the founder of logo therapy, first shows self-irony approaching his audience:  „I know I am speaking with marvelous accent without the slightest English.“ Later on the part I like most is were he is explaining what his flight instructor told him, and that we have to be idealistic when he turns his story to a quote of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: 

„If we take man as he really is, we’ll make him worse. But if we take man as he should be, we’ll make him capable of becoming what he can be.“

What a timeless and great universal advice this is…

So, let’s be idealistic and start with ourselves.


Dieser Beitrag von Jan A. Poczynek ist erstmals im Februar 2019 auf LinkedIn erschienen.

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