Some topics have been around in the business world for a long time and have repeatedly been rehashed or cited without ever being sustainably debunked in all these years. I like to think of such issues as ‘laws of nature’ because this helps me to think or speculate less about them, allowing me to more easily access my own patterns of thought and action. Such topics include the Peter Principle, the Theory of Evolution or the entrepreneurial approach of ‘Work ON your business, not IN it’.
Nevertheless, like many other people, I tend to lose sight of these principles from time to time -– in certain situations, even more so – or to let them take a back seat to competing issues. Why is that? Does this make me a bad leader or a useless entrepreneur? The answer to this is a diplomatically correct ‘NO’. In actual professional life, the answer to this question is not irrelevant and is quite complex. Especially because the answer to this question is always situation-dependent. And this is precisely where the challenge lies: in defining an approach and a structure that helps you keep the focus on the essentials and yet adapt your leadership role according to the specific situation. This sounds very academic, but in my view, it’s not that complicated.
The basic prerequisite is to have understood the particular principle and to have accepted it for yourself and your role in the company. Anyone who can’t get past this point and tries to disprove the principle – or successfully disproves it for themselves – can, in my view, easily spare themselves the subsequent steps. When it comes to personal acceptance, I believe that self-reflection is the next step, to identify the GAP between the core elements of the principle and the actual situation. In my eyes, it is not a sign of weakness to involve one or more other qualified persons in this reflection.
Once the GAP has been identified, it is usually easier to define and decide upon suitable measures. In my experience, the tendency to break away from these measures or structures varies depending on the type of person, role, organisational form or business situation. A kind of ‘route master’ can help here, someone without personal sensitivities or conflicts of interest, who determines and makes transparent deviations from the course at regular intervals. This will at least give the ‘guilty conscience’ of those who bear responsibility a real chance of being noticed.
If you are still not quite clear what the bus in image and business sparring have in common, just let us know and we will have a quick chat about it.