Why you must first learn to manage yourself, before you can manage others
CEO at OSRAM Continental
What makes a good leader “good”? This is a question I have asked myself a lot. In this four-part series of LinkedIn Pulse articles, I would like to share with you my personal leadership experiences.
But let’s start at the beginning: I believe that leadership qualities are fundamentally built on your person, your value system, your character and how well you are able to organize yourself and balance your life. I am convinced that successfully managing yourself is the key to being a good leader! Here are three lessons I have learned throughout my career:
Being balanced has a positive impact on your work
Reconciling your job, family and leisure time and thereby creating a balanced life has an irrefutably positive impact on your work as a transformational leader. Because if you are well-balanced and at ease, you radiate that energy and transfer it to your employees. It is easier for you to inspire and motivate but also to make tough decisions. So, although it takes effort to achieve this balance between private and business, you should work on it. If I, for example, notice that I feel unbalanced, I usually turn to exercising or running, which really helps me regain my focus, creativity and energy.
Motivate yourself, if you want to motivate your team
Speaking of motivation: It is sometimes overlooked just how important it is for business leaders to motivate themselves in order to successfully motivate their teams and create a fruitful atmosphere. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, for example, “roughly 50-70% of how employees perceive their organization’s climate is attributable to the actions and behaviors of their leader” (Source: Westmountmag.ca). Having a positive mindset and being a role model is therefore crucial to transform your people into a high performing team. A positive mindset, I think, is closely tied to your self-confidence, which in turn comes from knowing your strengths and weaknesses and steadily working on them.
Make continuous improvement a part of you
There is no single path to success when it comes to self-improvement, but I have found that reading and learning from others has helped me greatly in developing myself. Maintaining a sense of curiosity throughout your life is vital to advance your career and leadership skills. Additionally, “self-management” also relies on “self-reflection”. Not only is actively asking for feedback from your teams a great tool to learn more about yourself and improve your management style, it will also motivate your colleagues to keep challenging you – and themselves! At OSRAM Continental we’re rolling out 360° feedback – a great method of learning more about yourself and your team at the same time.
To sum it up: It is all about the inner attitude! With the right attitude and discipline, you can achieve great things.