What makes a good leader?

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Could you imagine having someone like Miranda Priestly from “The Devil Wears Prada,” Don Draper from “Mad Men” or David Brent from “The Office” as your supervisor? No? Neither do we. Fortunately, these movie and series characters don’t really exist – but the boss types do.

Good leadership is not a one-way street

Way too loose, controlling, or cold-hearted. Not everyone can be a boss, and it’s certainly not easy. For the relationship between supervisor and employee to run well, trust, respect and transparency are important. If this is not the case, employees do not feel valued enough or not at all, they feel betrayed or not taken seriously. The result: an unmotivated team and a lot of frustration. Subcultures form that drift further and further in the opposite direction and pull each other down with their discontent. In the worst case, this is even a reason for employees to resign. Katharina Wörrlein from mmmake’s HR department: “Studies have shown that a lack of appreciation and poor internal communication are among the main reasons for termination, each accounting for over 70%. This means that employees often leave the company, not because of the company, but because of the leaders. What is often overlooked, however, is that the relationship between supervisors and employees is not a one-way street .” But how does one become a good manager? What qualities should a good manager have and what can you do as an employee to achieve them? Find out in this article.

Good leadership – What do I have to do with it as an employee?

Have you ever thought about how you actually want to be led? If so, what does that mean for you? To understand this, it may be helpful to go through the following checklist:

Like many relationships in life, the relationship between manager and employee is built on communication and constant feedback. For this reason, constant and honest exchange is the key. Be proactive and set up a monthly meeting with your manager, for example, where they can give each other feedback . Or suggest a retrospective for the entire team to their manager. You will learn what this is in the following sections.

Leadership rethought: the Future Leads program

Next to the employee is the manager, who wants to lead authentically and, in addition to orientation, also offers security and trust so that the team wants to follow out of conviction and does not have to because the hierarchy dictates it that way. But how do you manage that? How do you manage to inspire others through your leadership style and create aframework in which the development of both employees and customers can take place?

We have been working hard on these issues and wanted to create something for our leaders that would help them become the leader their team needs and wants them to be. We wanted to rethink and redesign leadership. Away from the rigid image of the superior and towards the leadership coach who supports his employees in tapping their own potential. The result is our “Future Leads Program”. With the help of our partners, we have succeeded in developing a new program for managers – from Team Lead to Unit Lead to Managing Director level. The goal of the one-year intensive program is to develop a common understanding of leadership, to create a greater awareness of (self-)leadership and to make it easier to deal with complex issues. The participants are coached by two external partners and four internal learning facilitators.

“It’s unbelievable what kind of package mmmake offers all managers. Here, we as an employer impressively demonstrate that there is nothing more important to us than our employees. This is truly next level leadership! I am proud to be a part of Future Leads!”

– Michael Lang SVP, Senior Division Lead HXM

Recently, the kick-off event took place. In keeping with mmmake’s style, the focus of this event was also on the experience. The great diversity offered by the topic of leadership should be made tangible. During the two-day kick-off event, the executives were completely among themselves. The main focus was first of all on the exchange among each other. The leads worked together on topics such as leadership principles and leadership rules or complexity at the management level in order to develop a common understanding of leadership. In addition, the participants had the opportunity to talk to like-minded people about their experiences, about things that are going well, what they are particularly proud of, but also about their worries and fears – all in a safe and relaxed setting.

“The Future Leads event was totally enriching for me on a human level and it was also a great start to shaping the future of mmmake together.”

– Mandy Alt, Unit Lead Project Management and Conception

Tools for better togetherness

Are you a leader or employee and want to strengthen the relationship between you and your lead or team, but don’t know how? No problem. We’ll show you useful tools that you can easily incorporate into your daily work routine:

Monthly / weekly feedback meeting:
At this meeting, the manager and the employee talk to each other and give each other constructive feedback. Of course, you can also use this appointment to find out about each other’s well-being.

Retrospective / Review:
Retrospective (looking back) is about learning from the past. The whole team looks at the past month (or the period you defined): What did we accomplish? What should we start with? Stop what? What should we continue to do as we have been doing? Then the team talks about it. On the one hand, this promotes a feedback culture, and on the other hand, it also strengthens mutual appreciation, since the entire team can see the successes that have been achieved together.

The retrospective is followed by planning. Here, all team members define clear goals for the coming month and distribute them afterwards.

You don‘t have any experience in conducting a retrospective yet? Our tip: Choose someone from your company to moderate the retrospective for you. These can be SCRUM Masters, Agile Coaches or other neutral colleagues.

Stay tuned, because in a few weeks we’ll clarify what qualities a good leader should have and why it’s important to ensure good expectation management on both sides.


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Editor & copywriter
Huyen uses her flair for language to make texts lively, appealing and effective.
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