Quick Questions

Three questions on leadership development

Today more than ever, leadership development is an important tool for companies to develop their employees and to support them in mastering increasingly demanding tasks. Good leadership has to be learned. Here are some personal insights from Anabel Hengelmann in the field of leadership development, leadership and personal development.

Q: What aspects of leadership development do you see?

A: For me, the difference between a good leader, an entrepreneur with leadership in my eyes, and an executive manager is that the first person is one who has fun in his or her current job, who wants to make a difference, wants to get involved, has ideas, wants to shape things. Managers take care of their career. Of course, they also play a part in this, but they try to optimize themselves professionally and not to make any mistakes. In my view, the point that one should also develop personally is often missed out. This is a very important aspect in order to be able to deal with the challenges of our constantly changing environment, to make decisions that are fit for the future and thus be equipped for bigger, new tasks.

Q: What does leadership development mean to you?

Anabel Hengelmann: For me too, leadership development is more than just management development, because a young manager needs support at the beginning to grow into his or her new function, but then more likely he or she needs to have a sparring partner. It helps if you as a leader reflect again and again and above all with others. Especially in an executive function, you often have no one to give you open feedback. However, I have always appreciated feedback and it has helped me to progress; that's what I understand by leadership development. It also helps to listen to and discuss different points of view, especially when making difficult decisions. External consultants, coaches or trainers have many advantages in this respect. In addition, everyone needs praise and recognition at times, which people in leadership positions usually get little or not at all. In all this I see my tasks in the area of leadership development as supporting managers.

Q: What do you think distinguishes a good management style?

A: For me, good leadership requires courage, creativity and personal values. By this I mean that a manager has the courage to decide, to break new ground and to review his or her decisions based on his or her own values.

A good leadership style is also often accompanied by empathy and the desire to challenge and promote the employees. It is easier if you like people, appreciate and treat everyone in the company with respect for what they do. If the employees are doing well, if they enjoy their work, the company is rewarded with a good spirit and success, usually also with many innovations.

Clear lines in the sense of hard but fair are in my opinion additionally helpful for a good management style. I don’t mean not to turn a blind eye sometimes, but to communicate openly, transparently and in a way that is appropriate for each level.

But for a good management style, authenticity is what is needed above all else, and that makes it personal. Every good manager should work on a leadership style that is appropriate for him or her and their situation.

If you want, I would be happy to support you in doing so with mind, passion and heart.