rrrene* About

How to lead teams with empathy and trust

“Come on, let’s not make life difficult for each other, we’re all getting old here together.”

These were the words that had been ringing in my ears for years. My boss had said them and I, as a young, up-and-coming manager, just thought “oh boy, he has a midlife crisis”.

Five years later, I realize that my boss had been right: In a team that sticks together and takes care of each other, you “grow old together” while you tackle big tasks alongside each other.

The time as a manager at 5Minds has taught me a number of things that I believe are also relevant for other teams and life situations.

The biggest stumbling blocks to the success of a team are its ability to perform and the ego of the leader.

Establish a strong culture to pick up speed!

The speed with which we make, test and confirm or reject decisions is a decisive competitive advantage of agile, digital companies.

However, this advantage can only be realized if the culture can also support the rapid change from idea to prototype, to first product version.

Managers play a crucial, supportive role in this game.

We need fewer “bosses” and more “mentors” who help each individual team member to play to their strengths.

Employees do not have to earn your trust first!

Managers, especially new managers, routinely use their own professionalism as an arbitrary benchmark for their team.

It often has a negative effect on the team’s growth opportunities if our image of the employees is shaped by a distorted image of ourselves as specialist.

I believe that trust is the hardest currency we have at work.

Trust as a manager is not a weakness, but gives employees superpowers.

We managers have to be role models, but we cannot influence how this role model is perceived and internalized.

Here it is important to be careful that the success of our team does not depend on an arbitrary finish line that ultimately only exists in our heads.

Therefore: Create clear expectations, especially for new team members!

We all grow old together here and even if I didn’t understand it back then, I still think today that there is a lot of truth in a healthy team.