Paul was a brilliant young engineer when he started in the IT network department of an international utility company. He soon became key in the team of network designers and when the department grew, he was elected team leader. By the age of 33, Paul was network manager with an undisputed reputation of network expertise.  He worked very hard, but his team became frustrated. Paul…
When I ask seasoned managers in the class room about examples of leadership, a lot of them tell stories about getting the job done. "There was indecisiveness in the group and I took the decision." "There was a change needed and I just told them to do it." "We needed to get our sales target and I pushed my people to go the extra mile." This kind of answers frustrate me. They seem…
Sport metaphors easily find their way in leadership talks. And successful sport coaches can fill their days and wallets with keynotes about excellent team performance. Who wouldn’t like to hear how Marc Wilmots drives the Belgian Red Devils to the maximum of their possibilities? How does he forge cohesion out of the often fierce individual interests of players? How does he involve…
Do team leaders make their teams more effective? Are they really needed? Darwin would definitely have said yes: "As we see those animals, whose instinct compels them to live in society and obey a chief are most capable of improvement, so is it with … mankind.” (1909, in Anderson & Brown, 2010, p. 56). His observation was right:  hierarchies are a universal formal or informal…
I’m a fraud, or at least that is how I feel sometimes when I’m driving home after a day of work. It is only a matter of time before they will discover that I’m not up to the job.  I've heard these sentences 5 times over the last 2 weeks. And they all came from people in high places: a CEO from a SME, a managing partner from a consulting agency, a school headmaster, and 2…
We recently did research about nascent entrepreneurship and came to two important counter-intuitive conclusions. 1. Nascent entrepreneurship is not an ‘alone’ thing. We met several nascent entrepreneurs. The successful ones saw entrepreneurship as a process of collaboration. They worked together with fellow entrepreneurs, with customers, with suppliers and grabbed opportunities…
We leven in een wereld met meer sloten dan mensen. Een wereld waarin bondgenoten elkaar afluisteren, en waar het vertrouwen in instituten daalt (Gallup, 2013; Eurobarometer 79, 2013). Een wereld met steeds meer controle en steeds meer regelgeving. “Vertrouwen is goed, controle is beter,” lijkt het adagio. Tezelfdertijd is vertrouwen meer dan ooit de sleutel tot succes. De…
Leadership is mobilizing others to take responsibility for necessary changes . But who is able to mobilize others? Who turns out to be the ‘natural’ leader of a group ? Who is the Nelson Mandela of each group ? Scientific studies have shown time and again that it is the person who best represents the ‘we – feeling’ . The man or woman who is most ' prototypical '…
80% of our interactions with our supervisors are positive, and only 20% are negative. The bad news is that the effects of negative interactions on our mood are 5 times stronger (Miner et al., 2005). As a result the net effect of interacting with our supervisors is often negative. We experience less positive emotions with them compared to interacting with our colleagues  (Bono et…
Benevolence is probably one of the most important antecedents of leadership. Being friendly and having positive intentions towards other people is the conduit of influence. It facilitates trust, communication and absorption of ideas. Strength is also important. One needs to be competent and integer to count on the trust and followership of people. But strength without benevolence…
Is het u ook al opgevallen dat Belgen voor topposities steeds 'gevraagd worden' of geen kandidaat waren of zijn voor de positie (cf. Kris Peeters dit weekend in de Tijd). Vreemd is dat niet, of toch niet in België. Prof. dr. Hannes Leroy en ikzelf deden recent onderzoek in België naar wat bepaalt dat iemand als leider gezien wordt door anderen. Verder onderzoek is uiteraard nodig,…
Being silent has an impact for the good or for the worse. Dave Ulrich made clear in his HR masterclass in Brussels that the loudest feedback is silence. Saying nothing when you ought to speak is approving the other’s bad behavior. But if being silent means that you are listening, nothing but good will happen. Professor Avraham Natan Kluger (2013) from The Hebrew University showed…