Leadership and organisation
Our working world is constantly changing. And as managers, it is our job to remain just as flexible. This is the only way to motivate our people to get the best out of themselves and to stay with us in the long run.
"Finding the best people and attracting them to your team" is a very central issue.
At this point, I have brought you 5 leadership tips.
1. Give regular feedback with the Start-Stop-Keep method
This is one of my favourite leadership tips from start-ups right at the beginning.
Feedback culture is incredibly important. Feedback between leaders and employees as well as within the team. My recommendation for every leader: try the Start-Stop-Keep feedback method.
The principle is super simple. For example, you make an appointment every two or four weeks for a very short, crisp feedback session. 15 minutes is enough.
Everyone brings along a Start, a Stop and a Keep.
- Start: What should the person do in the future?
- Stop: What should the person not do in the future?
- Keep: What should the person continue to do in the future? What do you value very much?
This is a super simple method that is really, really effective for giving good, constructive and useful feedback on a regular basis. To make the procedure easier and faster, especially in the beginning, you can fill out a Start-Stop-Keep-Feedback-Sheet beforehand and print it out once.
It is important not to bring too many points. If you do such a feedback round e.g. every fortnight, one to two points per Start, Stop and Keep tend to be enough. The aim is to be able to exchange the points really briefly and crisply in a quarter of an hour.
2. Leadership tips from start-ups: Give feedback in the team with the 360-degree Start-Stop-Keep-Team-Feedback
The Start-Stop-Keep feedback method is also great to use with the whole team. Here you can meet with all team members every two or four weeks. Again, the meeting lasts only fifteen minutes. One person sits in the middle, so to speak, and everyone around gives feedback on the three points Start, Stop, Keep. Hence the name 360 degree feedback.
Then you rotate through. At the next session, another person sits in the middle, at the next session after that, another person sits in the middle, and so on. In my experience, this is an enormously effective method, firstly to sharpen the feedback culture in the team and secondly to strengthen team cohesion and openness in the team after just a few weeks. Everyone realises that they can dare to do something in a protected space.
Very important: Everyone must abide by a few rules during this process and treat each other with respect.
A little trick to start with: In the very first session, you as a leader can simply sit in the middle and ask your people to give you honest feedback on the three points.
This leadership tip from the start-up world may take some getting used to for everyone involved, but I can say from experience: it works.
3. Make vision and mission clear
Tip No. 3 from the bag of tricks of leadership tips for start-ups revolves around vision and mission.
People often tend to think of these two as the same thing. But this is not the case. Here is a little mnemonic to help us and our team members understand what exactly is the difference between vision and mission. You need both ...
The trick to the whole story is to connect vision and mission with just one little word. And that is with the little word so that.
Here is an example to illustrate this that I once saw in a TV report:
There is a valley in Latin America where the children had to walk down the mountain every morning on their way to school, fight their way through a river and walk back up the other side. The inhabitants wanted to build a bridge over the valley.
The vision in the story, the target image that the people had in their heads or in front of their eyes: That this bridge would be finished in its place. So:
"We are building a bridge [that is the vision] so that no child has to risk his or her life on the way to school anymore [that is the mission].
The what, the vision, is the bridge and the why, the mission, is that no child has to risk his or her life on the way to school any more.
4. Leadership tips from other start-ups: create a success mindset among your employees
Motivated employees are the be-all and end-all of keeping things running. People should retain the intrinsic motivation they usually have when they start working for their new employer. It helps to regularly refresh the success mindset. How does that work?
You can simply introduce a kind of ritual in the team. For example, at the end of the day or at the end of the week, each person answers the following 3 questions briefly and succinctly:
- What was my greatest success today/this week? What am I particularly proud of?
- What was the most important learning I took away?
- Why will tomorrow be a good day/next week a good week? What am I looking forward to?
You can easily answer the questions in the team chat or via WhatsApp. Or everyone can make a short video and send it to the group. There are many cool and quick ways to do it.
This ritual helps a lot to focus on success and on the future. And it motivates because you look back and are happy about what you have achieved. Because you are aware of what you have learned and know that you are moving forward. You also learn from your colleagues and can often take something away for yourself.
5. Use BFS and develop a solution mindset
A tried and tested management strategy comes into play here: the bottleneck-focused strategy (BFS).
As a leader, you should in principle permanently include two questions in your daily communication with your people:
The first question relates to BFS, to the bottleneck-focused strategy or to the One-Thing philosophy, and is quite simple: What is the one specific bottleneck that is preventing us the very most from achieving:
What is the one bottleneck whose solution makes everything else drastically easier or even unnecessary to achieve our goal?
You should incorporate this consideration into your daily philosophy and communication with your team and model it as a leader.
You just ask this question over and over and over and over again. One of Google's founders came up with an apt phrase for this: Chief Repeating Officer.
"I actually repeat the same thing 30 times a day. That's how my people start to think in those categories and put their focus on solving the problem."
The second question follows automatically from the first:
What is your concrete suggestion now to solve this bottleneck?
In this context, we as leaders should sometimes take a step back and in our urge and wealth of ideas not directly serve up the solution. We want our people to think independently, proactively, self-determinedly and entrepreneurially.
By the way, you can also use this perfectly in moments when employees approach you with problems, for example. The goal is to condition the employees so that they already know: "I don't really need to approach the manager without having first briefly thought about the two questions mentioned above."
As a personality with leadership responsibility, you should tell your people that they can come to you at any time. They should simply be able to say specifically what the bottleneck is and what ideas they have for solving it.
Important: It's enough if they come with ideas, with initial approaches that don't have to be perfect. These can then be further developed together without any problems.
TOPIC 1: Your own Competences and attitudes
The right basic attitude is one of the most important requirements for a successful start-up.
TOPIC 2: Business concept and financing
Creation of detailed business concept & knowledge of financial needs and sources is important
TOPIC 3: Offers, competitors and customers
Knowledge products, services you want to offer and difference from those of your competitors