Are you brave enough to empower your team and run the risk of failure?

Leadership development programs, the world over will focus on the theme of empowerment. The question we have to ask ourselves is: are we brave enough to take the risk?

picWhen I arrived as a CEO at software AG three years ago, there was a young man responsible for PR (Press Relations) and IR (Investor Relations). He was supposed to have been fired by my predecessor three or four times, but somehow he survived.

I realized he was full of passion, but unfortunately PR and IR require distinct skills. IR requires a conservative, modest way of communication. PR is more aggressive. The sum of both created an average performance for both PR and IR. I advised him to focus, on IR- his more natural talent.

I hired a PR manager and focused him on PR. The IR manager was disappointed. I began to empower him: full trust, full responsibility, stretched targets, full support and appreciation of his work … This year we won two key IR awards, one being the No 1 IR department in the German stock index TecDAX. It was the result of… empowerment, focus and trust, my principles of coaching.

(by Karl-Heinz Streibich CEO, Software AG)