Lukas Podolski – Leistung durch emotionale Intelligenz

Heute ist das Abschiedsspiel von Lukas Podolski. Es werden oft Parallelen gezogen zwischen Sport und Business, denn beide Bereiche sind kompetitiv und geprägt durch Leistung. Seit 2004 gehört er durchgehend der Deutschen Nationalelf an und für mich wie für viele andere Menschen hat er Vorbildcharakter. Er verdient einer speziellen Erwähnung und es gibt durchaus Charaktermerkmale, die ihn von anderen Spitzensportlern unterscheiden. Gerade diese sollten aber auch in unserem herausfordernden Arbeitsalltag Platz finden, denn sie sind sehr wichtig.

Würde ich einen Menschen wie ihn in meinem Sales Team haben wollen? Unbedingt.

 Lukas Podolski wird oft in der Öffentlichkeit als der Spaßvogel des Teams bezeichnet, doch dies würdigt nicht die Gesamtleistung seiner sportlichen Karriere. Er hat 130 Länderspiele bestritten in denen er 48 Tore schoss. Hiermit belegt er in beiden Kategorien Platz 3 in der ewigen Bestenliste der Nationalelf. Er wurde 2x Weltmeisterschafts Dritter, Vizeweltmeister und schließlich Weltmeister mit seinem Team. Mit einem Sinn für Spaß und Lebensfreude ist diese Leistung nicht nur zu erklären, wohl aber ist sie Teil des Ganzen. Ich sehe hier drei herausragende Eigenschaften.

  1. Humor

Bei Linkedin ist die Eigenschaft des Humors fest verankert in der Firmenkultur. Dies beschränkt sich nicht auf komödiantische Fähigkeiten, sondern zeichnet sich dadurch aus, dass man als Team Mitglied durch seine Attitüde in der Lage ist, sein Arbeitsumfeld angenehm zu gestalten, andere mitzureißen und eine positive Energie zu erzeugen. Genau dies wird Lukas Podolski durch seine Team Mitglieder und dem Coach Jogi Löw bescheinigt und ist Quelle des Mannschaftsgefühls der Nationalelf. Dies macht ihn so wertvoll für das Team.

  1. Leidenschaft

Es gibt viele international erfolgreiche Spieler, die durch Perfektion am Ball zu glänzen wissen. Taktisches Geschick und ein hohes Maß an Technik machen den Unterscheid aus. Lukas Podolski werden diese Eigenschaften eingeschränkt nachgesagt und es mag in Teilen stimmen. 48 Tore in Länderspielen erzielt man aber nicht nur durch Technik, sondern durch den Glauben an seine Fähigkeiten und die Bereitschaft Dinge auszuprobieren, Mut zu beweisen und auch einmal etwas zu riskieren. Und natürlich auch dadurch, dass man in der Lage ist, sich für das zu begeistern was man tut dabei aber authentisch bleibt. Wer würde das Lukas Podolski absprechen wollen?

  1. Fokus

Auch auf seinen Stationen im Vereinsfußball gab es beachtliche Erfolge. Mit Bayern München wurde er Meister und Pokalsieger, mit dem FC Arsenal holte er den FA Cup und mit Galatasaray Istanbul ebenfalls den nationalen Pokal. Doch seine besten Leistungen zeigte er stets in der Nationalmannschaft. Dies aus zweierlei Gründen. Erstens weil er in Jogi Löw einen Coach gefunden hatte, der an seine Fähigkeiten geglaubt hat und ihm die Freiheit gab sich auf seine Stärken zu fokussieren. Zweitens weil er als unbedingter Teamplayer im Umfeld der Nationalelf das perfekte Team gefunden hat, in das er seine Qualitäten einbringen konnte. 

Diese Eigenschaften sind Schlüssel zu der bemerkenswerten Karriere von Lukas Podolski und sind gleichzeitig wirkungsvolle Attribute zum Erfolg im Beruf. Ein leistungsstarkes Team ist eine Mischung aus Ballkünstlern, Strategen und Akteuren mit emotionaler Intelligenz. Es braucht jeden von ihnen


Living the European Dream – in Dublin and beyond

When the opportunity came up to move my career from Malaga to Dublin, I knew I had to take it. It was a difficult decision in some respects – I had a job that I enjoyed in Malaga, and I did make a few jokes about moving from “Spain to the rain”. However, I also knew, as everyone else working in technology in Europe knows, that Dublin is where things happen.

This city is the technology hub for our region. Around this corner, there’s Facebook; go around another and there’s Google; up that street is Twitter; up that one there’s Airbnb. And then, of course, there’s LinkedIn. I knew that I’d be taking my life in exciting new directions when I moved to Dublin. But it was only when I connected with an opportunity at LinkedIn that I realised just how transformative the experience would become.

Busting the Dublin myths

By then, I’d already bust the myths that I had in my head about Dublin as a location. For a start – the rain. Okay, it’s not quite as dry as the south of Spain, but it’s certainly doesn’t feel any wetter than where I grew up in Germany. It’s certainly not stopped me cycling to work pretty much every day for the last three and a half years.

I had expected to find different types of people in Dublin – but the extent of the difference really surprised me. The presence of all of those companies in a city that still feels like a community is a very special combination. It makes me feel like I’m living in a true global village. It’s diverse and dynamic but hugely warm and welcoming as well.

That came home to me when I decided to run my first marathon shortly after arriving in the city. It was a way of showing my commitment to my new home and getting to know the city a little more as well. I’ll never forget the feeling of people lining the street to support myself and the other runners. When we went through the suburbs, there were people offering us bowls of fruits and sweets on their doorsteps. It reflects the attitude of people here – and also how extremely fanatical they are about sport.

How LinkedIn took my Dublin experience to the next level

In no time at all then, I’d started to feel pretty settled in my new city – and very happy with my life working in Europe’s technology hub. I was what we at LinkedIn Talent Solutions call a ‘passive candidate’. I wasn’t actively looking for a new job; I wasn’t frustrated in my current role or desperate for a new challenge. However, when the right opportunity came up I could see immediately why I needed to take it – and that opportunity was LinkedIn.

In some respects, LinkedIn was on my radar already. I knew that it was an exciting business – and one of the reasons for Dublin being such an exciting place for a tech career. However, I hadn’t fully grasped the mission and sense of purpose it had until a recruiter from LinkedIn reached out to me and I began the interview process.

A mission that matters

I’ve always had an interest in the purpose of what I’m doing. I’ve been interested in politics for the last 20 years – and a lot of my passion for social media comes from the way it can be used to get a message out and further a cause. That’s why LinkedIn’s mission to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce really resonated with me. There was an aspect of coming here that felt like taking on a role with an NGO – and that really appealed.

That wasn’t the only LinkedIn difference that I found inspiring. Reid Hoffman’s principle of the ‘Tour of Duty’ was another idea that really resonated with me: it’s the idea of there being a contract between yourself and LinkedIn whereby you both aim to transform each other for the better during your time here; you may not be here for ever, but if you do leave here for another role, you’ll definitely be leaving better equipped than when you arrived.

Transformation with a difference

Transformation is a really important part of LinkedIn’s values – and the focus of that transformation culture is really unique. At other businesses, you’re often encouraged to think about your weaknesses and ways you could improve them; here the focus is firmly on your strengths and how you can leverage them more effectively for both you and the business. It’s very empowering.

I’ve been able to apply the principle of transformation to my approach to leadership. The result I’m most focused on as a manager is being able to develop people for their next play – that’s what really makes me proud. It’s part of how my team motivates me every day. When I come into the office and see people already at their desks, making calls, working at their laptops – the buzz that gives me is very powerful indeed.

My transformation journey at LinkedIn is now bringing my ‘Tour of Duty’ in Dublin to an end. I’m making the move to manage one of our enterprise teams in LinkedIn’s Munich office. I was right in thinking that moving to Dublin would take my career to places I hadn’t imagined – and how, thanks to LinkedIn, it’s led me to a new city, a new stage of development in my career – and more new experiences. To me, being able to open up new horizons like this is part of the European dream – and LinkedIn and Dublin both embody that dream.

Strengths Finder 2.0Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like the approach – getting away focusing on areas of improvement and how to get better with them. It is about finding out everybody’s individual skills. Learning about what you´re good at and being yourself. Too many manager still try to be the best in multiple areas instead of building teams with the best level of all strengths needed to be successful. An easy read for a short flight with a huge impact on your future work. Management must read.

View all my reviews

how to avoid the meeting marathon


Prologue. Monday morning. You nearly made it on time to your first meeting of the week. While attending and trying to make up your mind, you wonder what this meeting is about. In a discreet way you´re checking your smartphone to look at the calendar entry. You notice that you have 9 meetings today. 3 of them are overlapping or clashing. Some of them you remember, most of them you don’t.
Overall you have around 30 meetings in the upcoming week. You have to do some project work and you are due to delivering some reports and presentations for customers and your boss.

Is this you? Does this sound familiar to you? Maybe you should think about a change. In the past years I noticed a kind of a meeting madness, which takes place all over the world in todays offices.
And it is getting worse. With all the technology and gadgets we own these days to organize our business days, we have lost the ability to focus on the core. We think we are effective, but we´re
far away of being efficient. It is a common behavior to accept a meeting invite on the run, not even knowing what it is about. Just to please somebody and not wanting to annoy him or her. This is how I do it.

1. give yourself a calendar time

After a long, busy week I have a recurring calendar entry on Friday afternoon for 45 minutes. This is my time where I have a close look on the upcoming meetings next week. Here I can reassure if I find some clashes, if a meeting still makes sense or if I may have to decline or postpone a meeting.
I as well can find out if I am missing some information to specific topics, ask the meeting organizer for some more input or for an agenda to decide if my attendance still makes sense. This is the time where i clear up my agenda. It is a very simple behavior which assures not having an overload of unproductive meetings and helps you to prioritize your time. (and makes me feel better of the weekend)

2. no agenda – no meeting

Sounds harsh, but it is exactly how I work. This for sure is handled reciprocal because I don´t send an invite without an agenda as well. Even the shortest meeting invite should contain a purpose, a topic and a desired outcome. This makes meetings so much more productive and values the time of all attendees. Like mentioned before – a smartphone in your hand is a powerful gadget, but it implements the danger for everybody accepting a meeting invite while ordering a coffee at Starbucks. And this is why so many people are rushing to meetings, without having a clue what it is about. This is a waste of time for everybody. So next time when you receive a meeting invite, check if there is an agenda before accepting. And if not – kindly ask the organizer if he or she could include it. Otherwise – there is no meeting.

3. give yourself a break (and prepare thoroughly)

We should not have more meetings to be more efficient, we should have meaningful meetings which makes sense and where everybody comes prepared. So bring yourself into the right mindset before attending the next meeting. You can rarely do this if you do not plan some breaks in between
Everybody of us needs some minutes to refocus.
Think about that in every meeting where you have been invited, your inspiration, your spirit your good ideas are really much appreciated and that´s the reason why you have been invited.
You are the one owning your calendar, so you should not accept or plan invites where one meeting follows consecutively after the other. Does a meeting always needs to be 60 minutes ? Or are 45 minutes maybe enough time to cover your topics? Think about it.

These 3 simple rules of setting priorities helped me a lot to survive the meeting madness of today.
We all have the same 24 hours. Even if trainings are saying so – you can´t manage time, but you can set the right priorities. What do you think? Did you have the same experiences? Ist this how you already do it or do you have some additional advices you can share?



surprise -people management is about people

Being in a leadership role now for some years in this crazy growing and changing world of technology, I see myself in a position to may give you some advises you can benefit from, when you develop into your next play – a role where you´re not only responsible for yourself anymore. A people manager role. There is this quote saying, that when you develop from being an individual contributor into a management position, it is not about how great you are and perform anymore, it is about how successful you can make your team. I saw people struggling on this. Why? Because by nature sales experts are restless fighters, chasing for their own success and having a high level of ego. I don´t mean that in a negative way, it is one of the skills you do need to have in that business.

So coming from a world where it is all about you and now it is all about your them is not easy. You really have to think it over. Take a step back, collect lots of feedback from your peers and have an idea about what really makes you happy. And I mean that not only in the sense of if it is the right decision for yourself. As I mentioned in the beginning, you take on responsibility for individuals and you absolutely should care. A high performing account manager is not necessarily a good people manager and a development into leadership role may even not be seen as a development because it feels wrong. Actually this is a step backwards.

If you made up your mind I have three advices for you, which worked for me very well.

1. always hire the best team

In my past years I did hundreds of interviews together with management peers. I have often been really surprised about the indifferent way they did their interviews.(Being later on surprised about why their team is not performing) Your success as a manager is the success of your team in total. So simple as that. You should have a high interest in hiring the best people for your specific open roles. Don´t only think about skills, experience and educational background. Consider soft skills, diversity and how the person would fit into your existing social micro cosmos. Be bold to hire people for roles where they maybe not the experts in. They may have an expertise on totally different topics you never have thought about and they have interesting stories to tell. Don´t limit yourself. The best advice I have for you in doing a perfect interview is, ask as much questions you can. Ask what you´re interested in apart from the job qualifications and prepare yourself to ask creative questions based on their background. (I don´t mean those nonsense questions like google used to have – sorry google.

2. be authentic, be interested and show empathy

Now when you manage your team, you´re in a relationship with let´s say 10 people or more. (In my perspective the span of control for a people manager ends with around 10-12 individuals) The fundament of this relationship should be trust and authenticity. You will be together with your team around 10 hours per day. This relationship mustn´t be friendship (sometimes it can be) and you don´t have to leave the professional path, but it requires as much intense work to keep it up like a friendship. What does this mean? It means all those little things which appear not to be important but at the end they make a difference and make you unique as a people manager. As the headline says – your business is now about people. Be interested in them. Don´t arrive at work, sitting at your desk and claim that you´re always open for them if they have any issue. Look at your individuals maybe a minute longer and build up pro-active empathy. What can you read in their faces? Did they have a good weekend? What kind of activity have they done? What kind of activity have you done? Give and take and absorb as much as you can. Don’t always talk about the things which are going well in your life. You can share your challenges as well. And never forget, personnel development is a key factor in performance management. You have to provide the platform for it and should know all the time, by what your individual is being motivated to achieve his next play. Lead by example and prove your authenticity in speaking about your career development as well. This makes you a great people manager.

3.always tell the why

Working in IT, technology, marketing or elsewhere in a fast changing working environment means you have to do quick decisions and have to cope with a fast pace. Your management style has to be versatile and to be adapted to several different situations during one day. Sure – you could be all the time very directive and just tell you team what you want them to do. But this turns out not to be very useful as you will not benefit from the skills and knowledge from it. You must manage your team by objective (MBO) and not by control (MBC). If you have tasks for your team, make your life easier and tell them the sense behind. Why do you ask them to do it – and especially why is it important to you personally? If the spirit is right, every single individual is happy to help you out. If you have considered number one of my top three people manager skills, you are surrounded by bright minds. They will claim and want to know anyway what´s the deeper sense behind. Do concentric briefing and give a holistic explanation. Make sure that everybody understands buys in and accepts it as q common task which is in line with the companies strategy. This leads to the best performance and results.

What you think? Did you have the same experiences with being a manager or being managed?

Get shi**t done – a review

Get Sh*t Done!: From Spare Room To Boardroom In 1,000 DaysGet Sh*t Done!: From Spare Room To Boardroom In 1,000 Days by Niall Harbison
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After finishing this book I am not quite sure what I have read. Is it a guide for future entrepreneurs or will I be promoted to the boards room within 1000 days (like the title is promising?) Certainly not. My intention was to rate a 2 stars instead of 3 because of that. But the fact, that the editor comes up pretty straight forward and mostly honest, (he confessed that even the title is more about marketing then waterproofed content), I give it another star.
The book is more a biography then a reliable source of information. In some stages the editor makes dangerous assumptions according to education, science and arts and is missing a prove of concept in most of his theories apart from his own ones.
Because it is written in a kind of way you would have a chat with your lads about it, makes it a way of entertaining.
Is there any innovational fact or wisdom behind? I would say no. Read Dave Carnegie, Seth Godwin, Ken Blanchard and Keith Ferrazzi and you will probably have a better insight about how to get sh**t done.
Read it while you commute with Dublin Busses, Dart or Luas. You will be quickly done.

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How to win friends and influence people

How to Win Friends and Influence PeopleHow to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Heard many good reviews about this book. Kind of a bible for sales which maybe was in early years. Now for me it is not up to date anymore and I find all examples given (and too often repeated) fairly not out of this century. I did not enjoy reading it and I felt a little brainwashed.

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10 reasons why you should not read 10 reasons tips

Browsing my social networks and feeds in a daily manner, I get more and more annoyed and bored about all these Business Insider, Forbes and Tech Crunch lists, which appear in my timeline. Who on earth believes it is innovative or related to a slight kind of entrepreneurship to follow up on 10 things to read, 10 things to do, 10 things not to do lists? Do you really believe it is cool to share or to re-tweet things which show that you do not have any clue about and others made up their minds for you? It is not. Therefore you urgently need this list to help you out.

1. 10 reasons lists do not help anybody but at the end they prove that you at least know the numbers from 1 to 10 which is good
2. 10 reasons list show, that you are interested in content – but you don´t care about reading it, apart from reading 10 reasons lists
3. Editors of 10 reasons lists do not know anything about reality, because the fundament of their researches are 10 reasons lists
4. How many of the biblical 10 commandments did the society has failed to follow up? Why on earth do you believe this works for business?
5. Still reading this stuff? – This is disgraceful. Do you´ve got nothing else to do? E.g. making some business.
6. Can you name the last 10 things which your spouse has told you after coming home from work? You can´t. Same for the last ten 10 reasons lists I guess.
7. At this point I do not have any clue what kind of advise I can give you additionally, but still I have 3 reasons left. So I go on.
8. No 10 reasons lists reader can be 10 times more productive in not adapting any of those stupid lists
9. Why on earth must this always be 10 tips?
10. If you are at this point, you can now open a window and through ten 10 dollars notes into the street. This is exactly the amount you wasted by reading this.

Don´t forget to share this important tips. Also read my 10 reasons why you are not successful and everybody is thinking you are a donkey.

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