Pallegram | #6


“Let them get on with it” is the ultimate sign of respect

Leadership programs, New Work measures… What has really been happening at major companies in recent years?

For one thing, there have clearly been some visible changes, and I want to make it very clear that I’m not referring to changing dress codes. People who know me also know that I always manage to find the perfect outfit for every occasion. It consists of a cap, a checked shirt, jeans, and sneakers. And I don’t intend to change that. I consider the saying “Clothes make the man” a confession of our society’s superficiality rather than an important tip from the book of etiquette on how to dress for a public appearance.

Today the era when men had to wear ties seems to be history, and I think that’s definitely a positive development (even though I may now be contradicting what I said in my previous paragraph).

A similar change can be seen today in the workplace — and by that I don’t mean only the typical office building, which only a decade ago could barely be distinguished from a government agency in terms of its decor. When I saw my workplace in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim for the first time on February 1, 2017, I wondered why no one had ever taken a can of paint to it. The atmosphere reminded me all too vividly of a chicken coop for human beings, where someone was trying to pack as many workers as possible into a small space. Fortunately, there has been a fundamental change of attitude here. People have realized that creativity and a pleasant atmosphere have a significant influence on the ultimate formula for creating efficiency.

Good… that’s been checked off. But by now you’ve probably noticed that I’ve merely been leading up to my main point.

Letting go isn’t easy

May I ask you a direct question? I’d really appreciate it if you could write comments to let me know your personal views. Whether or not you’re an entrepreneur or an employee in a human resources unit, what kind of new colleagues would you want to hire?

Please let this question sink in for a moment, even though it might initially sound very mundane. In my opinion, the best answer to this question was given by Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, who died much too soon:

”It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do. ”

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Steve Jobs Apple Co-Founder

I think this is one of the most inspiring ideas ever — not only for entrepreneurs but also for every manager in a company. During my pre-Daimler career, whenever I hired a talented individual (I think this term is extremely important, because all of us have talents), I wanted us as a team to learn from that, to become better, and of course to be rounded out as a result.

If you bring people who have different and complementary talents into a company without giving them enough freedom — and if, on top of that, you try to squeeze them into the restrictive environment I’ve just described — you’re depriving them of the air they need to breathe and taking away their opportunity to contribute these important talents.

The most inspiring managers have always been the ones who gave their colleagues the opportunity to realize their potential and demonstrate the qualities for which they were recruited and ultimately hired.

This is not only modern leadership. It is, above all, a sign of respect — for the qualities of the team members and, above all, respect for individual human beings.

What do you think about this topic?

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Sascha Pallenberg

At the age of four Sascha sat for the first time at the 24h race at the Nordschleife. Ten years later, in 1985, he went online for the first time. At least for a month, because then the phone bill surprised his parents. But at least this time still forms the foundation for his passion for the intersection of mobility and the digital world.

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