What constitutes resilience - individual, in a team and organizational
A conversation with David Ebermann
A conversation with David Ebermann
It is not easy to be a manager, and even more difficult the higher you climb. But increased speed, uncertainty and complexity that dominate the everyday lives of decision-makers on C-Level are only one part of the problem. The by far worst part is the total loss of power and status which goes along with a loss of one’s influential position. Exactly this happened to Martin Senn who was the CEO of Zurich, one of the biggest insurance companies worldwide. He committed suicide end of May at the age of 59. Martin Senn was a long-time employee of the insurer, serving as its chief executive for six years before he was forced to step down in December due to public pressure following economic difficulties and a failed M[&]A transaction. The loss of prestige and influence had hit him hard. An acquaintance said Senn had suffered from depression recently.
Narcissus, the young man from Greek mythology, fell in love with his own reflection in a pond and ultimately drowned in his attempt to get too close to his own image. Leaders with narcissistic tendencies fit perfectly into both the modern business world and also the political system. Donald Trump or Silvio Berlusconi are perfect examples for this phenomenon in the political domain while business leaders like Elon Musk (Tesla) or Thomas Middelhoff (Arcandor) are prominent cases for the business world.
She was standing in the back of the room thinking to herself "Why am I doing this? I could be at home on my couch relaxing and watching my favorite TV show..." Instead she was struggling to take the next two steps into the room, locate herself at one of the tables and start a conversation with someone she didn't know. Ah, here comes the waiter with a tray of wine glasses - a secure haven at least for a few moments since the relationship and the mutual expectations are clear - a glass of wine in exchange for a warm ‘thank you’.
A booming industry provides an encouraging ground for new entrepreneurs - be it through start-ups, spin-offs or management buy-outs. So does the real estate industry. However, not all of these start-up’s and spin-offs become equally successful - despite the fertile environment they incubate in. This is rarely a result of overconfidence of the new leaders, lack of market access or bad deals, but rather a lack of investment in the partnering on the top of the company - the newly found leadership team.
Last summer, a devastating flood hit western Germany. For the residents of the Ahr Valley, it was the worst disaster since World War II. Resilience expert Karsten Drath was among the thousands of volunteers who lent a hand in the weeks and months that followed. In twelve points, he summarizes which coping strategies proved effective among those affected by the flood disaster.
"The future is female!" was the title Margarete Mitscherlich published in 1987. My father gave me the book for my diploma! What a prophecy!!!
Time for an interim balance 25 years later: is my and our future female?
In the late 80s I was one of the 32% female students. My eldest daughter is currently studying in Amsterdam, making her one of 55% of all students.
Resilience is the core competence for the time after the crisis. What we are currently learning is that plans don't work out, predictions don't come true, and priorities change by the hour.