Lately, many professional executives and consultants have been calling me because of my blog articles, which are often close to termination. I hear sentences like: “I have high goals but I am not allowed to move anything or decide anything” or simply “I am frustrated and demotivated.”

According to studies, these positions have the highest frustration factor (see Medical journal ) but it is also a fact that each of us wants to go further. There are two ways to do this:

What is professional leadership?

The management of employees without disciplinary authority differs from a management task with a disciplinary management function only in terms of labor law issues .” (Source: Heap ). Tasks are often the planning / overview as well as the conflict management and task creation to ensure without having real “power”.

Examples are positions such as: project manager, staff positions or external consultants as well as Scrum Master / Product Owner.

What’s the frustration?

The frustration is usually fairly uniform: No decision-making authority, constant overtime, all eyes are on the professional leadership, unrealistic goals and far too much work. One also often hears that work would be much easier with the help of disciplinary “power”.

What is the problem? Professional managers must solve all problems humanely and through an authentic, cooperative manner. This is not always easy and often impossible, as management objectives also have to be met. So you are in the so-called sandwich position between management and employees. You have to move a lot with little leeway.

Take care of the processes in your team. Get to know your employees and create the framework that your team needs to develop a trusting, respectful and performance-oriented culture of cooperation.

(Source Heap )

Why should someone do this?

Fundamentally, you will never again learn as much about leadership as in this position and you will (have to) work on yourself as a person. This position gives you skills and a mindset for your entire professional life. You should always be aware of these advantages, even if the road is rocky. Think of a Chinese proverb:

The more rocky the path, the more valuable the destination.

Chinese proverb


I recommend you to take the rocky road and take the managerial “bootcamp” with you for professional leadership. If you want to climb up and move on, the road is rocky. Many are unwilling to take this path and stay in one position, but apparently they don’t want to, do they? So stay strong, stay tough, and hold on!

Image source: Business photo created by katemangostar –

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I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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