037 The first and most important Leadership-Tools

“Perhaps in your countless episodes, there is already this hidden theme somewhere: What do you think are the first “tools/methods” that a manager should learn, use and above all improve? “

That was the question on Xing, the German competitor of LinkedIn. I was surprised that I couldn’t come up with an episode right away, nor did I find anything exactly fitting in the archive. Over 280 episodes and still no such summary? Let’s go!

The first and most important management tools

I have formed four segments and now recommend something for each one.

Management Philosophy

The profession of a manager is rarely defined and certainly not uniformly described. This starts with the names of the hierarchy levels and does not end with the different understanding of goals.

Often it is a mixture of laziness and ignorance, which then says sentences like “Staff Meetings are done by HR for us.”

Prof. Dr. Fredmund Malik has laid the foundations here with “Leading Living Performing” and created a uniform and universally applicable management definition. I can only advise every manager to have read the book and do it again and again.

Management tools

Anyone who takes on personnel responsibility changes careers. Away from the specialist to the manager. The new job is no longer about the specialist tasks, but about getting other people to do the right things for you. The new job is about people, no longer about the profession. If you don’t want or can’t do this, please leave the task to someone else! We already have enough bad managers.


To interact with other people, communication is necessary. Communication is a craft that needs to be learned. Good leaders have even mastered it.

There is a whole range of models for communication. Many theories, much structured knowledge. Managers want to make it their hobby, so to speak.

I teach some models in the LeadershipStars Program that I find very helpful. In the coming program, this area will be expanded again heavily.

Some recommendations:

  • Communication Styles
  • Schulz von Thun’s “Four Page Model”
  • Much of the neurolinguistic programming is directly usable

You are interested in interpersonal communication. Selling, arguing, convincing, all just communication.

But there are three tools that I consider fundamental and say that every manager must know, be able and use them:
One on One

Regular discussions with the employees.


The only way to get permanently better employees

They are still the biggest item on the calendar for many people and just as often there are complaints about poor meetings.
Specialist tools

In addition, each profession has its own specialist knowledge and methods. How your field is to be organized is probably already exhaustively described in several papers. For my IT department, ITIL is always being used.

However, all managers want to be professionals in project management. Here is the standard PRINCE2.

Again and again I can only recommend that you build your own area of responsibility along established standards. Understanding these and adapting them to your own needs is the fastest way to success.

The third specialist tool is to align the organization with the goals to be achieved.

I have already published a lot about this.

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