Prof. S. Krummaker about leadership
"I am a leadership enthusiast! I am teaching leadership, researching leadership and writing about leadership. What is fascinating me about leadership is it’s power to make a difference in the world of business and beyond. For me successful leadership is winning the hearts and minds of people to achieve great things. Leadership doesn’t necessarily have to come from someone with formal authority. Even though we expect it, not every boss is providing leadership. Leadership is influencing behaviour.
Thus, everybody in an organisation with influential capacity can provide leadership and slip into a leader role. Leaders are not appointed - being a leader is a role that someone chooses to take and to fill and that others attribute to a person. Others might see us as a leader, because they feel we are doing something they appreciate and want to be a part of.
Truly effective leaders are mindful, authentic, honest and guided by a strong ’moral compass’ which is helping them to make ‘the right’ decisions. These leaders are able to inspire, energise, motivate and to care for others and to build high-quality relationships with them. They are not shy to take over responsibility - they are passionate communicators with the ability to listen and to give constructive feedback.
Successful leadership sounds a bit like a Swiss army knife or what the Germans would call an ‘Eiermilchlegende Wollmichsau’. However, my experience from working with leaders for many years and from my research makes me very confident that effective leadership can be developed. However, effective leadership behaviour is not an universal blueprint, but needs careful adjustment to the situation the leader is operating in. More specifically, effective leadership looks differently in different industries, or situations that organisations face, such as a financial crisis or a new market entry, and, in particular in different countries. In other words, leadership is culturally-sensitive. For example, Leadership behaviour that has proven to be effective in the US might not work in Southwest Asia due to conflicting expectations, different values and cultural beliefs.
I have worked with students and leaders with different cultural backgrounds over the past 15 years and I find these cultural differences one of the most fascinating and challenging aspects of leadership. My teaching, trainings and coachings take these differences into consideration and focus on developing culturally-sensitive leadership behaviour with a capacity to understand and respect different cultures, and to adjust and broaden leadership behaviour respectively.
I am convinced that leadership education is contributing to develop ‘better’ leaders - leaders who are able to make a difference!"