I attended the 3rd Business Forum for small and medium-sized enterprises on Thursday in Baden-Baden. (Nice to have a short trip for a change!) I applaud the organisers for developing this conference in what has been a pretty dull economic climate in Germany over the past few years. The conference ran under the motto “A Guide to Unconventional Thinking”; maybe I’m too unconventional already in my thinking, the conference brought little new in that respect.
I heard a couple of the keynotes. Prof. Osterhoff left us with his checklist for leadership
- Respect for otherness
The first three are standard, the fourth is worth taking some time to reflect on. How well do I do this in my working day? An example: we’ve appointed a new architect to see the building through to the finish. His style of running the project and dealing with the craftsmen is very “old school”. His way of writing to the craftsmen is very “I’m running the show”. I would tackle the job differently. However, I haven’t said anything. He does it differently, he’s a different personality. I respect that. Twenty years ago, I would have told him how to do it “the right way”. Now I’ve learned there is more than one right way. And it’s good to respect the otherness of other people.