A study by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, which surveyed more than 1000 executives, shows that 30% of the respondents actively doubt their role as a manager and a further 25% even feel that it is a burden. There is a worryingly high proportion of people in the study who
Self-doubt in their leadership roles is plagued by less positive effects, according to the study.

But where can this come from? There are certainly many aspects and I have already given many tips for executives, which I will list as reading tips below. In this article, I would like to refer to the aspect of self-organization, which can cause leaders to doubt. A particular aspect of this is the feeling that you are no longer needed.

My experience with self-organization

I have been head of department since 2019 and previously had a deputy for this role for almost two years. During this time, I have packed the goals of the Executive Board into various projects that have contributed to the realization of the goals.

Three example projects from my professional life and my approach to promoting self-organization

I would like to present three exemplary project patterns, which I have carried out from the point of view of self-organization at the level of a department head. The projects go through the typical waterfall process for better illustration. After analysing the company’s goals and concept, the project was quickly tested as proof of concept. Afterwards, the implementation was carried out and the new result of the project was established e.g. a new process in the department.

The important aspect is that as a department head I have to quickly pull myself out of topics, because otherwise I fight at too many construction sites at the same time. I therefore delegate quickly and am still ready for questions and coaching. Otherwise, you run the risk of being overloaded or obstructing operation as a bottleneck.

In the first example, I packed a company goal into a concrete project and explained it to the employees. The employees understood this quickly and were able to implement it as a project. I was only open to questions and then i pulled myself out of the subject.

In the second example, I started a project together with an employee as a development measure and helped him to get through analysis and concept. He was still quite young and the concept complex. It was good for him that I helped. Now the employee was able to implement the project on his own and I then helped with the establishment.

In the third example, an experienced employee approached me with a suggestion. I then helped him build out of the concept. Now the employee started the POC and then reported it to me. We then planned the implementation in the department together and he established it.

Conclusion: Success through self-organization and doubt through over-fluidity

Only this approach has ultimately helped me to implement many projects in a meaningful way and to address many issues at the same time. I had to put a lot of trust in the employees, but I don’t brake the company as a bottleneck and give employees the opportunity to make their mark through projects.

I believe that this approach is right and good. I have discussed it for a long time in the blog and also investigated it during my research. Now I actively do it myself and yes, after a while there were doubts that I was actually doing nothing right and only reaping other constant fame. I feel like a shadow between many stars who complete and rock permanent projects. In the end, these doubts spurred me even more on the department to make it even better and to continue along this path. The end was that the board praised me a lot, because in the end it’s my department and even if others manage the projects, it falls back on you as head of department. It was never the case that I wasn’t needed. Staff kept telling me they were happy I was there. It was also known throughout the company that I often control the projects in the background.

Dear leaders! It can feel hard to be in the spotlight and not always getting the full fame quickly. Trust also demands a certain degree of overcoming and one’s own employees are sometimes praised more than oneself. This can also make the strongest character doubt when traditionally thinking employees ask, “What else are you doing?” I believe that self-organization will lose short-term fame, but the medium and long term will be all the greater. That is why I appeal to you: do not give up, promote self-organization, reject doubts and go down the road of success!

Reading tip: Be chief executive!

Image source: https://pixabay.com/de/photos/gesch%C3%A4ftsfrau-vore-boss-4133404/

Gender note: I have used the male form for easier reading. If no explicit distinction is made, women, miscellaneous and men as well as people of any origin and nation are always meant. Read more.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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