Lately, many professional executives and consultants have been calling me because of my blog articles, which are often close to termination. I hear phrases like, “I have high goals but can’t move anything and decide nothing” or simply “I’m 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 move forward. There are two ways to do this:

What is professional leadership?

“Themanagement of employees without disciplinary authority differs only in terms of labour law matters from a management role with a disciplinary management function.” (Source: Haufe). Tasks are often to ensure planning/overview, conflict management, and task creation without having real “power.”

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

What is the frustration?

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

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

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

(Source Haufe)

Why should we do this?

Basically, you will never again learn as much about leadership as you do in this position and also work humanly on yourself. This position gives you skills and a mindset for the entire professional life. You should always be aware of these benefits, even if the road is rocky. Think of a Chinese proverb:

The more rocky the road, the more valuable the goal.

Chinese proverb


I recommend you to go the rocky way and take the manager “Bootcamp” to professional leadership. If you want to climb up and move on, the road is rocky. Many are not willing to go down this path and stay in a position but you don’t seem to want that, do you? That’s why you stay strong, stay tough and keep up!

Image source: Shop photo created by katemangostar –

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.

If there are still questions, you are welcome to call me. Just look in the booking system for a free appointment. I take a few hours every month to interact with readers.

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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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