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Leadership and Team Preservation

To shape the balancing act of on the one hand satisfying one’s own boss and on the other hand keeping one’s own employees motivated is presumably known by everyone who has ever in their life led (in an organisation). To do this favourably, leaders requires several abilities:

• They must be able to establish dual loyalties and maintain them. This is only easy if they do not enable good relationships through doing what pleases others. And, in any case, this only works if they can engage in relationships internally. The question is ‘are others allowed to become important?’.
• They must be able to disappoint people who have placed their hope in them (“I thought you would be the one to defend us!”) and, on the other side, they must be able to ‘do something to them’ which they fear (If only I knew you would stab me in the back!”). This is the only way in which they can decide appropriately to the situation, whether they selectively work on the side of the team or on the side of the organisation.
• They must be able to cope with accusations which are perceived as unfair and at the same time, and particularly under such circumstances, they must maintain contact with those who accuse them. This will only work if they have a degree of inner independence from the opinions of other people. Leaders should, therefore, know in which areas they are vulnerable, i.e. to which accusations they react with guilt or shame and will then try to overcome these by withdrawal or attack.