Interview on Business Talk Radio
This month I was interviewed on Business Talk Radio. I talked about a bit of my business trajectory, on how I got started with executive coaching. I also talked about my current and future projects.
It’s a good intro to my business story! Listen to the complete interview below. Follow along with the transcript, if you like.
Announcer: You’re listening to Business Talk Radio, where we take business to the next level.
Chris: Welcome back to the show. I’m your host, Christopher Roberts. Joining me now, she is from Barcelona, Spain, she is an executive coach. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s welcome Maike Stolte to the program. Maike, welcome. How are you today?
Maike: Hi, nice to hear from you. Yes, I’m doing quite okay over here in Barcelona, Spain, despite the situation.
Chris: Well, that’s good to hear. I’m glad everybody’s safe over there. I guess everybody’s safe, right?
Maike: Yeah, my family and friends are safe, so that’s good enough, that’s a relief.
Chris: Yeah, there you go. So welcome to the program. Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day to join us. We appreciate it. Why don’t you start us off? Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.
Maike: Well, I’ve been working as an executive and leadership coach for the last ten years, based in Barcelona, Spain, but I’m originally from Germany, myself. So I’ve been living in sort of an expat culture, I guess, a European expat culture, if you can call it that. And professionally, basically I’ve been focused on helping businesses to motivate their teams, understand team dynamics, and particularly help managers and young leaders to step into the role of– well, new challenges of understanding leadership skills and understanding a little bit about what is needed to manage people, if you want, or basically just motivate them and be more productive, I guess. That sounds really horrible, but you know what I mean, just to support businesses and individuals to thrive.
Chris: All right. Now, what really got you started doing what you’re doing? What sent you down this road?
Maike: I guess it was more a personal quest, because ten years ago I had a bit of a personal challenge. My late mother was ill and I was questioning a little bit what is really important in life and how I would like to dedicate my energy and time in the world. I guess a lot of coaches and therapists have been in similar situations. So I decided to walk the talk. I went through a coaching process and then decided to get trained and help people. So I started off with mainly personal clients, like individual life coaching clients, and then realized that there’s a huge need also when it comes to personal development in companies. And that’s pretty much how the journey went. I’ve done a little bit of everything, in terms of coaching, but also NLP, which is neuro-linguistic programming, then I did four years of Gestalt therapy, and lately I’ve sat into Agile coaching, which is more related to the digital sector, basically. So, yeah, in a nutshell.
Chris: All right. Now, when somebody does reach out to you for the first time, what are they looking for? What do you see the most of?
Maike: It depends on the context. Let’s just say lately, in the last few years, it’s been all about motivation and teams. There seems to be always the struggle in companies to keep the team spirit up, to have team dynamics where people want to collaborate, rather than to compete. And that could be within a team, or it could be between different teams, right? So this is a little bit of what I’ve been working on. It’s all about communication, conflict management, motivation. And as I said before, in a nutshell, it’s a little bit about leadership styles and leadership needs. And when it comes to leadership, you can look at it in terms of the role that someone is taking up as a leader or manager or director, or whatever it is, or you can look at it in terms of leadership skills that need to be developed when you look at the team level, which is what I’m focused on. How can we step into productivity? How can we step into our own responsibility, assertiveness, and act as an adult in our professional lives, and step up the game a little bit?
Chris: All right. Now, why do you think they choose you over someone else out there? What sets you apart from others?
Maike: Well, that’s a good question. I guess we always ask ourselves that. I guess it’s personal relationships, first of all. Most of my clients are recommendations. Maybe it’s the European background, because I can offer services in multiple languages. But I think maybe what stands out is my own quest for authenticity. I like to walk the talk. I like to really guide people along the way, instead of telling people what they have to do, and discover together what are new ways and better ways of doing things. And to be quite honest, I always say this to loads of my clients, I don’t know if I’m helping them or if they’re helping me. It’s a win-win situation on all levels, because I’ve been learning with my clients on the journeys, as well.
Chris: All right. Where do you see yourself moving forward? What’s going to be on tap for you in the future?
Maike: Well, I think in my near future, I’d really like to take this whole notion of leadership to a different level. I’m looking into maybe designing a leadership course and broadening this up, creating more awareness. As I said before, not just talking about leadership in terms of the role, but actually as an ability. And if it’s an ability, what does that do to our teams? Because if our teams can step into leadership, that means also they can step into more proactivity and assertiveness, and basically just be more solution-focused, hopefully, aligned with the business of the business, and focused on the product. So that’s a little bit where I’d like to move, I think.
Chris: All right, and how can my audience reach out and contact you, to find out more information?
Maike: Well, to find out more information, you can go on my webpage, which is www.Inbody.es. The business is called Inbody Coaching and Training, based in Barcelona. And you can reach out by email, by phone. Either way, I’m always open to listening. I offer free half-hour coaching or consultations for anyone who just wants to have a chat and to listen in and see if I’d be the right fit.
Chris: All right. Well, it’s been a pleasure having you on our show today. Thank you so much.
Maike: Thank you, Chris. Have a good day.
Chris: You’re absolutely welcome. And for everyone else out there, do stick around. We will be right back.
“Ninety-nine percent of all leadership occurs not from the top but from the middle of an organization”
John C. Maxwell
To influence and bring value at all levels of an organization, Maxwell identifies three leadership skills:
With this focus of leadership, you influence more senior leaders. You may lighten the leader’s load by willing to take up different tasks and knowing when to push forward and when to back off. Success here means that leaders above trust and rely on you, in addition to seeking advice from you.
Among others, here are three principles that lead-up leaders practice:
- Listen: listening to people helps you find out what is important to them; you can identify priorities, vision, interests, and personality. This way you can better support your leaders’ vision, share their enthusiasm, and earn their trust.
- Respect leaders’ time: when you prepare before meeting with your leader, you are better suited to bring resources, ideas, or opportunities, and contribute to the conversation in a positive manner. This way, you get to the bottom line quicker.
- Keep learning: constant learning and growing enhances your potential to move forward. “No matter how much it costs you to keep growing and learning, the cost of doing nothing is greater,” says Maxwell.
With this focus of leadership skill, you help peers achieve positive results, garner mutual respect and maintain credibility.
Some of the principles that lead-across leader practice are:
- Completing projects with peers: instead of competing with peers, you complete projects with them, combining strengths that complement each other.
- Standing up for what is right: with integrity and consistency, you avoid office politics, staying away from gossip and petty arguments.
- Admitting faults: trying hard to make others think you are perfect is not a winning strategy, it is more effective to put pride away, and be open to learn from others. “Instead of impressing others, let them impress you,” says Maxwell.
With this focus of leadership, you take the stance of a strong ‘model’ in order to help people realize their own potential.
The lead-down leader practices many positive principles, including:
- Treating people with dignity: you get more out of people when you can see who they can become and show respect for them. People to rise to their leader’s expectations when they feel recognized, respected and encouraged.
- Finding people’s strengths: you can determine each employee’s strengths, so you assign them the right job and identify the skills they need to be a success. This way you also know what type of training to provide, to equip your subordinates to win.
- Inspiring people: you know how to interpret and transfer your vision, in a way that inspires and lead people in the right direction. When the vision is clear, everyone maintains the focus, understands their purpose and keeps motivated with passion.
By developing these three types of 360-degree leadership skills, you can work well with: supervisors, inspiring trust; peers, achieving great teamwork; and subordinates, directing and motivating them. This way, you can lead from anywhere in your organization.
In this short video, Maxwell explains why he decided to write about the 360-degree leadership.
“Managers work with processes while leaders work with people”
John C. Maxwell
To learn more about these leadership skills, read our previous articles:
- Becoming a Great Leader
- Agile Leadership and the servant leader
- Career Change: Is it the right time?
You can also check Maxwell’s previous book, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.
For simple, hands on exercises on leadership, download our worksheet Agile Leadership.
We encourage you to understand that leadership is not about knowing but experiencing and learning about your unique leadership style that fosters your own strengths and grow your team’s abilities to excel at their contribution at work. Therefore, we are writing about a few leadership related theories, approaches and techniques that may be useful to you.
Our leadership topics are a free selection by us of authors and streams of theory, without having any commercial or affiliate biases. Hopefully, our articles will inspire you to check out new stuff, or re-visit and value some of the interventions you may have already implemented.
If you find yourself with a few challenges in leading your career, your organization or your team, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Check our online assessment, and book a free coaching call to get clarity on where to start.
Change starts with taking action!
Executive Coach. Consultant. Trainer. Facilitator.
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