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The Turnaround: Leadership Lessons from my Life’s Toughest Moments

A decade ago, at the peak of my career—leading teams, climbing the ladder, and balancing family life—I faced an unexpected curveball.

The struggle began with a personal crisis that led to a divorce—a period that threatened my very foundation. My trust, both in myself and others, was deeply shattered. I found myself navigating through one of my life’s darkest phases, feeling utterly lost. Yet, amid this turmoil, I had to muster the strength to keep moving forward, ensuring my family could still lead a quality life.

This experience forced me to reprioritize. I realized I couldn’t devote myself entirely to my job; my personal growth needed attention too. It led to a period where my career took a sideways path—a time for which I am profoundly grateful, especially for the leadership around me that supported me in being true to myself.

In the eye of this storm, I embarked on a coaching education, moved cities, and faced several job changes. Each step was exhausting, challenging me to my core. It was open conversations and a quest for knowledge on divorce, maintaining strong relationships with my children, and healing that sustained me.

I discovered the power of accepting my emotions and the significance of the narratives we tell ourselves. My coaching education became my sanctuary, allowing me to work through my thoughts and experience the transformative impact of coaching.

The profound lessons I learned about leadership during this time have deeply influenced my approach. Understanding the context and situations of those you lead is paramount. It requires building a relationship founded on trust to allow for vulnerability. Recognizing what level of performance is achievable in different circumstances is crucial, as not all phases of life can be about upward career trajectories. Sometimes, consolidation and personal development take precedence.

I’ve learned the value of supporting others through their life phases, which has not only enriched my leadership style but also fostered lasting loyalty and trust.

I integrated my learnings into a leadership approach characterized by emotional intelligence, perspective enhancement, situational awareness, and a genuine connection with each individual.

To those navigating through their storms, remember: life continues, and how we frame our stories can transform our darkest moments into our greatest lessons.

I share these insights not just as lessons learned but as a beacon for those on similar journeys. If you’re interested in exploring more about leadership, resilience, and personal growth, follow me. Together, we can navigate the complexities of professional and personal development.

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Content preparation

Rioughlz 10 years ago I was on a high . I was investing a lot in meeti=ups, I was leading a bigegr team, I climbed the carreer ledder. I was father of 3 childn and happily married. I thought. Then we struggled and our life changed drastically. Over several stages I got divorced. And this was a life threatening expereince for me. My trust was deeply borken. In myself and also in others. I never had that feeling before. I was lost. And at the same time I had to provide my power to keep things moving. To still provide enough input so that my family can cotinue lifing a good live. What I learned was that for the moment I need to adjust my priority. I had to find myself and I could not give extreme dedication to my jon only. A perdiod of a job sideways development followed. And I’m grateful for great leadership in this moment that really helped me to be myself and to life thought that change. In the middle of this life change I also was just starting my coaching education, I moved from from Munich to Berlin and then moved in Berlin several times. I also changed jobs. Several huge changes to handle at once. It was exhausting, treathening and I remember several occassions when I nearly did not make it “home” without breaking apart. What helped me immensly was speaking about my topics with close family members, with close fiends. And I read a lot. About divorce, about how to keep a great relationship with my childrean, about healing and living through such drastic changes. I discoverd that living through these emotions, accepting it is important. At the same time my mantra becam: The world continues to turn. And how I tell the story is important. Super helpful was my coaching education. And I’m so grateful for the coaching group and our teacher. I was able to work through many of my thoughts with coaching sessions. And while become a coach myself I experienced the impact of coaching. Regarding leadership I learned several important lessons that I integrated with my way of leading too. It is crucial to understand the situation and context of someone you lead. It needs a good relationship and trust level to enable someone to open up and show their vulnerability. When as a leader I understand that context, then I need to have the situational awareness what level of performance is possible. It cannot always be the top career advancing trend upwards. There are also many situations like mine, where it needs a consolidation phases caused by a stronger development of a person in other dimensions. In my case, self recognition, building a new living model, finding emotional stability. If a leader supports in such phases of live they become part of that persons life journey and in my case I will always be loyal to leaders and friends who supported me in rough times. Hindsight at this sideways development in job turned into a further strong upwards development. I was able to integrate all these learnings in the way I lead. With high emotional intelligence. With enhancing perspectives. With situational awareness. With connecting on human and being interested in each person. With strong situational leadership.

Posted on LINKEDIN on 2024-02-10_Sat


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