Career advice

The secret of being a good leader

by Christina Hubmann - March 28th, 2017

Where people and performance matter – The corporate culture at Allianz (Part 1)

It is all about the people. A company only runs with its people who work together in a specific matter. Each company has a specific culture, what can be defined as genetic code or personality of a company. It is the company vision, practices, values and norms, which is shared and lived by the individuals.

At Allianz, we live a culture where both people and performance matter. Results gets as much appreciated as an inclusive, collaborative, entrepreneurial and customer-centric behavior. This culture is the key enabler of the Renewal Agenda, the strategy of Allianz. By living key behavioral principals the employees of Allianz shape the home for those who dare.

But what does it mean exactly? What is behind of the facade? Well, today let’s have a look at the team leaders first.

Empowered team

You know these managers who micromanage you? Who monitor each and every step of your tasks? Managers, who delegate tasks to you but don’t trust you that you are able to fulfill this work in your own way? Are you familiar with to-do lists which are more a drawn-out document, where each bullet point is accompanied by paragraphs of elaboration, laying out to the very smallest of details exactly how you should accomplish the task?

How ineffective and demotivating.

Wouldn’t it be much more helpful, if a leader explains not only the context but also provides an understanding of the company strategy and how your team activities link back to the overall strategy? Wouldn’t it be way more motivating if your boss explain expectations and gives you the freedom to act towards these clearly defined expectations?

Yes, it would be. And that is what Allianz lives within the collaborative leadership: Leaders at Allianz want to empower the team and provide purpose and strategic direction. They want to inspire teams, so employees can contribute meaningfully by a clearly delegating authority.

People who dare to leave the comfort zone

Have you heard about the managers who never recognizes your hard work? Who let you do your job but never give advice on how you could improve your work? Who are simply not interested where your talents lie and in which direction you want to head? And who never asks you for your opinion or feedback?

Well, it’s sad if you have already made this experience. But you should know, that a culture with a collaborative leadership is a culture where people receive constructive honest feedback, and this on an ongoing basis. Leaders at Allianz want to let their employees develop and grow, based on the individual skills and needs. The colleagues around you should be eager to continuously improve their skills and to leave their comfort zones. The leaders around you should continuously build strong teams whose members collaborate across processes and departments.

Exchange talents, skills, ideas and best practices

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. First, this is not efficient and second, this is not a motivation at all. Don’t get me wrong. You are encouraged to do it in your own style, to be an enabler and to be the change. But only if all members of the company follow the same blueprint and head in the same direction, a company is successful, efficient and a great place to work.

So, to be more clear: A company is only as strong as the team is who stands behind it. Nobody is working on his or her own – a company culture with a collaborative leadership exchanges talents, best practices and ideas. It consists of open-minded relationships within and beyond own team and supports ideas of others. In an ideal world with an excellent collaboration leadership projects get initiated to foster collaboration.

 

So… What is the secret now?

So, let’s summarize. The secret of being a good leader is not being a leader only, but being a collaborative leader, who doesn’t focus on own deliverables only. Good leaders empower the people, give them a chance to develop and make an effort to share ideas and knowledge within the organization. And as Allianz is a global company, this collaboration goes beyond the boundaries of the own team, location and entity – only together it can be worked for the greater good of Allianz and only together the values of the company culture can be lived. Allianz is the home for those who dare to live this behavioral principle of a collaborative leadership.

Christina Hubmann

Global Communications

Christina Hubmann works in the Global Communications team of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, the Allianz centre of expertise for global business insurance and large corporate and specialty risks. She has a journalism background.

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