New Leadership: Leading with the Leadpreneur Factor – an interview with Filiz Scarcella

Leadership

Filiz Scarcella is a coach, author and keynote speaker, but above all, she is ingeniously different. In her coaching sessions she shows us how to finally change to forward speed and get into our zone as genius – without blah, without buzzwords, but with a lot of emotion and plain language. In an interview with Workpath, Filiz reveals more about New Leadership and what‘s behind the Leadpreneur factor.

Hello Filiz, many companies are currently investing vast amounts of time and money to make their processes agile. Why is that not enough?

For some years now we have been asking ourselves again and again: Are we ready? Are we ready for agility, for the new working world, for digitalization? Are we ready for New Work, with everything that goes with it? For many companies, this question is currently answered quite naturally. Because with all the speed and uncertainty there is no time to wonder for long. We must act. And yet we should be aware that behind all these modern buzzwords there are always people who first need to show courage and allow change. New Work is only possible if we have the skills we need to be agile ourselves. These skills include self-perception, role clarity, personal responsibility, appreciation and last but not least communication. Sure, nothing new, but we should become aware again that not only processes, but above all people need to be developed. 

You came up with the Leadpreneur Factor – what’s behind it and why is it a game changer for the new working world.

I am not a fan of labels. I am convinced that you can be a leader even if you are not actually leading employees. Everyone of us has qualities that make us a leader and after all we lead ourselves every day – sometimes more, sometimes less successfully. The same applies to the term “entrepreneur”. In my eyes, this too describes not only a person per se, but above all a repertoire of skills. So I do not look outwards, but inwards. What constitutes a person? What makes me myself? At some point it clicked for me: I’m a Leadpreneur. I have the skills that we expect from a leader and at the same time I have skills that describe an entrepreneur. These include passion, self-confidence, courage and a winner‘s mindset. If you develop your own Leadpreneur factor, you get started, you set out on a path and ultimately you get to your own zone of genius. But I am not allowed to reveal more about this here. In my Leadpreneur Circle we will discuss in detail and individually how you can find your Leadpreneur Factor and get going.   

Why do we need self-leadership to lead others effectively? And what does it mean exactly?

Good, positive leadership starts with yourself. Before you can lead others, you should look at yourself. You should learn to organize yourself, to discipline yourself. You should deal with and have a close look at your values and how you react when you make a mistake. That is exactly what self-leadership is. 

Let’s look at an example. If you want to lead successfully, you should know the strengths of the individual employees and promote them. This is what we are taught in every management seminar. But how exactly do you want to do that if you don’t know your own strengths and characteristics? How do you want to instill trust if you have no idea what effect you have on others? How do you want to communicate if you have never dealt with your own language? Self-perception, then self-leadership – these two are the foundation of good leadership for me. 

What can we do concretely to establish a type of leadership that fits the agile way of working? 

As mentioned before, good and agile leadership always starts with ourselves. Of course, new processes are important, but we should be much more concerned with what role we play as people in this new working world and what skills we need. Agile working is successful if we are courageous, welcome change and see mistakes as opportunities. Those who expect this from their own employees should also expect it from themselves. What does this mean in concrete terms? Dear managers, take a look in the mirror! Deal with yourself and then deal with your employees. Ask questions! Listen! Show empathy!

You now have more than 10 years of experience as an Agile Master, Change Developer and Leadership Coach. What were your most important learnings?

Haha… now I feel old. But, you are right: 10 years of experience, a lot of training and coaching, a lot of different people I got to know. I have learned a lot, but at the end of the day only one thing sticks in my mind: Be yourself. All too often we strictly follow all these guidelines and processes, we have a stick up our a** to appear “normal” and swallow any emotion. Don‘t dare to appear vulnerable, always be in control and competent. Maybe it’s the age, but I really don’t care about all that right now. I am ingeniously different and that is a good thing. You should also try it out. It’s a hell of a lot of fun! 

Where do you think the journey is going – what will New Leadership look like in 5 years? What things need to change?

Of course, digitalization will not stand still. We are becoming more and more networked, more global and faster.  In my opinion, the important thing is that people should not be left behind. Even if we all work from our home office, we should meet (virtually) to hear how we are doing. Even if job interviews are conducted by computers, we should still make sure that the values of an employee fit the team. The latter is a point that will become more important in the future and current trends already show this: young people want to know what they are working for. Money alone is no longer the main driver. So I’m excited about everything that’s coming and am so happy to be able to help shape it. 

What advice would you like to give our reader community to help them become better leaders? 

My advice: start with yourself! Start with your mindset! Do you think your skills are innate or can you actually influence your development? Do you believe that you can really grow? I say, you are a winner, you have so much potential, you can do so much good. Believe in yourself and be ingeniously different (#genialanders).

Advice number two: Join my Leadpreneur Circle! Here you will be able to exchange ideas with like-minded people and really work on yourself. 

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