100 Million € – Navigating Leadership Turbulence: 5 Key Steps to Overcome Team Challenges

100 Million.

I was shocked.

But I know I could do it.

When I heard that the 100-million B2B sales leadership team wasn’t doing well, I started to do some interviews.

I was shocked to hear they had profoundly different perspectives on what was happening.

Everyone was describing the case.

People’s views were very contradictory.

Still, every perspective I heard made perfect sense.

Funny, isn’t it?

No one spoke up and told what was really going on.

No one addressed the 🐘 in the room.

Could we do the shift?

We started the two-day workshop.

Everyone seemed to be friendly with each other.

We did a crucial deep dive into their current state.

Everyone seemed to be friendly with each other.

We did a crucial deep dive into their future setup.

Everyone still seemed to be friendly with each other.

And in my heart I knew we had to tap into the issue’s core.

This would not get going by pretending we are nice to each other.

So what to do?

I did what I had to do.

I said:

“I don’t believe your stories. Everyone is just being nice to each other. But you are not honest with yourselves. This is boring. I don’t feel you.”

Sure, it was uncomfortable.

Sure, I was starting to sweat.

But I cannot do powerful work

when I do not address what’s going on.

So we slid deeper into the dynamics.

After 2 hours, it was clear.

Some team members were legally „adjusting“ their numbers.

To get good scoring.

Even though the result was not a sales success.

It got loud.

People were leaving the room.

Tears were dropping to the floor:

→ overwhelm
→ frustration
→ confusion
→ burnout
→ anger

All the stuff that happens in leadership teams everywhere.

It bubbled up.

It was time to be addressed.

They explored what was going on:

→ self-protection
→ know-it-all attitude
→ fear of losing traction
→ competitive aggression

Empowerment happens through real work on fundamental topics.

You can’t just ignore it.

You can’t just make it up.

Without trust, a team is lost.

They decided not to work further on this.

They didn’t spend more budget on team development.

They thought they could figure it out.

By just moving forward.

Sad but true.

In many leadership teams.


Let’s have meaningful conversations.

Let’s do the honest work.

Let’s make it happen.

Let’s be courageous.

Let’s meet reality.

PS: What strategies foster trust in your team?

How do you confront the ‘elephants’?