news2use | May 2021

A new preacher was assigned to his first full time church position, working under the guidance of a more experienced preacher. The older pastor welcomed him and asked how he was doing.

“I’m fine,” replied the young minister, “but a bit frustrated because someone stole my bicycle this morning.”

The elderly preacher said, “Very sorry to hear this, why not treat this event as an opportunity? This Sunday is your first sermon, and it is on the Ten Commandments. Why not shape your message around stealing, as you have a personal story that would fit nicely?”

The young preacher appreciated the suggestion and prepared diligently during the week. The young man gave an inspiring and meaningful sermon at the Sunday service.

The elderly preacher said, “You did a great job – I’m just curious, though, why did you stop at the sixth commandment and not mention the seventh, ‘do not steal’?”

“Because,” said the young preacher, “it was in that moment I remembered where I left my bicycle.”

It is easy to blame others for inconveniences, injustices and events that make our life difficult.

When we find others at fault or to blame for our woes, we give away our personal ownership, and easily fall into the victim modus. Once you have worn the “victim suit”, it becomes easier to put it on in future situations.

Responsibility, accountability, and ownership are the foundations of our personal influence and power. When we step up, accept, and own the challenge at hand, we strengthen our self-confidence, resilience, and ability to improve things around us.

Enjoy your May news2suse!



“Relevant & pragmatic ideas, tools and insights to play at your best.”

For You

Are you happy with your progress in the areas that are important to you? Do you manifest or create those experiences that you deserve? All too often, a grand idea becomes a passing thought because we do not put a structure around our ambition. To transform your ideas into meaningful achievements, consider framing them through the 4Rs.

  1. Realization – is the art of becoming aware that something could become a reality.
  2. Roadmap – is the plan you put in place to mobilize your realization, best when starting at the successful “end state” and working back to where you are today.
  3. Results – tangible outcomes that allow you to evaluate what you created against your aspirations.
  4. Review – a positive, constructive and appreciative review of the process, your feelings and taking these lessons learned into the next realization phase.

When we want something, we have never had, we must do something we have never done.

The 4Rs has helped me and perhaps it could support your aspirations and growth.

For You & Your Team

When is it wrong to be right?

Each of us brings a “right way” to do things at work. Yet in the diverse environments that we work in, the “right way” means different things to different people.

Imagine an iceberg, the visible portion above the water representing the material reality, the objective part (hard facts) of our business. Things that can be measured, sales forecasts, regulatory guidelines, and compliance rules are examples.

The part of the iceberg under the water (and the largest part) represents the non-material reality, so called subjective reality such as respect, trust, and power, to name a few.

To be successful, we must manage both realities. There is an objective right and wrong in the material reality, (we either hit our sales figures or not) yet as we get into the non-material or subjective reality we are really working with perceptions and not objective facts.

Germans have a great word for perception, it is Wahrnehmung. Wahr means truth. Nehmen means take. Perception is the truth each of us takes from a situation and there can be different perceptions of the same event, due to subjective interpretation.

People often lose sight of what part of the iceberg (reality) they are working in. When someone in the team says, “I don’t feel very connected to our strategy”, it is not anyone’s place to tell them they are wrong, because this person shared “their truth” in the subjective reality.

It can be healthy to argue for benchmarks, KPIs and stretch targets in the objective reality, yet under the water, when we address how we feel about things, it is not about right or wrong, but rather about understanding different views respectfully. Only then can we make efforts to align our perceptions.

Wanting to be right can blind us and reduce the incentive for others to honestly share with us.

Stay present in the conversation so you are clear about what part of the iceberg you and your team are dealing with at that moment in time. Understanding another person’s point of view can be more powerful than trying to be right.

For You, Your Team & Your Business

How well are you using your environment?

If you sail, you use the environment (wind) to help you move from one destination to another. If you are a farmer, you use the environment (sun, rainfall, and soil) to create the crops that nourish others.

As an executive leader, how do you use your environment?

Leaders can dramatically improve their leadership effectiveness when they understand how others experience them. Sometimes, leaders send messages to others signaling, “You shouldn’t disagree with me”, or “Tell me what I want to hear, not what is really going on”, and this is a pity, for both the leader and the people around this leader.

This is not an environment where people play at their best, because they are walking on eggshells, trying to say what they think the leaders wants to hear.

Organizations have sophisticated tools such as 360-degree feedback processes and multi-rater feedback inventories, yet none of these work as well as someone speaking to those people in the leader’s immediate environment and playing that feedback back to the leader, in most cases, anonymously, yet concretely.

How are you ensuring that you and your senior leaders are really making the most of the environment around you?

People, Places & Technology

Ben Hammersley, the BBC and the Guardian journalist, coined the term podcast in 2004. Nearly twenty years later, there are 2 million different podcasts with close to 50 million episodes. For some interesting info on podcasts, check out these facts & figures.

How do you select and follow podcasts? If you have some good podcast addresses, on the topic of business or human development, I will make you an offer if you dare to share.

Send me your top three podcasts; the first ten people that respond will get a complimentary copy of my book, Executive Ownershift, Creating Highly Effective Leadership Teams. If you have already got a copy, let me know who you would like me to send a copy to on your behalf, and I will follow through, letting the person know the book came from you. I will consolidate these “prize podcasts” and share them with our news2use community. Sound like a deal?

Thought for the Day

“There is no route that leads from individual contribution, no matter how excellent or innovative, directly to organizational goals. The catalyst that turns individual effort into organizational results is the synergy in teamwork.” – Dr Alan Weiss


Contact Information

Dan Norenberg
Wensauerplatz 11
81245 Munich
Phone: +49 172 862 5123

About Dan Norenberg

Dan Norenberg improves leadership performance and organization results through Executive Ownershift®, his transformational growth process for executive teams. As a trusted advisor, consultant and professional speaker, Dan’s mission is to enable executive teams and their organizations to play at their best.