In view of the four areas of existential leadership and the associated cultural factors and leadership tasks, it becomes clear that leadership is always associated with a special responsibility. That is why every person who leads always focuses first on his or her own self‐image: »Only those who lead themselves can lead«. In everyday organisational life, we encounter many different types and styles of leadership, all of which are also the expression of certain attitudes and basic orientations. Those who choose »leadership in an existential context« are guided by the following image of man:
The guiding principles are human values, which begin with an understanding of the dignity and nature of human beings: their potential freedom and responsibility, as well as their will to take the initiative and personal commitment. The understanding of leadership based on this anthropological foundation is guided by a concept of motivation that sees human beings as essentially oriented towards meaning in life, to commit themselves self‐transcendently to a (common) task and to respond to the enquiries and challenges of existence with free action and behaviour.
This primary motive (»will to meaning«, Viktor E. Frankl) includes the possibility of being‐able, the experience of being of value and the legitimation of selfhood. As fundamental strivings, they encompass the basic structures of our existence in man’s relation to the world, life, self and meaning.«
From this attitude, leadership competence proves itself in the execution of one’s own personal abilities, which focus on three essential areas of competence:
Reflection on values and motivations, attitudes and perspectives, strengths and weaknesses, personality structures and leadership styles. Anchoring one’s own positioning as a leader in subjective experience.
Aligning processes on the basis of decisions and decisive action; recognising what is essential, setting priorities, focusing on perspectives and achieving goals.
Structuring and coordinating pragmatically and productively, creative interaction, facilitating learning processes.
A leader’s self‐assurance, authenticity and authority will prove their worth in dealing with people, in talking with staff, when it comes to clarifying conflicts, managing crisis situations, confronting and controlling staff, finding creative and constructive solutions, building consensus and fulfilling common tasks.
Last but not least, a manager’s creative skills include motivating employees to find meaning in their work with their professional achievements, to implement the guiding goal of their organisation in their concrete everyday work and finally to contribute to growth and development in the cooperation of all those involved and active.«