Meet the ForChiefer: Matthias Ennen

Culture, Leadership, Transformation

Meet the ForChiefer: Matthias Ennen

Please introduce yourself. 

Hi I’m Matthias. I started my career in a consulting firm that focused mainly on strategic development of SME companies, mainly banks. I noticed quickly that my energy lies more on the people I work with than on analytical data. Creating impact means empowering people, thus I started working in an HR function specializing in talent and people development. Since I’ve always been inspired by the “be your own boss” idea, I became self-employed soon after. Next to several Interim roles and longer term projects at different companies like OSRAM, Deutsche Bahn or Berlin Hyp, I focus on transformation and culture topics and needs by focusing on people and especially leaders in their transformation and growth phases. It is important to me to build a sustainable culture in which courageous and sustainable goals can be achieved.

Why did you join ForChiefs?

Being self-employed is nice, but also has downsides to deal with. It can be lonely at times. I missed having a team, to learn and grow on a personal level and also create more impact. I met Hugo by coincidence when he came to my office space. We talked, connected and later he presented his idea of Forchiefs to me. I liked the idea and since then joined the ride.  

How would your colleagues characterise you? 

Nordic by nature, thus down to earth, humorous, empathetic, motivative, honest, not taking himself too serious, has a sense of responsibility  

Which clients or cases make you become really curious/excited?

General criteria for me are: I don’t want to work with people I don’t like or sense that I cannot build a trustworthy relationship with and I must have an idea that I can create value and impact. If these criterias are set, I like to work as a sidekick for companies with some sort of development pains. I like clients that are conscious of the power of their own company culture, whether it is to elaborate new ways of working or develop a new mindset to achieve their visions and fulfill their strategy. But I also like more hands on projects that demand change and communication knowledge or support topics that focus on learning and development processes and strategies. 

What do you think is highly overrated in the business world?

The overall agile trend, not because it’s wrong, but because it’s simply not the only solution to all problems. Generally I think a lot of the instrumental tool box like KPI’s, 360 Feedback, performance management processes etc. needs to be revisited carefully. Sometimes these tools create an additional task or even problem to the already existing ones and can lead to demotivation. I often think that the hidden belief on which these instruments are created is a lack of trust in the own people. People feel that, then feel controlled and observed and rather play what is demanded from them, than truly act authentic and honest. 

What underestimated?

The negative effects of politics, ego driven behavior and greed on strong teams and cultures. 

What makes a truly good leader?

Of course a leader has a vision and ideally an understanding of the challenges of their  business and knows how to transform these into clear and understandable goals. But what I think it really comes down to is followership: Great leaders have people that follow them, because they lead from transparent values, listen and give good feedback and therefore are able to form great teams. They are also respected in their conclusions and decisions they make based on clear thinking and putting different perspectives into account. They also know how to put things into good stories that people believe and can trust in. Great leaders show these abilities and live them in their business and private life. You can tell a good leader by the way they  care in general. Thus he or she will be respected and followed whether it is his team or by friends in his private situations or even their  family. 

When is a good time/situation to ask for professional support?

Good question. I actually believe and hope for self-sufficient clients that are able to solve their problems by themselves. If clients have tried out different ways by themselves and still feel that they need support, then they have reached the point where external support is useful. The other driver of course is lack of time or manpower to achieve certain goals. 

What’s your ultimate ForChief-superpower?

Building strong and trustful relationships that allow me to tackle the uncomfortable and to address the elephant in the room.

Is there one special phrase or word that you often use during your coachings/facilitations? 

I’m here to ask the right questions and provide useful methods. You (the client) are responsible for the content and the execution of what we develop. As long as we keep this clear, I will not let you fail. 

With which question on my mind should I definitely contact you for advice?

I’m in a transition phase and I don’t know how to define the next step.

How can people get in touch with you?

Drop me a line on LinkedIn.

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