Appreciative leadership by Father Anselm Grün and Bodo Janssen: reflection book for managers and executives {review}

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An outstanding book for managers and business leaders. Father Anselm Grün and Bodo Janssen have teamed up and show how appreciative and trusting Guide can be - and at the same time successful.

By the way: You can find many more hand-picked reading recommendations in our section Editorial book tips.

Here writes for you:


Wolfgang Hanfstein 38Wolfgang Hanfstein is co-founder and chief editor of, the leading bookstore for executives, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons.


You can not delegate thinking

“Strong in stormy times” doesn't look like a management book, but it is still one. One of the exceptionally good variety. It encourages entrepreneurs and managers to see their job, their task and their mission in a new light.

Today, it is not uncommon to specify the probable reading duration of a book, so that the reading can be well integrated into the daily work routine. For this book, one could estimate two to three evenings. It would be much better, however, to plan for two to three years. Anything else would not do the book justice. Because it is not a management guide, but a management-Nachdenkerbuch in the best sense.

Monastery instead of McKinsey

With the authoring duo, this is no wonder. One, Bodo Janssen, has already attracted attention with his last book “The Silent Revolution”. The other, Father Anselm Grün, has been on the bestseller lists for years with “reflective literature”.

They met each other when the hotelier Bodo Janssen was his Company save from ruin and lead into a new time - and was allowed. He did not go as usual and close to McKinsey. Janssen went to the monastery. There he met Anselm Grün and got to know a completely new view of his life and actions.

Leadership is a service

The essence of the book is to see (corporate) leadership above all as a service, a service that enables employees to do a good job AND to live well. It is therefore no coincidence that the term “humility” appears repeatedly in this book. You do not have to be a believer to have Anselm Grün come up with essential questions.

An example: Many management authors present the advice to learn first, to lead yourself first, before leading others. But when Anselm Grün grabs the question: "Where am I going?" Then the thinking about corporate management suddenly gets a depth that was not there before.

Practical test passed

If Bodo Janssen did not appear in the second part of the book, one could dismiss Anselm Grün's advice as well-intentioned, but unfortunately unworkable. Bodo Janssen shows, however, that corporate management based on the needs of employees can be very successful.

Although the transformation in his company did not go quite smoothly, Janssen's bottom line was to create a company in which the greatest possible freedom meets clear structures.

Success as a result of good action

Up to the self-determined salary and self-determined business units, the flexible model allows a lot of individuality. Conceptually, Janssen and Grün are to be located in the area of ​​the New Work movement. They are concerned with the proof that entrepreneurial success does not have to be the goal of entrepreneurial activity, but is the result of good entrepreneurial action.

If you look at the history of Bodo Janssen's hotel chain with almost 700 employees, you have to take the hat off, the experiment worked. One therefore wishes that the book may end up on the table of one or the other company leader. Good that there are such books!

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