Headquarters in Germany wants us to run our business, but they don’t empower us to do so. Frustration in the U.S. is significant: ‘Why am I in this team if our German colleagues are always negative about new ideas we propose?’
We Americans collaborate differently than Germans. When tasked with a job, we’re allowed to go and dig into it, then come back with recommendations, as a team.
Do the Germans respect us? What do they value? We never get anything back from them and when we do it’s always challenging questions. So we Americans sometimes ask ourselves: ‘Why are we here’?
How can we convince headquarters in Germany to truly empower us?
This is an extraordinarily critical, and complex, question. It goes to the heart of the relationship between the headquarters of a German company operating globally and a region, the United States, which is often the largest and most profitable region within such German companies.
Instead of me giving a long-winded response, let’s see where the discussion below in the comments take us. I’ll then add my two cents when and where helpful.
However, here is one thought: The leadership logic at play between, for example, a team-lead and the team-members is the same or similar logic at play between customer and supplier, and between headquarters and the so-called regions (meant is countries).
In other words, the deeper-lying logic in how Americans lead and want to be lead is the same in American teams, in American customer-supplier relationships, and in the how US headquarters of Americans companies interact with their company presence in countries outside of the U.S.