Dr. Martin Buerki

leadership partner, speaker & author

“Joy in leading others results in success – and not the other way around.”

Leading defines the direction of a movement that evolves from within. That is the reason why leadership is always a question of suitability attitude.

Companies and organizations need more leadership! Not a process-oriented but rather an dictating integrating leadership that transports culture, builds trust and enables transformation.


What should leadership achieve? How does it develop a stable effect in an agile environment? Which contents should be communicated? And how?

I have been dealing with these and other questions for almost 20 years. In doing so, I am committed as a Leadership Partner. In this role, many contributions and impulses for the design and perception of leadership have emerged. Enriched with my experiences, insights and tips, a book has emerged that summarizes these many components and condenses them into a tangible, practical approach. In doing so, I give leadership, leaders and management tasks the importance of being the epicenter of successful corporate development.

In “Leading with the T.I.G.E.R. Method©” I lay the foundation for what I consider to be the central perspective of leadership (making others successful) and the necessary change of roles for leaders. Both succeed along the five core tasks Tell, Integrate, Grow, Encourage and Realize.

  1. 01


    How you touch and move employees with your ambition.

    Comfort zones are the ultimate death of movement and development – so leave it! Create an attractive gravitation field that employees can’t resist. Offer meaning and create resonance. This is how you generate identity.

    In short: An ambition that does not establish connection is like a letter with no salutation.

  2. 02


    How you unite employees to initiative, agile and diverse communities.

    Today, cooperation seems pretty simple: it’s virtual, fast, punctual and diverse. You just need to create a safe and stable ground for it: endow trust, foster diversity and anchor your own culture.

    In short: Diversity presupposes diversity – and starts in the head.

  3. 03


    How you unfold potentials in employees and create new opportunities.

    Positive emotions trigger employees’ engagement, creativity and courage. So honestly and energetically strengthen their strengths and see their potential unfold.

    In short: Challenging expectations and honest discussions wake up dormant potentials.

  4. 04


    How you empower employees to help themselves and help others.

    Old-fashioned thinking blocks performance. The same is true when it comes to leading others. Love and live your role as a coach to show employees that you care and help them help themselves and others.

    In short: Respectful interactions open alternative interpretations – and actions.

  5. 05


    How you strengthen and multiply the success of employees.

    Successes energize! Even your employees. Help them see, accept and appreciate their contribution and gauge their own potential for further development.

    In short: Successes create new gravity fields.

CFP: Cultural Fingerprint

In a company, people cooperate and create value. The leadership culture plays an important role in this: Can employees get involved, develop and successfully set new impulses in the company? The Cultural Fingerprint makes the individual leadership culture visible and provides leaders with concrete tips on how to further develop their impact - and, for example, work more AT instead of IN the system.

In addition, the CFP helps management teams to recognize the effect of their leadership culture and to shape it consciously and effectively from now on. So that new opportunities and impulses can arise in the company.

Tipp: Hover over the dimensions to learn more about them.

  • CTO

  • CEO

  • Divisionhead

    Special Electronic Switches
  • Managing Director

    Health Prevention
  • Teamleader

  • Show meaning

    Employees experience their work as significant when they understand not only what (recognisable) contribution they are making, but also whether this brings them closer to their own values, dreams or ambitions. How well do you already make this important connection?

  • Inspiring for goals

    Employees contribute to the development of the company when they are enthusiastic about the company’s goals. How well do you already create the emotional resonance necessary for this?

  • Enabling perspectives

    An attractive perspective is created for employees when their own development is in harmony with the development of the company. How well do you already achieve this congruence?

  • Communicating culture

    Culture has a great integrating effect, provides orientation and creates a sense of belonging. Employees experience culture in everyday life primarily through the behaviour of their superiors. How consciously do you communicate corporate culture?

  • Giving confidence

    Trust is the basis for a functioning cooperation in which knowledge is exchanged (without reservation) and mistakes are openly discussed. To what extent do you succeed in building up this mutual trust?

  • Allow new ideas

    Diversity helps to better grasp and understand complexities. To do this, a system must open up, allow new perspectives, ideas and approaches, test, integrate. How consciously do you encourage employees to embrace new ideas?

  • Realising potential

    Employees grow with their tasks. And only realised potentials point to new potentials, just as when you can only see the next one on a mountain top. How consistently do you develop employees in their everyday lives?

  • Promoting inner strength

    Inner strength expresses itself in such a way that employees independently find ways to reach their goals, believe in their own abilities, fall on their feet or explain events in a more positive way. How consciously do you support this inner strength?

  • Share feedback

    Feedback is simply the cheapest and at the same time the most effective method of showing employees honest interest, encouraging them and stimulating the exchange of experiences. How consistently do you use it in your everyday life?

  • Systemic questioning

    New paths often only emerge through new perspectives, e.g. with systemic questions. They open your eyes to (larger) connections and to your own contribution to a situation. How well-versed do you use systemic questions to open up new spaces for solutions?

  • Overcoming blockades

    Inner blockades are (useless) convictions. They prevent employees from taking new steps. But they can be identified and dealt with in a structured discussion. How well do these discussions succeed?

  • Showing gratitude

    Employees are important performers, but first and foremost people. How well do you encourage respectful appreciation and exchange at eye level?

  • Consolidating progress

    A development step is complete when employees can see the (positive) effect of their commitment on the customer. How consistently do you achieve this recognition?

  • Multiplying success

    Successes are celebrated with pleasure. Often, however, they are hardly ever openly shared and further used in the company, so that organisation-wide learning could be made from them. How diversely do you use successes for communication with stakeholders?

  • Setting new impulses

    The better employees recognise the impact of their own successes, the more likely they are to take on further challenges. How consistently do you use this moment to take the next steps?


  1. 01

    ** NEW ** Pop-up Coach (digital)

    Pop-up Coaching: An uncomplicated coaching format for women and men in management positions who lack a short, selective exchange. I create space for you to reflect on challenging leadership situations quickly and in an uncomplicated way.

    Book a session.
  2. 02


    Transformations fail because of complexities or the inability to deal with them. I support leaders to understand these complexities, to prepare themselves and the change - beyond conventional “change programs”. But with real effect.

    Let's talk about it.
  3. 03


    Leadership roles are versatile, leadership tasks are challenging, leadership situations are complex. Are you satisfied with your impact? Or do you rather stand in your own way? I show you how to free yourself from (recurring) traps and how to really unfold.

    Watch Testimonal (youtube)
  4. 04

    Rocket Trainer

    Not all teams - especially management teams - reach their possible performance level, the concerns are too dispersed, the ambitions are too different, the cooperation is too uncertain. I will show you how to ignite the next level and bring your team performance to a “next level.

    Watch Testimonal (youtube)
  5. 05

    Bridge builder

    Do you feel alone with your leadership challenges? Use Altize - the community of leaders for leaders. Learn from others and share your own experiences. Anonymous, discreet and uncomplicated.

    Altize - community for leaders by leaders
  6. 06


    Sometimes a personal and open exchange is more helpful than 1000 books. That’s why with the LeaderSummit* I create an inspiring and instructive event by and for leaders from different industries.

    Get next invitation.



Coaching hours
Corporate customers
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How I will help you:

Leaders find themselves often between organizational change, complex dependencies and human needs. That may be puzzling and exhausting.

I help leaders to focus with joy on the core of leadership. So that they create a climate in which employees flourish, engage and develop.

Short Curriculum vitae

Get to know me (better).

Why necessary change does not happen even when all involved parties have committed to it? And what does that mean for leaders? I am passionately devoted to these and similar questions. In my work I integrate insights from various sources such as Positive Psychology and different development approaches to help leaders in many organizations to identify and overcome the Immunity to Change (ITC) of individuals and groups. So that they might achieve a state of continuous and deliberate development.

Further points:

− PhD in business administration and economics; university of Basle
− Positions in Management Consulting and Banking
− Since 2003: self-employed entrepreneur and leadership partner
− 2011: ITC diploma of Harvard university, Boston
− 2013: ITC-facilitator diploma of Harvard university, Boston
− 2018: Latest publication (in german): “leading with the T.I.G.E.R.-Method”
− 2019: Published various articles (see material)
− 2020: SGO: Practice Head “Leadership”
− 2021: Conversations at the Growth Edge; by J. Garvey Berger (cultivating leadership)


Stop praising!

When you praise, you put yourself above others. You create vertical relationships instead of horizontal ones. Praise consolidates hierarchy. And it is addictive. Instead, limit yourself to a sincere “thank you”.

Yes, you have read correctly: Stop praising! You probably assumed the opposite until now, didn’t you? You can regularly read in various sources that there is too little praise in companies. Often, leaders are then asked not to be so sparing with praise. Leaders up and down the country are (and presumably will continue to be) trimmed to praise employees because they then feel confirmed, experience appreciation and are more committed. Unfortunately, this is a serious mistake.

These effects only occur if you treat employees fairly and equally. But when you praise, you put yourself above others, qualify and consolidate a vertical relationship - in other words, you are not communicating at eye level. And if you seek praise, you make yourself dependent. Praise only seems positive, its effect on relationships is not.

Create horizontal relationships

Actually, the psychologist Alfred Adler (from 1870 to 1937) pointed out that praise (or even blame) creates a non-equal, so-called vertical relationship. Adler contrasts this with the horizontal relationship, in which parties treat each other as equals and take care to separate tasks neatly. Let me explain the latter with an example:

Let’s assume you lead a team and there is a minimalist in it. He never volunteers, waits until others take on additional tasks and does his thing more or less autonomously. Professionally, there is nothing to criticise, his contributions meet the required criteria. But his behaviour annoys the other team members and they increasingly complain to you. How do you proceed?

Option 1: Your feedback is qualifying, such as “You don’t support this team. Take on additional tasks in the future!” This not only creates a vertical relationship, but you interfere unnecessarily. This is because it is solely that employee’s decision whether and how to respond to this feedback. It will probably not make teamwork very palatable to him and you will not notice any change sooner or later.

Pressure always creates counterpressure.

However, there are other ways to support a team than with additional tasks. And you exclude these possibilities if you interfere. It is their job to set favourable conditions for team performance. It is up to the employees to decide whether and how they use these framework conditions. If they don’t, it is their task to react to this and, through their decisions, to create new framework conditions - in extremis, a separation. However, under no circumstances should you allow yourself to be tempted to take over the tasks of the employee, i.e. in the example outlined, to point out which additional tasks this employee should take over. By doing so, you interfere, place yourself above him and do not treat him as an equal.

You can lead a horse to the well, but it has to drink itself.

Option 2: “I expect you to proactively support this team, especially in bottlenecks, so that everyone can achieve their goals. What possibilities do you suggest?” (The inclined readers among you will recognise behind this the abbreviated SFA method as I occasionally present it in my workshops). This formulation creates opportunities for you to observe and acknowledge changes in the employee’s behaviour - just not in a qualifying way at all, but in an appreciative way: “Your contribution helped us to deliver on time. Thank you.” This feedback makes teamwork much more palatable than the first option and creates a horizontal relationship without interference.

(Note: Of course, as a team leader in the example above, you should occasionally ask yourself why employees complain to you and not to the minimalist. Certain framework conditions (trust, psychological security, honesty, feedback behaviour, …) could probably be better designed).

Avoid dependencies.

Praise unconsciously makes us dependent - dependent on the praiser. We often mistakenly equate praise with recognition or belonging and derive our self-worth from it. This is dangerous. We should be able to value ourselves even without praise from others. Otherwise, unhappy (vertical) relationships develop in which we are subordinate. Unfortunately, most of us grew up with praise being the (only) dimension to be maximised: praise from parents, from teachers, from coaches, from trainers, from colleagues. At some point, I had to realise that not all praise received had a positive intention, but was used in an extremely manipulative way by certain people. At the latest then it became clear to me that there was probably something wrong with the concept of praise - but how can I detach myself from it? To this day, I have probably not yet succeeded in doing so. Nevertheless, I try every day to consciously avoid praise myself (no matter what the expectations of the person opposite me are) and instead to communicate in a horizontal, appreciative way. If you would also like to follow this path, then I have a simple tip below that has led me and many others out of their unspeakable praise dependencies.

Show gratitude.

Adler would recommend that you move from the level of behaviour to the level of being. By this he means that you should be grateful to employees just for existing, for being valuable and of use. Because all people are of use. By addressing this usefulness, we provide the basis for the right self-esteem (i.e. that which can develop independently of praise). This sense of worth is so important because it encourages people to go their own way. With courage we dare to take new steps that bring us and others forward without expecting praise - simply because it is the right thing to do.

Do not take this tip lightly. This change of perspective is not trivial, because we are used to associating praise with performance (i.e. behaviour). And in your business environment, it will probably be about performance all the time. Thanking someone just because he or she exists? Really? Performance pushes people as human beings to the periphery and reduces them to their measurable and economically valued contribution. So it’s no wonder that people who see their contribution dwindle (due to age, for example) feel worthless. I find that shameful.

Consciously broaden this perspective and show gratitude towards employees. Sit down and ask yourself who you are grateful to for what (what implicit or explicit benefit). And then share your thanks - either in a face-to-face conversation or with a personal, handwritten card. Old-fashioned? Wait until you receive such a card!

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