Case study



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Ole Hoyer
1 Change

Duygu Barutcu
Deutsche Telekom

The client

Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies, with some 245 million mobile customers, 25 million fixed-network lines, and 21 million broadband lines. The company employs 206,000 employees in 34 countries.

Deutsche Telekom strategically wants to become the Leading Digital Telco and is yearly being awarded for being for being one of the best employers in Europe. They are in the forefront of digital learning and leadership development with their digital Level UP platform and the advanced TV-studio from where they deliver trainings, programs, and inspiration to ensure a continuous development and growth of their leaders.

Leadership in Telekom is centered around the 6 Leadership Anchors which is built on guiding principles and describe the organizational expectations of how leaders should act and represent the business. They provide orientation and support and further, they form our Group wide leadership framework.


The Leadership Anchors form the foundation upon which we build our success and the roadmap for excellence at every level – because good is not leading!  The Anchors are more than just a set of principles; they represent a transformational approach that influences positive behavioral change, starting from our top leaders and rippling throughout the entire organization. The result? Benefits for all employees, our culture, and our business.

/ Duygy Barutcu, Squad Leader, Employee Well-being

The challenge

In April 2022, HR in Deutsche Telekom turned to The Lead Lab with a wish to introduce their Senior Leaders to the topic of Effortless Leadership. The idea was to further strengthen the leadership anchor “Act with respect and integrity” and with a focus on leading with honesty, care, and compassion. The Leaders had already gone through Keynote and workshop on Human and Compassionate Leadership, and with Effortless Leadership, HR saw an opportunity to further increase their Leaders awareness on how to lead their teams more effortlessly through a time where Deutsche Telekom undergoing a lot of change, which continuously is adding more pressure on their Leaders.

Our solution

In a joint co-creation Deutsche Telekom and The Lead Lab designed an Effortless Leadership Journey consisting of the following components:

In the 90-minute EFL-session the Senior Leaders experienced the 4 pillars in our Effortless Leadership Model  (Flow, Interaction, Resilience & Embodiment). They came out of the session with 2 concrete changes to integrate into their life, a new buddy to connect with on a weekly basis, and up to 4 Effortless Leadership practices to role model back towards their team/the organization.

The impact

In the past 12 months, the Effortless Leadership Journey have been rolled out to approximately 700 Senior Leaders, training 50 participants online at a time (from across Europe) The average evaluation from the workshops on a scale from 1-10 has been 8,5 which is on the higher end compared to evaluations of other workshops on the Level UP! Platform.

Here a testimonial from one of the Senior Leaders attending the Effortless Leadership Journey:

When attending The Effortless Leadership Training, it was one of those unexpected experiences that stuck positively with me. Being a leader means that interacting with colleagues is a gut decision on providing my attention. This journey made me feel understood since my management style pillars are absolutely reflected. Understanding my team members is fundamental. And finding which tasks can put them in a flow state is key. Flow is very powerful and when being in it can propel anybody to best new performances. Finding a state of flow can sometimes even occur in team meetings and unplanned interactions. Being present, active listening and making the other person feel seen and heard can be very rewarding for both. The Resilience Model that was a part of the Effortless Leadership Journey provides a holistic view on every person. Investing into our own is key as it provides the capability and sensibility to give to others. I would highly recommend every leader in Deutsche Telekom to sign up for the training.

/ Giuseppe Rindone, Vice President, Solution Sales Smart City, Deutsche Telekom

Our collaboration

Effortless Leadership is a truly holistic learning journey, showcasing a keen understanding of our leadership’s needs and demands. This thoughtful approach seamlessly translated into tangible actions for our leaders that immediately could be applied into their daily business. What sets The Lead Lab apart is their professionalism and ability to adapt to our specific needs. Their flexible approach ensured that the collaboration was not only effective but also tailored precisely to our requirements, making the partnership truly unique.


Furthermore, the consistent promotion of Effortless Leadership within our organization and continuous follow-up regarding the implementation of the “Start with Tiny Habits” approach has been an asset. This proactive effort has been positively received by our leaders and has had a remarkable impact on our company culture.

/ Duygy Barutcu, Squad Leader, Employee Well-being