Please don’t put me on a pedestal or think of me as a role model for your children! Because when I was young, I couldn’t wait to leave school. I went to work at a consumer electronics store at the age of 15 as an apprentice. I just couldn’t stand sitting for so long, to be honest, while the “real” work was being done by others. I’ve always had a need to jump in with both feet and take things in hand myself, as often and as quickly as possible. Things haven’t changed much since then (unfortunately, says my wife). I went back to school, by the way, 11 years later to get my university degree.
When it comes to the culinary arts, I’m pretty easy to please. Give me a good cup of coffee and a pastry and I’m fine. But when it comes to my work, it’s a whole different story. I can never get enough. That’s why I not only changed my career at the age of 29, I also went into a new sector, switching to banking. I wanted to do something great. For a total of five years, I was a director at a large international bank, acting as troubleshooter and assisting with their expansion to the East.
And I gave up that job? Was I crazy? Who steps down from a position on the board? But that’s not the real question, here. The question is: “Why?” It’s simple: Because from my lofty board member perspective, I became painfully aware of the need for hands on consulting work. For our business customers as well as our own managers. Consultants seem to be a dime a dozen – but can you name even one that rolls up their sleeves and actively involves themself in the implementation of their pet project ideas (so that you and your management team have less work yet also feel more empowered in the end)?
That was always the big problem I had with consulting: The consultants are all highly qualified, there’s no question about that, but when it comes to the implementation of their high-flying ideas, it’s not their money that’s going to be spent, not their careers on the line and usually not even their hours of work time that will be invested in the implementation. I always ask myself at this point: How can one trust a consultant who doesn’t invest anything of their own into a project? A project that could cost me as the customer my head?
That’s why I’ve been doing turnaround and other challenging projects for years–for a certain period. During this period, I am personally accountable and must be responsible for success and failure. The last three projects were prime examples of this engaging, responsible consulting: the controlled winding up of a bank, the privatisation of a 4,000-employee company, and the divestiture of parts of an industrial enterprise. This means: I bring in the experience that every client desires from their consultant, interim manager, management coach, workshop or project manager. I am happy if my experience can help you to succeed.