Entrepreneur’s Diary #92 – Good Advice/Bad Advice – Some Episodes

The “multiplication tables” and the “basics of management” are something you could call my hobby. Ever since I founded InterFace AG with Wolf Geldmacher (and even before), I always wondered what exactly is an enterprise. What is its potential meaning? What would be the correct mental concept of an entrepreneur? And what characterizes a good manager?

How can you continue your education in order to become a good manager? What competences can you actually learn and what personal talents do you have to develop in order to survive as a manager? So is it only natural to just ask some experienced managers and successful entrepreneurs you know and appreciate, isn’t it? Consequently, I always asked “managers” I looked up to: what can I do in order to become “better”?

One of them was Rudolf Jansche. At the time, he was an important business leader in the pharmaceutical sector in the Federal Republic of Germany.  To me, his position seemed one that was unattainable for me and later he became both my teacher and friend. I asked Rudi:

Name a term which is particularly important for an entrepreneur or manager and/or for an enterprise!

After thinking about it for a short time, he said:

Clarity!

This answer convinced me. And the more I think about it, the more important the term “clarity” gets in this context. At an aside, I tried to define “clarity” (Klarheit) in Wikipedia, using a language game of leadership, management and business. In fact, I was fairly successful with my definition.

At the time – we are talking long ago – I also met another very prominent entrepreneur. His first name is Gerd. Gerd is a great person. He can motivate people, almost always manages to get them on his side and is very successful as a businessman. So I asked Gerd:

Can you recommend a book to me that might help me to become a good manager?

He took some time before answering. At long last, he recommended the “DAS BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP STRATEGIE-BUCH” (sub-title: “The most important management concepts in practice”). I bought the most current edition (that was the sixth edition of 1998, published by ECON) and was rather disappointed, because to me it looked like a series of platitudes. And then it even contained errors when it came to subject matters I knew something about – such as playing chess.

I told Gerd about my disappointment. His excuse was simple:
He had never read any books of the sort, but still wanted to recommend something to me. And he found the title promising.

This was a very long time ago. But somehow or other, not much changed until today.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

P.S.
The book is sitting in my office. I like to show it to people.

P.S.1
For more articles of me entrepreneurial diary, click here: Drehscheibe!

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