Yesterday, we had a beautiful InterFace Christmas Party. A total of 200 persons, consisting of employees and their families, celebrated a successful 2012.
At InterFace, too, we have the principle: “No Christmas Party” without “Christmas Speech”. Here is my little speech, more or less verbatim, after the obligatory welcome address (and the interruption by Jean Paul 🙂 ).
(Welcome all guests)
It is now almost thirty years for me that I have been with InterFace AG. I started as a no-longer-quite-young founder – after all, I was already at the terribly old ager of 33 when we established InterFace Connection. Compared with some of our young friends who today successfully lead start-ups, this sounds rather old. Now, I have turned entrepreneur senior. Consequently, I take it as my prerogative to come up with a few personal ideas and, if possible, speak a few wise words.
What is the meaning of life as you get older?
My personal reply is: as long as you add new experiences to your life and keep learning new things, it is a joy to live. Learning has many meanings: understanding different things that initially looked quite strange to you. Understanding new things. Moving ahead mentally. But also being able to finally put something into words which you had already intuitively felt.
It is my true delight that, again, in 2012, I was allowed to learn many new things. As I perceive it, there were actually more new things to learn during this year than in many other years of my life before. That makes me happy. When I prepared for this speech, it was my idea to give you a short list of what I learned in 2012. The list, however, grew so long that the word “short” would have been a lie.
Consequent, I will now restrict myself to a topic that should not be overrated, yet it is important in some way or other for all of us. I mean the term “success”.
In many Christmas Speeches, you will hear the noun “success” – the same is true for the attribute “successful”. Today, many speak of a successful year 2012. Well, so do we.
But what exactly is success?
There is no objective/neutral definition of success. Every person, every enterprise, every community has to specify individually what success means to them and what criteria they have for measuring said success.
But then, how to be successful? As I see it, it looks hard, but it is quite simple.
In order to be a success, you need a good education. It is about experience, competence and knowledge. Additionally, you probably need a few humane qualities, such as “being a good listener”, “having emphatic competence” and “liking people”.
That is the basis. Now all that is left is to have the necessary courage for the future. We will certainly not be able to achieve anything if we are afraid. So after we have courageously started, we have to find the right amount of joy. Both for what we do and about the job we did well.
All we need then is a small amount of luck – and then it is almost a law of nature that we will be a success.
In the end, we should share our success with many others. If we, then, even manage to take the people around us like they are and accept how they work, then the path towards “happiness” is not far away.
So here is my wish for the New Year! Let us together try many new things and diligently work on our qualities. Let this be what gives us courage for the future! Let us take the people around us like they are. Let us share our knowledge, our experience and our success. Thus equipped, we can confront all future challenges with a heart full of joy of the material and of life. And we can thus give happiness both to ourselves and others.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2013!