User manual

Please find the current version of this post here.

This is a personal user manual that will help you work with me more effectively. It is intended to increase understanding of me as a person and my actions. It will hopefully avoid confusion and frustration on your side.

My style

  • I appreciate co-creating ideas in groups, but I also need time to introspectreflect and research to form a thoughtful opinion.
  • I do my most productive work in the mornings.
  • I write to crystallize and integrate my thoughts.

What I value

My “inner compass” that guides me through everyday complexity.

  • Integrity – “be good”
    • behave ethically and morally sound
    • be honest and true to your word
    • fulfill your promises
    • uphold your obligations
    • exhibit consistent preferences, especially across time unless you can explain your change of preferences
  • Benevolence – “do good”
    • be kind and tolerant towards others
    • show compassion for yourself, others and your environment
  • Growth – “do better”
    • keep growing personally and professionally
    • invite feedback
    • be curious, not defensive
  • Respect – “let others be and do good in their own way”
    • acknowledge, appreciate and admire diversity
    • defer judgment

What challenges my patience

  • People who are notoriously late and waste everybody else’s time. Especially, if they make me being late as well.
  • Investing energy on short-term “fixes” that contradict long-term thinking.
  • People complaining from a victim perspective, instead of taking responsibility for their reactions to their context. Try rephrasing “I have to…” to “I choose to … because I want …”.

How to best communicate with me

  • Please be direct. If I don’t get your hint, I am probably not ignoring it. I most likely actually didn’t get it.
  • Please get to the point. I don’t particularly enjoy small talk. I am up for a meaningful conversation anytime, though. You can easily strike up a conversation by asking me about organizational structures, the singularity, the meaning of life, or the Fermi paradox.
  • Be assured, I mean well, (smile) even though my preference for direct and to the point communication, often make my messages sound rude to others – especially in written form.
  • Please send me a message instead of just stopping by if your matter is not urgent. This allows me to have more focus time and to respond at a time when is good for me.
  • My phone is always on mute. This allows me more focus time and being fully present in meetings and workshops. Leave a message and I will call you back when I have time to do so.

How to help me

  • I am horrible at multi-tasking. It stresses me out, too. Let me finish what I am working on. I promise to get back to your request if I added it to my todo list.

What people misunderstand about me

  • I am an introvert. I am not shy. Those are two separate things. I enjoy being part of a team AND I recharge my batteries and do a lot of mental work while enjoying solitude, ideally on a route up a mountain.
  • I am a pragmatic idealist. I am idealistic about values and principles. I am pragmatic about practices and tools.
  • I work in increments. The first version I show you is not the final thing. It’s the start of a conversation.
  • I am not arrogant. I do prioritize few deep relationships over many shallow ones.

What I want

I want to take part in relationships where we enrich each other’s lives. Relationships where we inspire each other to be better persons than we would be on our own. Relationships where we help each other grow and heal. Relationships that are intellectually, emotionally, and physically stimulating.

I want to take part in communities of co-creators on eye level. Communities based on transparency and open-mindedness where decisions are made based on merit, not status.

I want to take part in ethical business. Business that is a force for good. Business that accounts for both positive and negative impact of its economic activity. Business that values goods and services derived from the Commons – in particular, a healthy society (social capital) and a thriving planet (natural capital). Business that accepts responsibility for the well-being of all life – today and future generations.

My personal purpose

I want to live a life that allows me to have an impact on society so that I can express my passion for fulfilling work environments & ethical business and be able to use my skills and competencies in conceptualizing ideas and embracing uncertainty, and at the end of my life I can say I helped advance mankind by having influenced how people do business.

My Big 5 for life

  1. I am working on something that makes the world a better place and advances mankind
  2. I am regularly doing multi-day outdoor trips (e.g. ski tours) with Sebastian
  3. I am publishing a popular publication about a successful organisation I am part of that helps others reliably and cost-effectively create learning organisations
  4. I am still as eager to learn something new every day when I am in my 90s
  5. I am regularly exploring new places and experiencing their cultures

My noble goal

Everybody working on something that is meaningful to them in a way that is fulfilling to them that has a positive impact on others and the planet.

My secret master plan

  1. help create a successful learning organization others want to be like
  2. conceptualize and describe its critical core components
  3. publish critical core components for others to emulate

Maxims I live by

  • You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realise this, and you will find strength. (Marcus Aurelius)
  • Everything is a contextual trade-off.
  • The things you own end up owning you. (Tyler Durden)
  • Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle.
  • Minimalize consumption. Maximize learning and creation.
  • Learn something every day. With consistency comes compound interest. 1.01^365 = 37.8 >>> 0.99^365 = 0.03
  • Mistakes are first-order consequences. Learning is a second-order consequence. Success is third-order.
  • Winning > Losing >>> not even trying.
  • Do not regret the past, do not worry about the future, be present.
  • The only people we can think of as normal are those we don’t yet know very well. (Alain de Botton)
  • Energy follows attention. Align attention with intention. (Theory U)
  • The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener. (Bill O’Brien)

These points are not an exhaustive list but should save you some time figuring out how I work and behave. Please make me aware of additional points you think I should put on a revised version of this ‘user manual.’


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