„If I were to think that my personal development was already completed today, I would be very disappointed in myself."
At the age of five I attended an all-day school in Munich, my hometown - which was rare back then (both the young age and the day-school bit). Always the youngest in class, I often felt "unsupported" during this time. I fought many a battle - won and lost. At the age of 15 a decisive change occurred: I was allowed to choose an English boarding school. Although intended only for one year, after the first tree climbing, I knew "This is where I want to stay!" I managed to convince my parents, stayed a whole four years and during this wonderful time not only learned to eat crisp sandwiches, fight my way on a completely different battlefield, but also to stand on my own two feet.
This was followed by reading History in Peterhouse, Cambridge, the oldest and smallest college. The course initially presented me with huge challenges: Why did I have to read eight books on the plague in order to write one short essay? After all, the books all said the same. Or didn't they? It took me over a year to grasp how the individual historians were laying down their red threads and what to do with them. Luckily there was still time left over to sharpen my language skills in the university debating club.
The most important lesson of these studies: Embrace complexity - after all, the world is not linear, but often runs in parallel, it is not black or white, but sometimes grey, sometimes colourful and always exciting. And in all this richness, you have to be able to find and maintain your own values.
Back in Germany, it was time for a second degree: Law with two state examinations and a PhD in Munich. What had begun in Cambridge continued here: Learning to see, understand and argue well. Afterwards I was ready for the application and worked for six years as a management consultant at Boston Consulting. You may have your own thoughts about management consultants, but they are quick and fearless thinkers - a privilege to work with them.
It was not a big step from consulting to teaching, and consequently for more than 15 years I have been working directly for the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Berlin, as well as other business schools and companies.
What a great joy to be allowed not only to put together the right programs for executives, but also to open minds of all nations: By teaching the very skills that a 21st century leader needs.