TschickTschick by Wolfgang Herrndorf

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In vielen Bestseller Listen ganz oben. So ist es in mein Auge gesprungen. Ich mag Roadmovies und die Inhaltsangabe klang vielversprechend. Die Handlung findet dann auch auf der Straße statt, irgendwo im Umkreis von Berlin. Die Hauptdarsteller sind in diesem Falle aber Minderjährige Schüler die nicht in mein Bild vom klassischen Roadmovie passen. Das ist natürlich Geschmacksache. Ein unterhaltsames, leicht zu lesendes Abenteuer dass ich aber eher meinen Kindern geben würde. Für mich ein bisschen zu viel Schülerromantik.

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The T-Shirt Factor, or how Rock’n Roll is your Company ?


Quick thing which came into my mind. What´s your t-shirt history ? Can you remember it? I do. When I was fourteen or fifteen or so, I desperately wanted to have a black tour t-shirt from my favorite rock band AC/DC – Back in Black. I saved all my pocket money to get it and when I finally have been able to buy and wear it, you can hardly imagine how absolutely proud I was. From my point of view from that day on, I was the coolest guy on the schoolyard ever. This shirt meant so much to me, because it was the ultimate expression of my hard rock feeling. That fact that my parents did not like it, convinced me even more. Additionally to that, it was as well an expression to belong to a specific group of people who had the right sense of music – in my opinion. The t-shirt was our common sense, a movement and our way, to see and recognize ourselves in the streets of my hometown. Long story short – wearing this shirt was not just a piece of garment – it was a belief.

Over the years the t-shirts and its messages changed. I remember names and bands like Motörhead, Depeche Mode or Pearl Jam – I even called a Che Guevara * shirt my own. The latest ones have been Cake and The Eeels. But apart from that, I increasingly noticed, that I am wearing a Linkedin t-shirt more and more often. Having a look at my suitcase for my next business trip and realizing what kind of clothes I considered to carry with me, I experienced that some Linkedin t-shirts are my natural choice. And this brings me to the beginning of my post. Why is that so?

The answer is that my current employer is an employer, who gives me a feeling of being proud as well. It is the same story like with my AC/DC t-shirt. I am part of something meaningful to me. Something where I can find a purpose and where I am part of group, which thinks the same way I do. It is a natural human desire wanting to belong to something. I feel privileged and it makes me happy that I am not the only one. Where ever I see people in public wearing a shirt of the company they work for I do think, that this should be considered as an index for a strong employer brand as well. Our talent brand index provides you a strong analytical view on how you are positioned among your competitors – but what is about the t-shirt factor? Not seriously asking, but do you know where I am coming from?

Do you wear with proud a t-shirt of your company just because you like it? Just because it makes you feel of being part of something big? What is your t-shirt story?

* – I used to play a song with my band on that topic as well

The Garden Cottage


Having had the pleasure to live about 2 years at the picturesque Courtyard in Clonsilla, it is time to reflect and being grateful. Renting and living is not just about having a bed, freezer and a sofa for your disposal. It is about feeling where your heart is. The Courtyard is a nice location and hidden gem, where you can forget from one minute to the next about all the rush of Dublin city centre and relax. Still it is perfectly located to public transport as Clonsilla train station is just 500 m away.

It is a marvellous and mesmerizing place and I enjoyed every day I have lived there. It is not one of those boring bunkers without any soul or character. It is a special place for special people. Thanks Ethna for having us. It was a pleasure.

Line manager – the recruiter of today

How does your current hiring process work? Is it driven by strictly divided responsibilities and tasks? Operations, finance and senior management is focusing on strategy ? Line management puts that into headcount needed – and HR then starts to find the right talent to meet growth aspirations for the next fiscal year ? Sounds to me very re-active. In our latest research on Linkedin we found out, that 9 out of 10 really like to hear from you as a company. So far – so good.

But what is the right approach in reaching out to talents? We found out as well, that two-thirds of potential candidates are more likely open to respond, if they have been previously social engaged with you.That translates into the question you should ask yourself as a manager – are you really social?

Have you implemented it into your own recruiting strategy? If not – you should. To give you a bit of background and credibility. I am hiring as a line manager in a highly competitive environment for about 3 1/2 years. Dublin as the place of most of technology EMEA headquarters is growing rapidly in inside sales organizations, and therefore is in a high need of the best talent with the best skills. Waiting for talent acquisition to fill my seats would simply not work. Here is what I did.

Build up your personnel brand – but make it a strategy

I bet most of you would claim that you´re socially active on networks and media. But just simply having a facebook account for family and friend interactions and a Linkedin account for business purposes does not mean that your social. Have you ever looked at the word NETWORKING differently? It is the combination of Net (platform) and WORK (action). What I mean by that is, when you want to build up your digital brand which is key for hiring strategy of today, you have to put time and effort into it – and this means work. Pushing the like button or sharing something that you rather not have read before won´t help here. For all the work you have to do, you put time aside in your calendar. My advise is, do exactly the same for social media activity. Make it as a recurring event in your calendar. You need to have at least 2,5 hours for this per week, which means 30 min per day. Use the time for reading your timeline thoroughly. Interact with your connections on the basis of the content they shared and leave relevant comments which really show that you agree or disagree. Use news aggregators like google alerts, google news, flipboard or pulse to automate finding the content that you are interested in and you want to share. But always combine it with a personnel statement, because it is about your social identity and opinion. When you put 2,5 hours aside per week, you can even start blogging. This is work as well, I know – but it is now part of your strategy. You are all experts here – I bet there is a lot content and personnel views what makes you even more interesting to talk to.

Now you have a brand – what can you do with it

To me this is key and a change in recruiting strategy. Line managers must have a behavioral mind shift from re-active to co-active sourcing. You want to have the best talent for your team ? Go for it to find them. Linkedin offers you an excellent toolkit to find them easier than ever. The Next Gen Recruiter is such a simple and effective tool – it easily can transform a hiring manager into a successful sourcer. „We want to make the world´s professionals more productive and successful“ is the Linkedin mission and here it comes into reality. This is not a sales pitch – it is simply my reality and pragmatic approach. Line Manager and Talent Acquisition must build up a team to seamlessly streamline hiring processes to be faster and more efficient. This has a considerable impact of time to hire and quality of hire. Both sides have there expertise and hiring managers of today are needed to warm up the leads in HR´s pipeline. According to Gallups strengths based leadership, people follow a leader because of trust, compassion, stability and hope. This is exactly what your personnel brand should reflect in your digital identity because employees of today are motivated by soft skills and empathy. They are not looking for a job – they are looking for a purpose. The hiring manager can set the scene as he is able to to bring in a high level of credibility and trust while starting the process.

What are your thoughts on this? Tell me how you do it.L

Dublin – meine Perle

Wenn Du Dir einen Gefallen in Deinem Leben tun willst, komm nach Dublin.

Dublin, Irland. Es ist kompliziert. Es war nicht immer einfach mit Dir. Besonders nicht, wenn sich der Weg zu meinem Haus mal wieder in einen See verwandelte – als Folge des wochenlangen Regens im November. Nein, wir hatten keinen einfachen Start und es lag sicher nicht an Dir. Ich kehrte der Leichtigkeit und dem Licht Andalusiens den Rücken und fuhr direkt in Deine grauen Arme. Natürlich links – im Kreisverkehr durch das runtergekommene Rosslaire.


Dann wurde es ein wenig besser als kurz die Sonne herauskam und den Ginster links und rechts des Weges so hell erschienen ließ, als wären es eigene Lichtquellen. Vorbei an den Wicklow Mountains direkt ins Zentrum. Die Logik Deines Personen Nahverkehrs erschliesst sich mir bis heute nicht. Es gibt gefühlt so viele Buslininien wie Insekten auf diesem Planeten. Sie schwärmen in regelmäßigen Abständen aus, doch dann sind sie wie vom Erdboden verschluckt und kommen später in Gruppen zurück. Luas und DART kommen hinzu, doch es scheint als wären sie so unterschiedlich und breit gestreut, wie die unablässige Touristenschar auf der O`Connel Bridge. Und irgendeiner streikt sowieso gerade wieder, denn Deine Gewerkschaften sind traditionell stark, sagen große Banner am Liberty Hall building.

Dann eben Taxi und das Herz geht auf. Kein Stadtführer und kein Tripadvisor kann ersetzen, was Du von diesen Unikaten erfährst – solltest Du mit Deinem Oxford Schulenglisch diesen Dialekt verstehen. Wir haben uns arrangiert und angenähert. Vorsichtig hast Du mir Deinen Charme gezeigt als ich entlang der Locks vom Grand Canal ging vorbei an Portobello und seinen Schwänen. Ich habe mehr von Deinen Menschen gesprochen und war überrascht. Diese Lebendigkeit, diese Vielfalt, diese Kreativität. Du bist wie ein Album dass man zum ersten mal hört und dann nach dem 2. Song abschaltet. Dann hört man später wieder rein, skippt ein wenig durch und findet Gefallen. Und dann lässt es einen nicht mehr los. So ging es mir mit Dir. Howth, Bull Island, Malahide atemberaubend schön. Harcourt Street, Grafton Street, Henry Street – ein Hauch von weltstädtischem Flair. Gleich daneben Rathmines, Ranelagh oder Bray – angenehm dörflich und verträumt.

Ich habe Bands auf der Straße spielen sehen, die ich 2 Monate später in den englischen und irischen Charts fand. Weltstars spontan Konzerte im Whelans geben sehen. Du hast Sportarten, von denen ich vorher im Leben noch nie gehört habe, doch sie locken 60000 Menschen in blauen Jerseys ins Croke Park Stadium. Für all Deine Pubs und Clubs brauche ich ein extra Leben und die Dichte Deiner Silicon Valley Headquarter auf Europäischem Boden, ist so aufregend wie die Sammlung der Apps auf meinem Smartphone. Du bist erstaunlich und undurchschaubar, nicht planbar mit Geschichte und Stolz an jeder Ecke. Deine Menschen lieben alle Plätze an Dir, von Phoenix Park bis Docklands – und jedes mal wenn sie von Dir erzählen, siehst Du ein Leuchten in ihren Augen mit einem Hauch von Melancholie.

Dublin, Du merkst, Du hast mich – und nun muss ich gehen. Schon immer ist man hier ausgewandert in alle Teile der Welt. Das gehört zu Deiner Geschichte. Nun bin ich Teil von ihr und es ist, als verließe ich eine Heimat. Danke. Dein Northsider.

Strengths Finder 2.0Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like the approach – getting away focusing on areas of improvement and how to get better with them. It is about finding out everybody’s individual skills. Learning about what you´re good at and being yourself. Too many manager still try to be the best in multiple areas instead of building teams with the best level of all strengths needed to be successful. An easy read for a short flight with a huge impact on your future work. Management must read.

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Er ist wieder daEr ist wieder da by Timur Vermes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mal wieder Hitler. So ganz weg ist er ja nie. So einfach der Plot dieser Geschichte ist – so genial ist er. Wieso bin ich da nicht drauf gekommen? Die Handlung ist beides zugleich abstrus und herrlich realistisch. Sie hält allen schweigsamen Mitläufern brutal den Spiegel vors Gesicht und erinnert uns einmal mehr daran, dass ein 2. Hitler durchaus möglich ist. Leihgaben aus “Die Welle” sind durchaus zu erkennen, stören aber nicht. Ganz nebenbei bekommt das Privatfernsehen und die NPD sowieso noch ihr ganz besonderes fett weg. Gut geschrieben, unterhaltsam. Was mich allerdings verblüfft hat – der Film zum Buch ist in diesem Falle aus meiner Sicht sogar noch um einiges besser.

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Chase Great – Feel great

With the Olympic Games starting today I reflect my own experience running my first full Marathon 3 years ago. Be honest – do you still have it on your life tick box as a to do ?

Do you keep saying I get exhausted after 3 miles walk – how could I ever run 26.2 miles ? Well – welcome to the club, I kept saying the same, but this year I am going to run my fourth marathon. I am convinced, that if you don´t have a serious disease which prevents you from getting it started – everybody can do it. After passing the finish line, to me it was such a feeling of being proud about myself. The maximum amount of endorphines circulating in your veines remains for days and provides you with such an energy which enables you to get things done, start new projects or gives you a total different angle on something you thought you might did right for years, but you haven´t. So what have I done to achieve this goal?

1. preparation is key

Even if I said everybody can do it, it doesn´t mean that you can do it from the scratch. The right preparation is key to success. Today you have endless opportunities to do a research on training plans, nutritions, shoes or gadgets like running watches or mobile apps. Take your time to do it. There are many ways, opinions and advises on how to do it – and many of them are right. There is no single way of doing it perfect. Use best cases like you would do it in your job and transfer it to your own style and condition. Try it out what feels best for you. Some of you may like to do training hours in the morning – others late after work. Listen to your body what feels best. I read many websites, blogs, articles or journals to find my own style and equipment. You would do it for any work related project too. Just one advice – less is more. Find some nice shorts and shirt, buy comfortable shoes in a specialized store (not online) and get yourself a nice sports watch – that´s it. All this energy drinks and sports nutrition to me is useless. Lot´s of water and a banana is doing the same. I prefer a sports watch over an sports app because I don´t want to be distracted while running. When I run I focus on my performance and my goal. When you carry your phone with you to get the running apps working you can always be distracted by incoming calls or messages. (don´t tell me you switch it off) Secondly – if you´re training long distances there is always the chance to have some rain (I am living in Ireland) which may can kill your phone – even equipped with plastic protection.

2. Set milestones – be patient

Do you want to achieve your target quick? You won´t do it when you prepare for a marathon. You will win in small steps. Depending on your fitness level start with small distances but do them regularly. Look for some fun runs and competitions in your area like 5 K runs, family runs. No matter what it is, but subscribe to them because they are your commitment to keep on training. Subscribe to other runs in the nearer future which will be your next achievable goal. Keep it going. You can set yourself a monthly target as well in regards to the amount of miles you want to run in 4 weeks. This keeps you flexible on the time commitment you have on this. Whatever it is, be patient and don´t over pace. Rome was´t built in a day. Give yourself easy 5 months at least to prepare. To me it worked really well to run in the first month some 5K, in the second month some 10 K, in the third month some 10 miles, in the fourth month two half marathons and in the fifth month one or two 30 K to test how far I could go. Always allow yourself as much breaks as you need. Your body will tell you.

3. Be realistic

When you run your first marathon, the only goal you can have – is finishing it. It is about the run itself – and it is about your health and condition. We´re all no pro athletes – it is our hobby and spare time. So you should enjoy it and don´t make it a torture. You will see, a marathon is not as an individual sports as you think. You will be surprised about the vibes and buzz when you do your wave starts among thousands of others. People are running with you on the track for a certain period, push and encourage you and pull you as well. Don´t go too fast at the start. Many unexperienced runners are doing it because they are excited about the people and supporters. I always knew what I wanted to run per kilometer and had a keen view on my watch to measure it. During training you will quickly find out what your best pace per km is. Stick to it all the time and not to be as fast as the people in front of you – even if you get overtaken multiple times. It is not about them – it is about you.


Do you have this adventure still on you life tick box ? Tell me your experiences ?

how to avoid the meeting marathon


Prologue. Monday morning. You nearly made it on time to your first meeting of the week. While attending and trying to make up your mind, you wonder what this meeting is about. In a discreet way you´re checking your smartphone to look at the calendar entry. You notice that you have 9 meetings today. 3 of them are overlapping or clashing. Some of them you remember, most of them you don’t.
Overall you have around 30 meetings in the upcoming week. You have to do some project work and you are due to delivering some reports and presentations for customers and your boss.

Is this you? Does this sound familiar to you? Maybe you should think about a change. In the past years I noticed a kind of a meeting madness, which takes place all over the world in todays offices.
And it is getting worse. With all the technology and gadgets we own these days to organize our business days, we have lost the ability to focus on the core. We think we are effective, but we´re
far away of being efficient. It is a common behavior to accept a meeting invite on the run, not even knowing what it is about. Just to please somebody and not wanting to annoy him or her. This is how I do it.

1. give yourself a calendar time

After a long, busy week I have a recurring calendar entry on Friday afternoon for 45 minutes. This is my time where I have a close look on the upcoming meetings next week. Here I can reassure if I find some clashes, if a meeting still makes sense or if I may have to decline or postpone a meeting.
I as well can find out if I am missing some information to specific topics, ask the meeting organizer for some more input or for an agenda to decide if my attendance still makes sense. This is the time where i clear up my agenda. It is a very simple behavior which assures not having an overload of unproductive meetings and helps you to prioritize your time. (and makes me feel better of the weekend)

2. no agenda – no meeting

Sounds harsh, but it is exactly how I work. This for sure is handled reciprocal because I don´t send an invite without an agenda as well. Even the shortest meeting invite should contain a purpose, a topic and a desired outcome. This makes meetings so much more productive and values the time of all attendees. Like mentioned before – a smartphone in your hand is a powerful gadget, but it implements the danger for everybody accepting a meeting invite while ordering a coffee at Starbucks. And this is why so many people are rushing to meetings, without having a clue what it is about. This is a waste of time for everybody. So next time when you receive a meeting invite, check if there is an agenda before accepting. And if not – kindly ask the organizer if he or she could include it. Otherwise – there is no meeting.

3. give yourself a break (and prepare thoroughly)

We should not have more meetings to be more efficient, we should have meaningful meetings which makes sense and where everybody comes prepared. So bring yourself into the right mindset before attending the next meeting. You can rarely do this if you do not plan some breaks in between
Everybody of us needs some minutes to refocus.
Think about that in every meeting where you have been invited, your inspiration, your spirit your good ideas are really much appreciated and that´s the reason why you have been invited.
You are the one owning your calendar, so you should not accept or plan invites where one meeting follows consecutively after the other. Does a meeting always needs to be 60 minutes ? Or are 45 minutes maybe enough time to cover your topics? Think about it.

These 3 simple rules of setting priorities helped me a lot to survive the meeting madness of today.
We all have the same 24 hours. Even if trainings are saying so – you can´t manage time, but you can set the right priorities. What do you think? Did you have the same experiences? Ist this how you already do it or do you have some additional advices you can share?



surprise -people management is about people

Being in a leadership role now for some years in this crazy growing and changing world of technology, I see myself in a position to may give you some advises you can benefit from, when you develop into your next play – a role where you´re not only responsible for yourself anymore. A people manager role. There is this quote saying, that when you develop from being an individual contributor into a management position, it is not about how great you are and perform anymore, it is about how successful you can make your team. I saw people struggling on this. Why? Because by nature sales experts are restless fighters, chasing for their own success and having a high level of ego. I don´t mean that in a negative way, it is one of the skills you do need to have in that business.

So coming from a world where it is all about you and now it is all about your them is not easy. You really have to think it over. Take a step back, collect lots of feedback from your peers and have an idea about what really makes you happy. And I mean that not only in the sense of if it is the right decision for yourself. As I mentioned in the beginning, you take on responsibility for individuals and you absolutely should care. A high performing account manager is not necessarily a good people manager and a development into leadership role may even not be seen as a development because it feels wrong. Actually this is a step backwards.

If you made up your mind I have three advices for you, which worked for me very well.

1. always hire the best team

In my past years I did hundreds of interviews together with management peers. I have often been really surprised about the indifferent way they did their interviews.(Being later on surprised about why their team is not performing) Your success as a manager is the success of your team in total. So simple as that. You should have a high interest in hiring the best people for your specific open roles. Don´t only think about skills, experience and educational background. Consider soft skills, diversity and how the person would fit into your existing social micro cosmos. Be bold to hire people for roles where they maybe not the experts in. They may have an expertise on totally different topics you never have thought about and they have interesting stories to tell. Don´t limit yourself. The best advice I have for you in doing a perfect interview is, ask as much questions you can. Ask what you´re interested in apart from the job qualifications and prepare yourself to ask creative questions based on their background. (I don´t mean those nonsense questions like google used to have – sorry google.

2. be authentic, be interested and show empathy

Now when you manage your team, you´re in a relationship with let´s say 10 people or more. (In my perspective the span of control for a people manager ends with around 10-12 individuals) The fundament of this relationship should be trust and authenticity. You will be together with your team around 10 hours per day. This relationship mustn´t be friendship (sometimes it can be) and you don´t have to leave the professional path, but it requires as much intense work to keep it up like a friendship. What does this mean? It means all those little things which appear not to be important but at the end they make a difference and make you unique as a people manager. As the headline says – your business is now about people. Be interested in them. Don´t arrive at work, sitting at your desk and claim that you´re always open for them if they have any issue. Look at your individuals maybe a minute longer and build up pro-active empathy. What can you read in their faces? Did they have a good weekend? What kind of activity have they done? What kind of activity have you done? Give and take and absorb as much as you can. Don’t always talk about the things which are going well in your life. You can share your challenges as well. And never forget, personnel development is a key factor in performance management. You have to provide the platform for it and should know all the time, by what your individual is being motivated to achieve his next play. Lead by example and prove your authenticity in speaking about your career development as well. This makes you a great people manager.

3.always tell the why

Working in IT, technology, marketing or elsewhere in a fast changing working environment means you have to do quick decisions and have to cope with a fast pace. Your management style has to be versatile and to be adapted to several different situations during one day. Sure – you could be all the time very directive and just tell you team what you want them to do. But this turns out not to be very useful as you will not benefit from the skills and knowledge from it. You must manage your team by objective (MBO) and not by control (MBC). If you have tasks for your team, make your life easier and tell them the sense behind. Why do you ask them to do it – and especially why is it important to you personally? If the spirit is right, every single individual is happy to help you out. If you have considered number one of my top three people manager skills, you are surrounded by bright minds. They will claim and want to know anyway what´s the deeper sense behind. Do concentric briefing and give a holistic explanation. Make sure that everybody understands buys in and accepts it as q common task which is in line with the companies strategy. This leads to the best performance and results.

What you think? Did you have the same experiences with being a manager or being managed?

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