By Ernst Gemassmer, Chairman, Startup Professionals
I am a retired executive with ample time to reflect on my personal and business life. My career, in several companies, included management consulting, different positions in many functional areas, heading up international operations and eventually leading to several positions as interim CEO. I have worked in the US, Germany and Holland in addition to travelling the world extensively either developing, managing or turning around different businesses.
As I reflect on my life and career, I would like to elaborate on several aspects, to provide insight and possible guidance to rising young managers and entrepreneurs. Hopefully the reader will benefit from my experiences and avoid hidden pitfalls.
During my entire career I was laser-focused on climbing up the executive ladder, resolving complex issues and meeting ever increasing personal and business targets.
For a number of years I kept in touch with old colleagues and visited them whenever I had a chance. However, my increasingly busy professional life left little or no time to continue these relationships.
I should have made the time to cultivate these relationships, it would have further enlightened me and broadened my horizons.
I should have done a better job in staying in touch. Dedicate at least a portion of your time to your old friends. Your company may fail, but your friendships can and should continue.
It is well worth the effort to stay in touch and thereby keep up friendships, professional relationship. This will enable you to know what is going on in different companies, technologies and countries.
Take the time to keep in touch with those who helped you navigating your career. They deserve it and will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Make time for workouts and closely monitor your eating and drinking habits. Use your limited free time to do what you enjoy and are passionate about. Your body and your mind will reward these efforts.
Therefore, even if it seems challenging, keep on learning and stretch your limits from time to time.
Overall I have had a successful life as well as a varied and rewarding career. I have no regrets, but could have paid more attention to the critical elements mentioned above. Hopefully my comments will cause you to reflect on and guide your personal and business career. Good luck and good health.
Martin Zwilling is the Founder and CEO of Startup Professionals, a company that provides services to startup founders around the world. See more details at www.startupprofessionals.com