• 06/12/2020
  • Corona-Krise

Circus horses

LIQUI MOLY CEO Ernst Prost on the connection between scope for own ideas, happiness with the own jobs and the resulting success.

A wonderful good morning dear fellow entrepreneurs!

How I hated it when I had to gallop around in circles like a circus horse on a leash in the arena. Apart from me, the trainer in the middle also had many other horses on the leash, he also had a whip in his left hand and when he was in a good mood he let us have the long leash. He called the whole thing leadership and in reality we were not horses but employees and he was not an animal trainer but a boss.

Later on among many other things I swore to myself that when I would be a boss myself, I would do better. Short leash, long leash - it does not work at all. Delegating sounds better, but it is still too little. How do people achieve maximum performance? Preferably voluntarily and in a group, and what is the best way to permanently modernize a company? Right, through many creative minds, through creative forces and through - as in our case 1000 innovators. The infamous "decisions under uncertainty" can be made much more accurately and with less risk through a team, making the right decisions not on the basis of an individual's intelligence but by means of collective swarm intelligence. Logically, this is only possible by a team.

My task here: To create free space - free space in which intelligent, responsible and creative people can develop and live out their full potential. That's what it brings: promoting talent and discovering abilities "Do what you want, but do it right - and in a way it will benefit the company"! I certainly don't give more directives, more "instructions" any longer. A clever head knows when it's time, what needs to be done and will do it, if you let him. Of course, personal development also includes the competence to make decisions, just like the responsibility which one must take. 
Doing it right, doing something and put yourself on the line for it - not everyone likes that, but the reward is the opportunity for personal development that normally only exist in self-employment. 

And that brings us back to my highly praised fellow entrepreneurs. It's also called entrepreneur in French. There are university chairs and courses for what WE have been practicing pragmatically, trustfully and highly successfully for years in Ulm and in Saarlouis. My realization after more than 45 years of professional experience is that freedom creates success and at the same time significantly increases people's satisfaction and the joy of their work. Work should not only bring income, but also joy, self-realization and a good feeling of having accomplished something - without a leash and without a whip.

I wish you a successful Friday and a nice weekend with lots of space for your creativity!

Ernst Prost