Roland Dürre
Thursday September 19th, 2013

brand eins in September

001_b1_05_13_Titel_4c.inddNow it is back again with me: my “brand eins”. At long last, I can write about it. Even though this is already the end of September.

My article is late because the September “brand eins” edition never found its way to my address. Either someone stole it from my newspaper box, or it fell victim to my move. Consequently, I bought it at the kiosk. And I was quite surprised that the price for this magazine is actually 8.50 Euros.

This used to be as much as 17 Deutsche Marks and at the time when we still paid with the DM (may God rest its soul), I could have bought quite a few “Playboy” editions for this kind of money – which at the time seemed rather expensive to me.

But then, for the “brand eins”, I would be prepared to pay even 10 Euros. That is about as much as one litre of Octoberfest Beer costs – and we all know how fast you can drink one of those.

When I had my “brand eins”, I let some other people borrow it. This is how it also made a short involuntary trip from Berlin to Stuttgart – but not in my backpack.

But it remained true to me and returned in the end. It came back by postal delivery in an envelope to which a small postfix was attached. It said:

Hello dear Roland, thanks a lot! I enjoyed it while it stayed with me in Berlin. Kind regards, W.

This made me quite happy, so that I removed the post-it. And to my horror, I found a second post-it underneath the first one saying:
We need to talk.

Oh my God, I thought: what mistakes did I make? Until I noticed that the second post-it was no post-it at all. Instead, it was part of the title page, printed right into the title text. Because the September “brand eins” has as its focal point:


And if you wish to negotiate, you definitely will have to talk.

Incidentally, it is a very nice “brand eins” edition. You will find many very exciting topics. I will not write about the content, because this is already the 19th of the month and consequently you all will have read it already, anyway.

But I will tell you one thing. Mr. W. (see above) told me he was just as terrified as I when I handed him the “brand eins” with the post-it attached to it. It would be really interesting to find out how many more “brand eins” readers shared the experience. Well, so much on our beloved sub-conscious.

And now – we have to talk.

(Translated by EG)

Here are my tweets of last week on:
Blogging and Twittering, Wisdoms and Rules:

130926 What a girl asks, a man will grant – also true for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130927 If you want to drain the fountain, you have to look for the spring – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130928 Touch a hedgehog and you will feel spikes – also true for blogging and twittering. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130929 If you open the sack, you will see what is inside – also when blogging and twittering. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130930 Giving the wolf a name means calling him – something that might well happen when twittering & blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131001 If you kick the worm, it will buckle – careful, also when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

131002 if you overstrain a crossbow, it will break – also true for twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

There is a new tweet each day. See and “follow” RolandDuerre!

(Translated by EG)

I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Roland Dürre
Tuesday September 17th, 2013

What Annoys Me #32 – Many Speakers’ Degenerateness …

I keep attending events sponsored by all sorts of organisations, where I hope to learn something new. Perhaps also because I wish to extend my social network. At these events, I listen to presentations.

More often than not, the speakers are glamorous personalities with impressive titles. In their visiting cards, you can read things like “author and key speaker”, “innovative constructor and instructor” or “trainer and speaker”. Naturally, they are all members of the GSA (German Speaker Association) or similar associations. And they pretend to have special expertise on some not very precisely defined topic.

And then they lay it on thick. Using too obviously trained rhetoric skills, they present slides like zillions of times before where the only things they modified are the place and the date. In their show, they link commonly known psycho tricks with banalities, interspersing caricatures that only seem funny at first sight. To make up for it, they keep mixing populist with allegedly provocative theses.

Each of their presentations is full of the same old flat jokes and they always laugh routinely at the same places. They make use of the prejudices of their audience for confirmation of many a thick theory. If you are lucky, they will at least give you a nice cabaret performance.

Then they take their money and disappear. We even celebrate them because, after all, we are used to far worse presentations. Presentations given by persons who have no talent at all but bought their speaker invitation with sponsoring or something similar.

To me, it seems like the number of these make-believe speakers increases all the time. A presentation should be humble and moderate. The speaker should relate what is important to him in an authentic and truthful way. He should talk about what moves him, share his knowledge and experience in life and do without all this knick-knack. Because, when all is said and done, you will otherwise only get distracted from what is really important. Well, getting distracted will also keep you from noticing mistakes.

In a nutshell:

I am fed up with this narcissistic mixture of cheap showmanship, claptrap, semi-truths, more or less hinted at conspiracy theories and the constant game with all kinds of effects used by this commercialized new world of speakers.

And I know from my personal experience as a speaker that it is not at all necessary.

(Translated by EG)

This week, the time has again come: on September, 19th, 2913, at 18:00 hours, there will be another interesting IF Forum as part of our IF Academy. You can hear an exciting presentation about:

Mailserver & Mail-Client (Careful E-MAIL!)

“History, Spam&Virusses” or “concepts for the secure and reliable operation of a mail server”

(Hans Bonfigt / Marc Haber – redoxSystems)

And here is the good news:

HaberMarcII200911-Heidelfoto-A-orig-IMG_4678plus_v2Marc Haber will also come.

By now, we can verify that, besides Hans Bonfigt, Marc Haber will also be there. The two of them are experts when it comes to the technology and the depths of our so often-used medium email. In fact, with these two persons we have a couple of “supremely knowledgeable” guests who are both extremely competent and radically critical, since they are “chips of the old block”. Both of them have the special talent of coming up with simple explanations even when the topic is complex. I know them both personally and they will give very interesting reports as co-speakers.

For instance, they will deduce logically that an enterprise basically cannot avoid having its own mail server. They will also show how easy it is to install said mail server and how cheaply it works if you use free software.

Simultaneously, they will give a quasi “first-hand account” about the rather “common” concept of “SINA-Boxes” potentially abusing your civil rights on a daily basis without your having even the slightest chance of so much as noticing it.

Since currently this topic is rather much-discussed, we promoted the IF Academy presentation to become a “special IF Forum”.

Consequently, this coming Thursday evening is another very good opportunity to introduce InterFace AG to our friends, partners, customers and all interested persons, as well as to new colleagues.

So here I am asking you all to support the IF Forum and make it a lively event. I will also be very happy to welcome participants who failed to register on time or decide to visit spontaneously.

For details and registration, click here: LINK !

I look forward to welcoming many visitors!

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Sunday September 15th, 2013

Before the #pmcamp is after the #pmcamp … (1)

My Contribution to #pmcamp13ber

I am sitting in the Berlin DB lounge, waiting for my train to Munich. The PM camp and sessions I attended yesterday and today is still on my mind. And since I received so much positive criticism, here is a concise version of today’s presentation by yours truly.

It is a description of what a modern manager who wants to be both successful and ethically responsible might (or should?) look like. From other sessions before my own presentation, I got the impression that it might be a good idea to start with a definition of “moral conduct” and “ethics”. So this is how my presentation started:

Moral Conduct and Ethics

As I understand it, moral conduct is characterized by rules and laws. Some of them have been written down, some of them are valid without the written form. It is generally assumed that moral conduct is a requirement for the common good (bonum commune) in social systems, or at least that it will be very useful in this sense.

If you violate the rules of moral conduct, this will have consequences: you will suffer either punishment – if you broke the law – or social ostracism or something similar. The fact that moral conduct can also cause damage is accepted. And this kind of damage is often done because, basically, laws cannot foresee all “morally problematic” situations in life, no matter how you amend or add to them.

Ideally, the citizens agree to adhere to the rules, since they understand how beneficial this is for the entire society. Unfortunately, however, this is not what usually happens.

Problems with moral conduct:

If you insist on moral conduct as being normative for your behaviour, this will cause lots of problems. More often than not, the accepted damage is too much. The world changes, yet moral conduct is more or less static, which makes it a contradiction to new developments. Different groups of society (age, sex, socialization, religion, …) might well have totally different opinions on some relevant topics.

Ethics, give you a rule. Behaving ethically means you make this rule the maxim for your own decisions and behaviour in a responsible way. In order to do so, you have to be able to decide and act according to an ethical balance of values following the rule. Consequently, “ethical behaviour”, too, will usually be in the interest of the “bonum commune”. It is an important goal of ethical behaviour to minimize damage.

Examples for ethics:

  •  Happiness-Ethics (Eudämonismus)
Its roots are in Greek philosophy. It aims at maximizing lust yet avoiding pain
  • The Golden Rule 
It means “treat others the way you would like to be treated“
  • Duty Ethics
Duty ethics simply tell you to follow the law (and the orders of your boss).
  • Conscience Ethics 
“follow your conscience”
  • The principle of biophile behaviour.

I do not think the Happiness Ethics and the Golden Rule can be practiced. Management is not the only sector where it probably will not be very helpful. Moreover, these two ethics only seem to be applicable to humans. Today, however, there is a broad consensus that ethics far exceeds human affairs.

The duty ethics are something I mistrust as a matter of principle. Too many atrocities and crimes have been committed “just doing your duty”.

“Follow your conscience” is not really conceivable to me, because as a general rule, conscience will always come after the decision and the act.

My next two articles will discuss the image of the “new manager” and the “biophile principle”.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday September 12th, 2013

Basically, It Is Quite Easy, Isn’t It ? …

… Being Happy!
An evening at leisure after a long day. The next morning will come, anyway. I will wake up around 6.30 a.m. – And at 8.15 a.m., I will leave the house and start my way by bike to the important meeting at ten o’ clock.

So here I am sitting shortly before going to sleep and planning to absolutely enjoy this one hour and 45 minutes at home tomorrow morning. And I can go to sleep with a satisfied smile on my face.

It happens as it was planned. This is a beautiful morning. Because that is how I wanted it. Consequently, on departure, I already look forward to the more than 1.5 hours on my bike that lie ahead. I am totally aware of what I want and will do.

The weather is fine – which is another reason to be happy! Yet I know that I would enjoy the ride just as much if it rained. It is nice to ride a bike.

I arrive at my destination and meet my colleagues. It is an important meeting. I will do all I can towards making it a good meeting. So we can all be content when we return. And continue to have success on our sides. That is my firm desire. Otherwise, nothing I am doing would make sense!

And thus the day continues …

This is how I will live! Hour after hour, I will live my life in this way. Because I love myself. Consequently, I want to do well by me. I always look forward to the next hour. It is my firm desire to make good use of time and achieve what is best. Both for myself and the persons around me. I decide that nothing and nobody will disturb me in the future.

It sounds rather hazardous, doesn’t it? But I manage to make it work better each day. In fact, I think it is some small miracle…

Why don’t you try it yourself? Always look forward to the next hour and your next activity! Enjoy time and how you spend it! Try it – start now!

You will see: it actually works.

(Translated by EG)

I really surprised myself with how I managed to do it. As I see it, my teacher and friend  Rupert set the groundwork and Nadja gave me the final push (Schubs). And many of my friends also helped. But finally, it was me who did it. It wasn’t easy. But it is worth the effort!

Here are my tweets of last week on:
Blogging and Twittering, Wisdoms and Rules:

130919 A cold lie smells – not to forget when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130920 When you are doing fine, every advice is good advice – also when twittering and blogging. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130921 Where force is used, the law will die – also true for blogging and twittering. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130922 Where pride blooms, happiness will drown – also when blogging and twittering. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130923 If there were no hope, I would no longer be alive – something you often think if you are a twitterer and blogger. #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130924 If everyone cleans before his own door, all places will be spotless – also true for twittering and blogging! #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

130925 Children who cry will live long – also true for twittering and blogging? #Twitter #Blogging #Wisdom

There is a new tweet each day. See and “follow” RolandDuerre!


(Translated by EG)

I took the proverbs from Alle deutsche Sprichwörter.

Roland Dürre
Sunday September 8th, 2013

Entrepreneur’s Diary #90 – The Magic Management Triangle

At InterFace alone, I have now had thirty years to think about what exactly I am doing and what is my job. How to describe my job and what qualities you should have for it? And whether I am doing a good or a bad job in my position.

Because I am a manager.

Well, basically, I am a project manager, because my professional (and private) life consists of many projects. In these projects, I am sometimes more and sometimes less involved. But they always concern me in some way or other. Sometimes I initiate projects or try to direct them. Sometimes I delegate the responsibility. Occasionally, I also have to terminate them. But I am always involved. Even if it is only the results that are returned to me.

And during those many years, my view and understanding of management constantly developed. Sometimes it was a zig-zag line, yet as the years went by, the lines converged. Many friends, teachers, masters and mentors accompanied me on the way – and they helped me a lot. Consequently, I was able to write a lot about management, leadership, entrepreneurship and all other topics that move me (also in the IF blog). Also, I was able to give numerous presentations, particularly for young people.

This is how my small and totally private management model was created. I defined it as a triangle. To be sure, I could also have come up with a more multi-dimensional definition, but the number three has the advantage that our finite brain actually can manage three dimensions quite reasonably. Consequently, a model with three bases is probably easier to understand.

The three dimensions of my management model are:

  • operative issues
  • leadership and
  • entrepreneurship.

Let me describe my concept of these three dimensions:

  • Operative Issues

    As I see it, the operative issues are about what is “self-evident” about the job of a manager. They are about the daily routine of decisions on the technological, mercantile or personal levels. A good technological education, common sense, the ability to judge quickly and such kind of things are useful and sometimes necessary. A certain degree of intelligence, a healthy ability to accept conflicts, a suitable socializing process and the like are desirable. A bit of an extrovert personality and self-esteem are helpful. It is a huge advantage if you have courage and can share what joy you have. The same is true for a positive communicative competence, both by word of mouth and in the written form. Besides, a good general education, or at least the ability and willingness to learn something new and alien will do no harm to an operative manager.
  • Leading and Leadership

    Leading and leadership are two wonderful words. For me, the first and most important factor is that you are capable of leading yourself, i.e. to develop your own “leadership”. After this is achieved, you might perhaps be able to share some of your leadership capacity with others, thereby trying to “lead them” (careful: the very terminology is offensive). 
As I see it, “leading” requires a certain degree of humility towards the task and the people in the “social system” you are active in and surrounded by.
    Here are some of the qualities that turn an operative “functionary” into a leadership personality:
    being able to listen, having a healthy degree of empathy, embodying and living values as a person (both your own and those of the enterprise), accepting criticism, being critical with yourself and being immune against too many set statements, certainties or even dogmata; in other words, you have to have a certain amount of autonomy.
  • Entrepreneurship
    In my opinion, a leader becomes an “Entrepreneur” if he is also willing to accept a special responsibility. For me, this means that the person will put himself beyond all randomness. He will “identify” with all “matters” concerning the enterprise in a healthy way. This means a commitment to actively participate, including the courage and willingness to change things. It necessitates a high readiness to take responsibility even on the normative level, thereby making you the protagonist for the promotion of the entrepreneurial values and culture.
You can only achieve this if you, as an entrepreneur, are no longer pushed by having to say “I MUST” and/or by a strong “Super-Ego”. Instead, you have to have achieved a huge degree of inner freedom. This is how you will eventually be enabled to question all those established “worlds” every system seems to have developed without criticism. And again and again, you will ask the philosophic core questions: “How do you know this” or “How do you know this is the truth?”.

Because the mental concepts of the worlds as developed in social systems such as enterprises are, after all, just an attempt at mirroring reality. In the worst but most frequent case, they will become doctrines or dogmata.
So if now the manager or leader tries to deduce decisions with “dominant logics” from the established world, these decisions will, of course, only too often turn out to be the wrong decisions. To be sure, even with correct logics, you can deduce correct things from erroneous assumptions. But that is mostly accidental. As a general rule, it will not happen.
Basically, it is a very human desire to strive towards stable judgement. After all, they make life easier for the manager – but often with terrible consequences.
I would name the qualities of an entrepreneur “agile competence”. For instance, a “top manager” fully competent in the operative issues and at the same time being a leading personality and entrepreneur, should be particularly good at adequately dealing with “errors and coincidence”.

On the whole, I think management means you have to be particularly good with combining the opposing ends of the individual and collective worlds (of the social system). Because the expectations, interests and needs of persons in the diverse social systems are basically very different from those of the social system. Yet the manager has to deal both with the persons and the social systems. He has to bring them together.

It all sounds like an almost super-human challenge. Since there are no super-humans, there are probably no persons who actually meet the ideal I just described. Consequently, there is no need to be ashamed of your own imperfection.

That means we should not despair too much when we discover the occasional shortcoming or fault in ourselves. But we can take this list of criteria to see how far we have already advanced towards being “Top Managers” – or if, perhaps, we are still on the level of “operative manager”. Or maybe we are already on our way to the leadership personality? And we can see what could be done in order to get better.

Wel l- this is my current view of things.

(Translated by EG)

For all the articles of my entrepreneur’s diary, click here: Drehscheibe!

Roland Dürre
Saturday September 7th, 2013

Starting a New Phase in Life

DIGITAL CAMERAI enjoy remembering what happened during the last fifty years of my life. Many adventures came my way and the individual stations of my life seem to have passed me in (too) quick succession. Lots of beautiful things – and sometimes something sad, too – happened.

Now there are probably only a few new sections left until the final destination. For instance, we just moved house and already feel quite comfortable in our new Neubiberg home. We bade our final good-byes to the old house in Riemerling, where we had been living for 23 years with a huge family. My next cut in life will be in 2014 when I will leave InterFace AG. And then let us just wait and see what the future will bring.

In my private life, the task of selling or disposing of our Riemerling property is waiting. To this end, I created a Website which describes our old villa in many languages: Arabian, Chinese, German, English, Spanish and Russian. Feel free to take a look. The Arabian and Chinese variants, in particular, look quite interesting.

Personally, I would prefer it if the house were to remain standing and subjected to repair works, instead of the property – as is often done today – being crammed with close-standing buildings. I ordered the translations into all those languages because I assume that our house, where at times we lived with 11 persons and several pets, might just be too big for your “Standard German” family. After all, each of our seven children had his or her own bedroom and the remaining rooms were also rather lavish. And who needs something this big in Germany?

Now I would like to send the exposé on the website to many institutions that deal internationally with property either professionally or as a hobby. Perhaps this is how I can find the ideal person to buy what we still own. Consequently, I hereby ask all my well-meaning readers if they have any ideas they could mail me. It goes without saying that I will reward you if this is how I get the one advice that leads towards success.

Many thanks in advance – and “Welcome to house hunters”.

(Translated by EG)

Roland Dürre
Thursday September 5th, 2013

Freedom Today

Besides IF blog, which I work along with some friends of mine, I also have a private website Unfortunately, I hardly ever seem to find time for extending and editing my eider “catch phrases” (Stichworte). However, I regularly use the homepage for exchanging “important ideas”.

Yesterday, I published the following current citation:

» Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. «
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

According to wikiquote, the original is actually by Benjamin Franklin.

In my opinion, this statement by Benjamin Franklin should make us particularly thoughtful these days.

(Translated by EG)