And now for something completely different. I thought I’d give you a little bit of insight into my roots. Why bother, you ask. It’ll give you a sense of what I care about as a person and as a manager, and – I think – you’ll find it interesting.
Let’s start at the beginning: I was born and raised in Switzerland and got indoctrinated in the rules in the following link. It turns out, most European countries have a variation on this theme. If you observe these, you’ll do well across Europe. http://www.expatica.com/ch/lifestyle_leisure/blogs_photos/Life-in-the-Swiss-Alps-Swiss-table-manners-matter-_18072.html
My paternal Grandfather was a barrel maker and I thought of him and his dad, when I saw this video recently. I’m glad the craft still exists: http://www.core77.com/blog/object_culture/inside_a_booze_barrel_factory_23563.asp
My maternal Grandparents were teachers in public schools, as was my mom for a while. I got my love of books from them, along with a good portion of their library in three languages. I strongly believe in learning, being curious and finding new things. Now, if I could only store all of my books properly, as in this link: http://bookshelfporn.com/
My mom had multiple careers (mom, teacher, special ed teacher, editor of a journal and mayor) and my dad made the Swiss trains run on time. I learned a lot about management from them. Here some of what I use to this day:
_I’m not a big fan of management books, but this one is an exception. I got turned on to it by my parents and we would talk about it during nature walks. It’s not only applicable in all aspects of work, but also any time you have to negotiate anything. http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Yes-Negotiating-Agreement-Without/dp/0143118757
_You can’t do it alone, you need a well working team. The different roles are important, and therefore the skill sets that go with them.
_There are many management theories, but at the end of the day, it’s the results that count.
Last but not least, I grew up going to museums a lot. During my teenage years, I got to hang out with incredible artists, curators and museum directors, some of whom have shaped the contemporary art scene in incredible ways, among them Felix Klee (Paul’s son), Ulrich Loock (director of the Kunsthalle Bern, the Kunsthalle to define all other Kunsthallen), and Jean-Christophe Ammann (director Kunsthalle Basel), who brought some of the LA scene to Europe long before LA was cool (think Bruce Weber and Dennis Hopper). Here a couple of links to some of my favorite museums:
_Zentrum Paul Klee. The best Klee collection in the World, simply amazing. Stunning architecture by Renzo Piano http://www.zpk.org/
_Fondation Beyeler. One of the loveliest places to contemplate art. The building (also by Renzo Piano) houses the collection of art dealer Ernst Beyeler, who was one of the foremost dealers (and collectors) of 20th century art. This is a place to get inspired. http://www.fondationbeyeler.ch