Lessons Learned From Reading Götz W. Werner’s Autobiography “Womit ich nie gerechnet habe” Pt 2

Howdy folks,

I feel like having to proceed to tell you about this impressively inspiring book (first part here)… I can tell you, I folded one edge of every book page I found interesting and I was almost feeling like beginning to read one page, folding the edge and then finishing reading this page.

English: Goetz Werner, head of Cross-Departmen...

English: Goetz Werner, head of Cross-Department Group for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, at “Centralstation” in Darmstadt, Hesse, Germany Deutsch: Götz Werner, Leiter des “Interfakultative Institut für Entrepreneurship” an der Universität Karlsruhe, in der Centralstation in Darmstadt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First of all, if you have not read the first part yet, I want to briefly introduce Götz W. Werner to those of you who don’t know him. He founded the company I am working for, an originally German drugstore chain (now spread over big parts of Europe), in 1973. Today, he is a member of the supervisory board and is promoting an idea he really likes, a basic income for every citizen paid by one single tax on the consumption (he would remove every other tax because he thinks that every member of the industry is already calculating the taxes into the price we as consumers are paying for its products, so it is us paying its taxes). The drugstore chain he founded is quite well known, especially in Germany, for being a very social employer with some anthroposophical philosophy mixed into the corporate culture. I already told you about the process to get to a commonly accepted decision some time ago (see here if you want to) and this is only one example of a kind of different thinking.

Götz Werner was asked three questions that changed his life (and the success of his company) very much:

  1. Is your company serving you or are you serving your company?
  2. Are your employees serving your company or is the company serving its employees?
  3. Are the customers serving your company or is your company serving its customers?
Think Tank

Think Tank (Photo credit: Robiwan_Kenobi)

These questions are very essential because they define if the human being is the mean or the end of thought and work. If your employees, the customers and you are only serving your company, your company is just using human beings to grow or earn as much money as possible. But this is not the real purpose of a company. A company should be of service for the human being and be therefore the means and not the end of work and thought.

Next thought. Stop. Take a deep breath. What are you doing here? Why are you reading this post? What are your goals in life? Who are you? Stop again. Maybe too much questions and questions that are too hard to answer right now. But what Götz Werner is telling us is that we all need to spend enough time on reflecting the things we do. If we only react to the things that happen without thinking about them, we can hardly learn or improve anything and will therefore struggle harder and harder until we (literally) die. If we refuse to be always in “reaction mode”, we can start to take time to think about things and design our own life.

English: Think positive

English: Think positive (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once we begin thinking about our life, we need the right attitude, too. Remember, every problem is a potential for development and improvement and never a reason to worry.

If we are doing quite well getting our problems “solved” or if we work for a company or even own a company, we should begin to think about the needs and problems of the human beings around us. If we find solutions and ways to solve these problems and satisfy these needs, we can improve their quality of life and the way they satisfy their needs and will probably earn money or other rewards for doing so.


Information (Photo credit: heathbrandon)

Very important in this context is one point I agree very much on: Good advertising is not talking to the dark and stupid part of the customer’s mind. It is honestly telling the customer about the existence of a solution for his/her problem and providing the opportunity to improve one’s life this way. This is real innovation and not just marketing…

Now we are on page 75 of almost 300 but I will stop here to give you the chance to think about what you have just read and proceed in part three next week.

Hope you enjoyed reading, comments are very welcome.

May peace surround you and be happiness your friend,



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