"Listening carefully and arguing passionately for something can go hand-in-hand.”

Personal aspects

On a sunny summer’s evening what I most like doing is...

I love to spend a really lazy Saturday in the garden without anything particular to do and nothing planned. If the children meet up with their friends at our house or somewhere else, we can listen to Nobby Dickel commentating on BvB’s win on NetRadio between 3.30 and 5.30 and then fire up the barbeque in preparation for a long and entertaining evening on the terrace.

What’s the best function on your mobile phone?

The best function on my mobile phone is the sleep timer! It always gives me a bad conscience when I work too long. When I’m on the road I particularly like the newspaper and social network apps on my phone so I can at least keep up to speed virtually.

What drives you nuts?

As I suffer from fear of heights, it takes a lot to make me hit the roof. But there are a few things that might speed the process up, such as not sticking to agreements, ignorance, authoritarian behaviour or bad service.

What do you appreciate about your friends most?

That they never get tired of inviting me even though I nearly always have to turn them down because of my job. My dear friends, I’d like to publicly thank you here – I’m sure that I’ll always show up for all these events at the very latest when I’m in an old people’s home…

Who or what are you a fan of? And why?

As a child of the Ruhr area I am a mad Borussia Dortmund fan! I love going to the stadium and cheering on my team along with 80,644 other fans. I suppose I could explain how wonderfully systemic the experience of a football match is – where the complexity of the interactions on the pitch (and occasionally on the terraces) is completely unpredictable and that therefore linear leadership is impossible and that the coach is restricted to creating a shared understanding of total football and generating a productive framework... But at the end of the day it’s just great when we win.

What is your warmest childhood memory?

There are many: brilliant trips with my parents, small and very affectionate presents from my parents, a fantastic time in the Scouts, incredible experiences with friends,– but the most impressive memory from my childhood was being given the chance to go up in the basket of a fire engine. Wow! And looking back I can’t believe I didn’t take the opportunity…

What was your greatest adventure so far?

My goodness. I have been allowed to experience so many things that have captured my enthusiasm, ranging from the small adventure of simply walking around in foreign countries to the bigger ones that my job has opened up to me such as accompanying organisations and individuals in their development, all the way to being present at the births of our two children.

What really makes a holiday for you?

For a perfect holiday I need to be with my family. My children make sure that I turn my thoughts to other things and when I am engrossed with the two of them my wife can relax. I love being an entertainer for my children on holiday. But on the other hand if they make friends on holiday that’s fine by me … The holiday destination is of secondary importance in view of this. Oh yes, and my laptop has a holiday as well – somewhere away from me. When I’m on business trips I need at least one season of “24” in my case.

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