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Why This Blog? Why Me?

Why Me?

The business world is crying for leaders.

I will be frank.  This blog is not a typical management or leadership guide for corporate executives. I wrote it because over my own years in the corporate world I have learned there is too much bullshit from managers today. There are simply too many layers and too much concepts (that nobody needs) in which meaningful action becomes mired.

I feel so strongly about it I have written Lead Now, Manage Later: Cut the F..cking Bullshit in Management to bring you back to basics. It will explain what I have learned about how people respect, follow, and accordingly, how they react to what they are told to do. This book rejects all politics, corporate or any other type. For some it might even be too ugly to read.

In my career I have been involved with countless companies in the most difficult situations. They had been mismanaged, misdirected, and were ready to go under. I relish those challenges. And I have learned first-hand what it takes to get things done. Before I explain how I have done this and what I’ve learned, I must point out that I have found myself in these situations not because of bad luck or near-sightedness but because I chose to. (The fact is that when I was working in corporations my superiors usually put me in these situations only when things were desperate.). I wouldn´t wonder, if one of them is reading this, that he thought that let´s give the “mission impossible challenge to Paul and hope he fails”.

I think failures are here to teach us more than wins do.

I enjoy these kind of challenges.

Having talked and worked with a lot of people who inhabit all corporate levels –—the owners, managers and their mid-level counterparts, the  people on the assembly line — I am strongly compelled and solidly informed enough to claim that everyone has had enough. Most of the people I have talked about my book and views the answer has been more or less: “ I can relate to”.

The leadership style so prevalent everywhere must change. People are fed up and become very inclined to not follow directions. And when people are not following, a company or society of any size become inefficient.

We are being misled by corporate managers and politicians of all stripes; this goes for middle management, top management, and executives. They throw a bunch of crap in a nice package and toss it to workers, thinking the workers believe it.

Leadership positions in today’s world of politics and business is filled with too many talkers and too few doers. And in many cases, they are also filled with crap. There is so much endless talk in companies that when employees actually see things accomplished and see managers and leaders doing what they say they will, they are astounded.

We need leaders who stand behind their words and get things done. Not failed leaders or managers who stumble over their own greed.

I am fairly certain you remember your irritation the last time your boss seemed to take forever to make a long overdue decision. You seethed while he pushed papers around and found excuses to overanalyze.

Perhaps you have experienced situations where corporate management talks about their grand plans and makes a lot of noise in the press. Even then you knew very little would materialize.

This sort of talk without action, obfuscation without meaning, is everywhere in business and politics, especially when the two meet. The European Union sent truckloads of taxpayers’ money to Greece, claiming they must save it. But they were actually saving European banks, not that they would admit that openly. This economic drama will continue until the politicians finally cut their ties with banks. Cut the bullshit! Cut the bureaucracy.

By cutting the bullshit we make our lives easier and help businesses get more profitable. Clarity rules!

Why Me?

I was born and raised in a entreprenuerial family. Paper pushers were not much respected. I used to work in my parents company many summers and weekend or evenings. I learned a lot.

I started my career as an R&D engineer in global corporation and ended my career as an executive vice president in a corporation. After that I was an industrial entrepreneur (during 2008 recession, of which some economists say it has never ended) and now work through my own company Bellevue SME Advisors as an interims manager/CEO for companies that seriously need help.

Some lessons I learned in the military are entirely applicable to corporate life:

  • Teamwork is the only way
  • Never leave your buddy behind.
  • Look after your men.
  • Lead from the front.

I am not a behavioural psychologist and don’t pretend to be one. In fact, I don’t need to be one. I have no profound statistical studies that provide new insights. Lead Now- Cut the F..cking Bullshit in Management is about my experience as a leader, my experience with other leaders, and my own studies of historical successful leaders.

I was born into a very entrepreneurial family. My dad used to tell me: Don’t talk, just do it! He also urged me not to overthink, to stop worrying too much about consequences, because that can paralyze anything. I agree entirely with my dad, and yet I still managed to make a very long corporate career. I use the term “managed” deliberately. During my career I met a lot of colleagues stuck in the corporate world who dreamed of one day becoming entrepreneurs—of risking it all and enjoying the rewards if it worked.

I am an entrepreneur — a person who has created something that directly gives him and his family their livelihood. For instance, he might have established a business. He might have failed (not a must), then gone right out established it again. An entrepreneur takes risk every day in various forms and sizes, like loans or guarantees, or simply making decisions with everything on the line.

I once jumped into uncertainty two weeks before Lehman Brothers went into bankruptcy, which started a major world economic crisis. I took a bank loan plus personal bank guarantees to buy a company at great risk. The next years, 2009 and 2010, brought about historical lows in Finland, the company’s home market.  Risky? Yes, indeed.

But we succeeded and went on to great things, including a 50% growth through export in 18 months. I reorganized the company despite some very questionable things inflicted by the bank and dubious things done behind my back.

Then I returned to central Europe and started a consulting company from scratch. I have earned my money, believe me. And I have learned some valuable lessons I will share with you here.

I loved my time working in corporations. It was very educational and I enjoyed the challenges I took on or where given to me. Regardless how much fun I had, I always wanted to run my own company, whether a start-up or established small business. During my corporate career I did start up a company in the US with some colleagues, which we soon closed. I moved on. I also was seeking financing for a technological breakthrough in building systems that had been developed by a company that wasn’t sure what to do with it. It took eight years but today the business is up and running.

I think entrepreneurship is in my genes. But I also believe that people have so many different motivations to be or become an entrepreneur.  Still I believe one common reason is many people want to create something.

“A ship is only as good as its crew” is an old sailor’s saying. In today’s business world that translates to: The company is only as good as its employees and leaders.

This blog is about teams and how the teams work and how to avoid getting unreliable persons on a team and if they get on board, how to fire them!

This is the crux of my philosophy, and why it will work—how it will redefine how you lead. Think like an entrepreneur and you will make crisper and more unyielding decisions that those who work for you will respect and follow.

Because of all my experiences with corporate bullshit, banks and governments and now as an interims manager/CEO in many companies I was really appeleaded to the idea of starting to write a blog and a leadership book.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog and would love to hear your comments reaction and own experience about management and  leadership.

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