In conversation with Hendrik Born: What approaches successful managers consider to be real prospects for the future

In conversation with Hendrik Born: What approaches successful managers consider to be real prospects for the future

We got into conversation at a wine tasting – South African wine. He was standing behind the counter, couldn’t leave – and I told him that I wanted to start my world trip and my heart project – to fund women with knowledge and skills – in South Africa.

Hendrik found that interesting. Listened. Asked questions. Even read my book – a women’s book!

Hendrik is a shareholder in the winery in South Africa. Among other things. That’s all I knew at the time. Like all managers, he is well trained. On his own, he says little…

He likes my approach of not just pulling out my wallet, but conveying entrepreneurial thinking, promoting personal responsibility and bringing people to their greatness, passing on knowledge and skills that demonstrably make a difference in life as well as in business. I am convinced of them, they work well for me and my clients. But in the (German) economy, they are still the exception. Even if everyone demands it.

He becomes my most important supporter, provides me with valuable contacts, ideas, invites me to South Africa…

He wants to know my “big picture”. Because that’s what he stands for: Without purpose, there is no success. You have to be convinced of what you’re doing with every fiber of your being. Only then will you develop the strength to make it happen. I am convinced that women can have a much better life if they are trained, have entrepreneurial thinking, communication skills and education. And I want to find ways to get that to them. That’s why I wrote ISAYAS EYES, that’swhy I founded the community ISAYAS DREAMERS– and that’s why I’m touring South Africa. This is a project close to my heart. That’s what I’m convinced of and that’s what drives me to do all these crazy things. My purpose!

In Germany, I was often ridiculed as naïve. I am all the more pleased that I have found a comrade-in-arms here in Hendrik, who has proven on a large scale with precisely these approaches in business that it works!

Hendrik has set up the structures in Africa for a globally operating group. He lived in this country for five years. He has played a large, if not invaluable, role in the transformation and success of the company. He has already “refloated” several companies. In other words, he knows the soul, the dynamics and the needs of the market – and the employees. His purpose was to involve people – and to succeed as a result.

When he talks, it sounds like something out of a manager’s storybook. He has done exactly what all large corporations demand, but often can’t get beyond talking: Trust-based empowerment of ALL, none-hierarchical thinking and collective itelligence as a basis for development. He brought all parties to the table and listened first. He has identified where things are stuck and has found solutions that work for everyone.

He motivated the employees, gave them incentives, hope, opportunities and confidence. His employees identified with the company and I’m pretty sure they went out of their way for him, their charismatic boss. This proves what I’ve always thought: the demand for intrinsic motivation for everyone is nonsense. Instead, we need human, approachable AND competent superiors – and all in one person, please. Someone like Jürgen Klopp. After all, we live from the recognition of others. THIS releases energy and spurs us on to get the best out of ourselves.

Hendrik reminds me a bit of Kloppo. He has given his employees dignity and self-worth, defied conventions, sensitivities and old structures – and thus created enormous economic success. He has proven that you can be incredibly successful with incentives and people-oriented business. In Africa!

I’d like to ask if he doesn’t want to go into German politics – but I think I already know his answer: Too cumbersome. He wants to make a difference – “make big things”. That’s what you can do in Africa!

His purpose is to make South Africa strong. He wants to support companies and increasingly start-ups in their development and he will do this through his successful method of “creating attractions” instead of serving regulations and subsidies. And he wants to provide people who want to invest in South Africa with an interesting alternative with secure returns.

South Africa has a bright future – I agree. There is a gold-rush atmosphere here. It’s worth getting involved here. For a better, stable, livable future – for everyone. Win-win, as the saying goes. Especially if you – like Hendrik – know how to do it.

So: If you want to think outside the box in Germany or Europe and invest, rock and make a difference in South Africa, an up-and-coming, real country of the future – Hendrik is your man…

Here’s how you can get in touch with him: hendrikborn @


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This post is also available in: German

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