A Little Rucksack Full of Thoughts

“If we can laugh together, we can also solve problems together.”

Everything is constantly changing. I who proclaim this can resemble a fossil from ancient times. I have studied Tekn. LIC at Aalto University. Six months ago, none of us could have imagined how our world – and our lives – would be thrown into turmoil by this new virus. What does this lesson of a global pandemic, the likes of which have ever been seen before, teach us for the other big challenges we face? How should we handle other problems connected to climate change or alternative global challenges? In my opinion, adaptation is key. We are probably open minded to difficult adaptation in some situations, but with an “as long as it doesn’t affect me” attitude. There are mainly two things that are required: better communication and adaptability skills. Being adaptable also means possessing soft skills like interpersonal, creative thinking, problem-solving skills and communication.

Good communication requires respect. A successful negotiation must be experienced successfully for all stakeholders and lead to positive measures. Little adapted humor increases the success prospects: “If we can laugh together, we can also solve problems together“. I have written a book related to this. It’s named One for the Road. This book is a little rucksack full of thoughts, more than a thousand, for the road, something for everyone – from the margin to the fringe. I would like to show you some of my wisest sentences from this book concerning themes such as communication, leadership, success, economy/profitability and vision/strategy – things business students definitely should have in their rucksack.

Communication is thought – not just an exchange of words. 

Communication is caring for others and their thoughts. 

Management is 90% technology, 10% human. Human relations are 90% humanness.

When you listen to others, they listen to you. 

A good leader leads by example. He is courageous, fair, just, farsighted, creative, able to plan and evaluate, human, patient and competent. The most important is courage. Friendly treatment and intellectual challenges are key words for him. 

The Intelligence Quotient, IQ, is enough for handling affairs. For people it is not enough – you also need EQ, the Emotional Quotient, i.e. spiritual proficiency.

Success is doing the best you can, in as many ways as you can. It is being just and honest and true – not in a few things, but in everything you do. 

The desire to succeed increases when you imagine your success, and think of the positive results.

The job must be profitable. At oversupply the customer sets the terms; it’s either his way or the highway for us. 

Satisfied customers remember… but so do the dissatisfied!

It’s not the big income, but the small expenses! With present taxation money is worth the half.

Visions are possible illusions, given no numeric value. Strategies are approximate plans of action bearing visions in mind. Strategies are converted into detailed action plans. Participation in the planning influences our motivation. Strategy affects the entire process. 

In the future, we shall only know for certain that we certainly do not know anything. Tomorrow we shall know more about the future. Visions don’t recognize the past.

This is an introduction. Don’t believe in everything a fossil from ancient times says, but at least in a part of it. Everything is based on experiences, over 50 years in many, many countries. Good luck!

Per-Olof Karsten, half life in business, second half in university education.

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