Lifelong learners are conversations with people regarding their work experiences, what keeps them going, how they deal with failure and self doubt and the things they learn along the journey.
Daniel is the CEO and Founder of Careeba, a place where professionals get all the help they need to develop their talents and take more successful career decisions.
Before founding Careeba in 2017, Daniel spent more than ten years’ in various leadership roles with leading firms in Germany and the UK. In addition to that, he spend a few years in academia doing research and completing a Ph.D.
What was your first job?
My first serious job was Assistant to the Chief Financial Officer of a DAX-100 company. The firm was an advisory business and I learnt from the very first day how important it is to identify and develop talents.
Daniel, what does being a leader mean to you?
Being a leader is all about trust: trust in each individual team member, trust in everyone’s strengths and trust in the fact that a team of talented individuals can achieve great things if they combine their strengths in the right way. It’s easier said than done, but once you have helped each individual to identify and focus on their strengths you are almost there. It creates a positive environment in which everyone helps everyone to become even better at what they are doing.
You have a vast experience in management and leadership roles. What is the most important thing you have learnt during all this time?
It’s all about people. Make sure you work with people who want to progress.
What insights on human behaviour have you discovered by now?
Behaviour is mostly driven by needs, wishes and motives. Try to understand the needs, wishes and motives first and you will see that human behavior becomes an open book.
You founded Careeba, to help people develop their careers. What motivated you to do it?
I think there are too many people trapped in jobs which don’t make them happy. I would like to change that and help more people find their passion and a fulfilling and rewarding career.
What are some of the hardest parts of being an entrepreneur?
Big firms can afford to have experts for every single task. As an entrepreneur, you need to be a generalist and juggle many different tasks at the same time. This can be a bit of a challenge as it requires a wide variety of skills, but is also a big chance to set-up everything with a common goal in mind and eliminate inefficiencies.
What qualities do you think one needs to have to succeed as an entrepreneur?
The desire to make this world a better place.
Tell me about one of the hardest things you had to learn in your work experience.
People are what makes the difference between good and great organisations. Make sure you have the right people in the right place. If for whatever reason you end up with the wrong people in your team, take swift action.
What does failure mean to you and how do you overcome it?
I don’t think there is anything like failure. If you missed a goal for some reason, it is also a huge opportunity to learn from the process and to focus on other things instead. There are many successful people who started with other projects first, but then learnt that these projects were not worthwhile pursuing. Only this insight allowed them to re-adjust their focus on other more successful projects and to pursue their way to success.
What type of people do you enjoy working with?
That’s an easy question. I look for people who have integrity, quality, enthusiasm and humor. That’s it.
What motivates you?
I like solving problems. There is always a way to make things better. Let’s find it.
Are you learning something right now?
I try to learn at least one new thing every single day from a wide variety of different topics. The other day I learnt from one of our authors some of the secrets of British Etiquette. It’s fascinating to see how different people can interpret the same things in very different ways.
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