How many times, when you first meet someone, do you know that there is some kind of connection? Whether is it professional or personal, there is just something that makes you want to know this other person on a deeper level. This is the kind of person one meets in Harald Miebs (https://www.linkedin.com/in/harald-miebs-a9367aa/). Harald is the IT Manager at RICHTER Chemie-Technik GmbH (http://www.richter-inc.com/) in Germany.
Harald is one of those rare individuals who is truly a dual citizen. He was born in Pennsylvania to parents who left Germany in 1951. When he was about 5 ½ years old, his parents went back to Germany. By United States (US) law, if someone is born in a state or territory of the US they are automatically a US citizen. By German law, if one is born to at least 1 parent who has German citizenship, you are a citizen of Germany regardless, where in the world you are born. With Harald, he is more than just a dual citizen by law. He understands business culture in the US as well as Germany. He makes connections with people from both nations and cultures. He relates on a personal and professional level, which makes it easy to have a conversation about many things.
Harald describes success as defining and completing his own goals and tasks, in the pursuit of happiness. He sees success as part of his job. It is a daily pursuit of understanding what is needed and how to get it done. If there is an impediment to achieving the goals set before you, it is incumbent upon you to either redefine the goal or continue pursuit to completion. Giving up is not an option.
The primary tool that Harald uses in driving towards success in the workplace is simply writing things down. Having a pen or pencil and notepad at meetings is critical for Harald. However, this is more than just writing the key word and phrases that will help him remember critical information from meetings. Harald will add simple drawings to his notes, as it is true that many times a picture can be worth a thousand words. After these meetings, he will take these notes and add key elements to established documents (such as project charters) that are helping him define the goals and tasks set before him.
There have been two key mentors in Harald’s life. First, Harald mentions his father who was a Technical Director at Eberhard Faber, (http://www.eberhardfaber.com/). Harald’s dad taught him that it is important to know what it is that you are planning for, have a “Plan B”, and that people are a key factor in success. Harald understands the importance of showing respect and care for others as each individual has some unique strength that they bring to an organization. The second key mentor was a project manager at JD Edwards, Vicki Hess. Vicki was leading a multi-site ERP implementation when Harald made this connection. Even after the engagement, Vicki stayed in contact with Harald being a source for tips, pointers, and providing direction.
There is an old German philosopher (E.R. Hauschka) whose quote, Harald has paraphrased for himself. Harald’s paraphrase is, “When you always do what the time demands from you, then the time will always be ahead of you and you will never catch-up with it.” The essence that Harald takes from this quote is that it is important to think ahead of what is the immediate need and consider ideas that are outside of normal patterns.
The ability to plan for the future, expect that those plans will need a back-up strategy (plan B), and understand the value in people and their contribution are all attributes that make it easy to connect with Harald. He is able to connect with people from a variety of cultures, back-grounds, and personalities. As such he is an asset to his company and to those who are privileged to know him.
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