“It’s not starting that’s difficult, it’s perservering.”

Staufen AG spoke to the speaker and book author Marc Gassert.

Marc Gassert spent a large part of his life in different cultures on different continents and learned the Asian martial arts from renowned grandmasters. This “blond Shaolin” speaks six languages and is a master of Karate, Taekwondo and Shaolin Kung Fu. He studied Communication Science and Intercultural Communication in Munich and Japanese Studies in Tokyo. In his speeches, he offers the transfer of knowledge between Far Eastern and Western culture.

Mr. Gassert, exactly what do you mean with this headline? And in this context, how do you advise an entrepreneur with an entrepreneurial urge?

To start something new and untested, you usually need a kind of conquest energy, a motivation injection, sufficient pressure or an insight about necessity. If the outcome of an entrepreneurial venture is uncertain, the reward comes only at the end. That’s why I like to say that starting is not rewarded, but rather perserverance. Only someone who is prepared to go the whole distance will experience the success in the end. Frequently, the big hurdles, obstacles and problems only become clear along the way; they were not visible at all in the planning phase – that’s why things are often more complex and difficult than they seemed at the start. Entrepreneurs who are in a position to radiate their goals make it easier for all participants to keep motivating themselves along the unknown and perhaps rocky path and to look forward to the goal.

Another statement for which you are known is “The world belongs to the courageous.” Are there too few courageous decision-makers in our economy?

Of course, yes. We are living in a society of hesitation, dithering and squeamishness. We are afraid to make decisions and we don’t like to create facts. We prefer reacting to acting proactively. Here, courage would be just what’s required. According to Aristotle, courage is the virtue of the average; that is, precisely between extreme arrogance and fearful hesitation. In a complex environment, decisionmaking and action with forward-looking daring is often associated with great risk from a business perspective, that’s why people don’t like to act. On the psychological and social level, things are precisely the opposite. Courageous people feel better and a community of courageous people develops an unbelievable motivation. So let’s let ourselves be more courageous as a team!

What drives us on? And what should companies take to heart when it comes to motivating their employees?

With “intrinsic motivation,” the concern is primarily our values. The concern is the WHY. Anyone who discovers this finds a source of strength and a way. The rule of thumb for entrepreneurs is therefore that anyone who wants performance has to have a sense of purpose. In addition, I like to quote Nietzsche: he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.

A Podcast for change Interview with Marc Gassert

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July 28, 2021


In times of rapid, sometimes even disruptive change, an organization’s ability to adapt and change is the success factor par excellence. Without a finely tuned culture of change that promotes a pioneering spirit and personal responsibility, it will not be possible to successfully anticipate future developments. In our podcast, business leaders and innovators discuss the challenges ahead as well as new ways and opportunities to flexibly adapt to them.

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