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Torsten R. Bendlin - CEO and Founder, Valuedesk
MANAGERS WAY: What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Torsten R. Bendlin: Passionate, thirsty for knowledge and people-friendly.
Have you been a good student? And what was your dream job during your school days?
I got good grades, but there was no way I was a good student. I didn't have to work hard and therefore never studied intensively for exams. If I had studied, I would certainly have had better grades. Basically, the question arises as to how you determine a good student. My social skills and my sense of responsibility towards other people were already well developed back then.
As a student, my dream job was to become a researcher. For me that meant constantly questioning and discovering new things, being curious and developing things. To this day, maintaining the status quo has meant a step backwards for me. We have to be brave and stay brave to be role models. Even then, I wanted to show the world that there is always potential that can be used meaningfully, and that is also the goal of my Valuedesk company today.
What do you find most exciting about your current job?
To create something together with people!
I enjoy the privilege of being able to create an environment of people who have the same understanding of values as I do. I enjoy working with committed people who are willing to give more and who share my attention to detail.
With Valuedesk, we can prove that there is so much potential in companies to become even more successful on their own, with the existing employees. You do not necessarily need external consultants in order to be able to implement cost-optimizing changes in companies. To bring it even more clearly to the point: With Valuedesk we are starting a movement in the company that is about harnessing the potential of employees. Everyone works together on improvements that bring the company annually recurring and measurable financial effects.
I have been able to convince a number of people of this in recent years, and I am always thrilled to inspire others with my idea.
Which specific decision from your previous career would you make differently today?
As an employee, I would change roles and industries more often, on the one hand to work out even better what my true talents are and, on the other hand, to develop broader skills. Unfortunately, you are still reduced to one role too quickly. I was a purchasing manager at a young age and had hardly any opportunities to develop myself further. Today I know that I'm a better entrepreneur as a purchasing manager.
Today I would go into self-employment much earlier and build a company.
Which qualities are most important to be professionally successful?
In my opinion, that's tenacity and the ability to inspire people. These are the basic building blocks. In addition, there is good timing, which is not a quality, because the best idea at the wrong time does not help.
And it should be everyone's goal to have had a positive impact on the world when you leave the world.
Which book or person has influenced you the most and why?
In my case more of a person than a book, my Executive MBA Strategy Professor Dr. Gary Stockport. By teaching me to think strategically, he has influenced me for my entire life. During the Masters he trained us, among other things, to always illuminate the effects of actions and decisions directly for the next but one step. Sounds easy, but it's very challenging and at the same time very powerful.
The experience that influenced me the most in this context was a strategy paper. At that time I was allowed to adapt it to my personal life. This resulted in my own life framework 3L: Learning & Growing, Love & Relationship and Life & Profession. It's already seven years old, but still effective for me.
What was one of the most important moments in your professional career?
Clearly: my decision to be self-employed.
Do you have certain rituals or habits to motivate yourself again and again?
Realizing that each of us can make a difference. It is motivating for me to look at what has been achieved and at the same time to deduce from it what is still possible! It motivates me to work on a goal every day with a big vision in mind, but in small and actionable steps.
Which training or further education was the most effective and meaningful for your career?
Definitely my Executive MBA, which I started part-time when I was in my early forties. After a few years of professional experience, these were the best management and thought impulses I received at the time.
Are there still professional goals that you would like to achieve or projects that are important to you?
With Valuedesk, I would like to create a company with global relevance and many valuable jobs from the East Westphalia-Lippe region.
I would also like to combine and use my experience from industry and as a startup entrepreneur to show other entrepreneurs new perspectives for their future transformation. To this end, I am starting a new initiative for successful change together with another medium-sized entrepreneur. I'll give away the name at this point: Entrepreneur's heart - fresh business.
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