Stefan Schütte

Managing Partner, Serviceplan New York


Focus is the key to managing any business

What makes a really good manager?

Focus. Defining what that means, however, is difficult.

Ringing telephones, mails, Whatsapp, feeds, tweets, zealous assistants, hurried colleagues, following up on past meetings and preparing for future ones, purchasing, stock exchange, customer evaluations, weather reports, dripping tap, slow Internet connections…

Halli Galli. Subjective. Every day. From early to late. And beyond.

I ride a motorbike to help me focus. On tracks. Sometimes at a speed of almost 300 km/h.

I know what you’re thinking now: What, a family man? Irresponsible. Potential organ donor. Co2 delinquent. Complete idiot.

And to that, I say: That’s the darned best a manager can do.

When the next bend is all that matters, when whatever makes the next lap faster controls the subconscious, when it’s up to the much quoted gut to make the decisions.

Above you is the sun, below you is the latest generation of BMW super-sports model, the S 1000 RR (although I guess another motorbike will also work).

On the bike itself: a transponder. A transmitter that sends a signal to the stopwatch lap after lap.

Because on the racetrack, the truth is out there on the course.

The lap time makes the many processes, anomalies, information, actions and influences a measurable product of what happens out there.

The result is the culmination of many factors – and can be measured (in this case).

Just like in my job.

Making a good impression or flying headlong into a bend daringly won’t make you faster.

Having a plan and methodically and calmly putting it into action bend by bend, lap by lap, will make you faster.

Just like in my job.

Listening to someone who is (much) faster than you, that makes you faster.

Practice, practice, practice. It makes you faster.

Not distractedly tweeting, mailing, phoning before the job is done. Makes you faster.

Not always thinking about yesterday, the day before that, tomorrow and the day after, when it comes to the crunch. Makes you faster.

Braking at times to come out of the bend better. Makes you faster.

Sharing experiences with good people. Makes you faster.

Sometimes even thinking of absolutely nothing and taking a moment to smell the roses can make you faster.

Warming up the tyres so you can race against the clock. Makes you faster.

Faster makes you better.

Focus makes you better.


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