A Strategy for Our Life and Business

‘Deep down in every human heart is a hidden longing, impulse, and ambition to do something fine and enduring’. Grenville Kleiser

 Looking for answers to the questions why I live and do business, what is my goal and sense of what I am doing.

Imagine yourself in the coffin at your own funeral and speakers are at the grave. What would you like them to say about you? Is it a morbid vision and will it be the same for you at that moment? You are right. So, something more positive – how would you like to view your life at the deathbed? How would you like your children, friends, fellow workers and other people who know you to remember you? Does the deathbed also frighten you?

So, let us continue, what should we do today in order for our lives and businesses to take the right way? What is the right direction and the path to it? Are you holding a compass or a clock in your hand? The compass shows direction and the clock measures time. Have you taken the right direction and are you doing right things at right time?

Pointless questions? We are speaking about your life which cannot be returned, interrupted or repeated. Many people were directed in their lives by their parents and “programmed” by their school. Research in firms shows that the majority of people go to work only to earn money, but they do not like it and it does not bring them any joy. Only a quarter of people find pleasure in their work. If we realise that we spend a large part of our lives at work, so it is a sad fact. A lot of people find no pleasure even outside working hours – they are unhappy, angry at the world, they feel a sense of unfairness, frustration, they are living unhappy lives. Why?

Have we ever thought about why we are living in a different way from what we have imagined? Why are we doing something other than what we want? Why are we living the life of someone else and doing work we have been assigned?

Don’t let us rebuke the world, our circumstances and other people. It is our life. All the decisions and actions of our life are in our hands. We decide about 90 % of the things in our life; only 10 % are events that we cannot affect – the weather, other people’s decisions, accidents, politics, etc. But also the responses to things which are beyond our control are in our hands. We may be dissatisfied with the country we live in and can learn a foreign language and leave it. A flood can inundate our house and we can either mourn our fate or mobilise and repair it.

The following questions are important for our life and business:

1. Self- consciousness – what people are we?

2. Vision – how would we like to be?

3. Decision-making according to our conscience – what is wrong and what isn’t?

4. Our will and stamina – the ability to act proactively and fulfil our goals in concrete actions

What People Are You?

Sit down in a peaceful place, relax and imagine places where you have worked. Imagine the buildings, surroundings, the people and various situations that you have experienced. Let your imagination drift. Describe life situations where you felt well and badly.

The most pleasant situations The worst situations
What was common to the situations you perceive as the best ones?  




What was common to the situations you perceive as the worst ones?
What do you like best during your working hours?   



What do you like best during your leisure time?

What are you most successful in? What is your greatest talent?







 How does your environment assess these activities?







 Introduce your characteristics












 How Would You Like to Be?

 Imagine that nobody requires anything from you, there is no pressure exerted on you in how and what you are to do. You have enough time and your financial situation does not require you to work to earn more money.

What would you do; which activities would you deal with in this situation?  





What are you dreaming about in your life, what would you like to achieve?  





What person would you like to be?


All Fords are exactly alike, but no two men are strictly alike. Every new life is a new thing under the sun; there has never been anything just like it before, never will be again. A young man ought to get that idea about himself; he should look for the single spark of individuality that makes him different from other folks, and develop that for all he is worth. Society and schools may try to iron it out of him; their tendency is to put everything in the same mould, but I say don’t let that spark be lost; it is your only real claim to importance. (Henry Ford)

What Life Are You Living and What Life Would You Like to Live?

 Only a few people can do great things. But all of us can do small things with a lot of love. (Mother Teresa)

 The Greeks called “values” by the word “arete” which means “being the best you can be as well as virtue”. The Latin equivalent “virtues” means a source of strength and the English word “value” is also based on the Latin “valere” – to be strong and healthy.

Anselm Grün says that without strong values rooted in the employees and in the corporate culture no lasting values can arise.  We would be able to increase the performance by tens of percents in the companies, if we respected there the basic values, respected people, their personalities and opinions, if we acted in a just way and with love.

Anselm Grün emphasises the following values for doing business:

1. Justice – to ourselves and the people around us.

2. Courage – to be unshakeable in the values that I consider to be right, courage to resist, to accept blows and criticism, the ability to cope with helplessness and inconvenience.

3. Moderation – appropriate time economy, the proper spending of resources, appropriate differentiation – the ability to support both the strong and the weak.

4. Deliberation and wisdom –the feeling for the correct thing at the right time, prudence, clear-sightedness

5. Faith – the ability to look for the good qualities and awaken them in people

6. Hope – the belief in a better future, a principal value for leading other people

7. Love – good dealings with employees, relations, confidence, the basic source of strength, creativity and motivation.

St. Ignatius of Loyola defined 4 value pillars of management:

1. The process of recognising ourselves (self-recognition) – in recognising our strengths and weaknesses and our values, we create a realistic view of the world and how our lives are arranged.

2. Innovativeness and inventiveness – we accept the alterations of the changing world and innovate and adapt to it with confidence, we are free to decide and perform, we are proactive.

3. Love – we approach people and things positively and with love, we create teams, confidence, love and solidarity.

4. Heroism and bravery – we encourage ourselves and others to be brave and do useful deeds; we inspire and create the future.

What do you consider good and what would you like to do in your life, and what would you like to support?  






What do you consider bad and what would you like never to do in your life and would oppose?

 Introduce the values which are of a key character in your life and business

My life  






My business

The Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Emanuel Frankl survived the Nazi concentration camps and created the specialisation logotherapy. Frankl points out that many people are ill because they are lacking a sense of life; they are not able to break away from themselves and aim at a particular goal. The sense we give to our lives makes us healthy. We have to discover the task which has been determined for us. To recognise our mission. Not just concentrate solely on ourselves but to reveal the task which we are to fulfil in this world. Only then will we recognise the sense of life.

Viktor Frankl says we more or less reveal the sense of our lives rather than invent it.

Happiness cannot be pursued: it must ensue. One must have a reason to be happy. Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically. Viktor Emanuel Frankl

The sense of life cannot be thus prescribed for people. We can help them seek it but everybody has to find it by himself/herself. We should not ask what we can expect from life but should look for answers to the question – what does life expect from us?

We can find the sense in three value groups:

1. The creative values oriented on service, performance and our whole work

2. The values of an experience aimed at taking pleasure in nature, relationships, art etc.

3. The values of an attitude aimed at overcoming demanding situations with no escape, and people adopting a brave and courageous stance.

Have you ever thought about your mission in life and at work, what mark (not property) would you like to leave on this world?

Read, be inspired by others, write and think about your life and the signs you receive, improve your mission. Look for your mission in the foundations and principles of this life which will be based on your values and which will give your life direction and quality. Transfer this mission to your life roles and develop your life so that you can fulfil your mission.

If we wish to live correctly and fulfil our mission, we have to develop ourselves in four basic areas:

  • The physical area. To live. For a long and healthy life people have to restore their power, keep a fit regime and do sports. Similarly also a company has to train people and renew its force.
  • The emotional area. To love. The love, feelings, emotions, building of relationships, confidence and the need to belong somewhere. The relations are in the company something on which the culture, collaboration, productivity and motivation stand – here the difference between a good and bad firm is established.
  • The intellectual area. Learning, improving our abilities, gathering experience and revealing wisdom.
  • The spiritual area. Leaving a message, looking for the sense of life and mission. Calming down, spiritual exercises and assessing the life situation. The sense, vision and mission of the company.

Everybody has various roles in his/her life – at the beginning we are children, pupils, students and step by step we become parents, teachers, entrepreneurs, colleagues. We have partners, children, friends or colleagues that we create relationships with, we enrich them and they enrich us. Imagine you are at the end of your life. You are sitting in the garden with your partner, children and grandchildren, your friends and former colleagues are coming. They remember the times you have spent together.

Sit down in a quiet place and write down your main roles that you are dealing with during your whole life. They can be the roles you play with your closest, the roles leading to the fulfilment of your life, the community you are living in, friends, fellow-workers, customers, etc.

My Roles My Goals My plans and the time in hours I deal with them during one month
Mentor, coach     

Have you written down your values, mission, roles, goals and plans? Have you been honest? Don’t worry if your formulations are clumsy and not perfect. You are writing it for yourselves. Return to your task and complete your mission on how you will receive the signals and answers from life.  Consider if you are living and doing really what you want. Think if your everyday decisions and deeds are in compliance with the values and mission you have written. Consider how you will succeed or fail in achieving your goals and how much time you devote to the plans you have stated.

This has been a view of you and your life. Now, let’s start your business.

Characterise your business






 What firm would you like to build?










 What do you want to remain after you when you are leaving your company?

Describe your business model


Your personal goals

Physical development – body, health, strength, energy Intellectual development – education, knowledge








Goal  Deadline 
Emotional development – relationships, love, partnership Spiritual development – spirit, looking for a sense and a mission, values









Goal  Deadline 

 Goals of your company

Customers – from whom? Finance – how much?








Goal  Deadline 
Innovations – for how much? Processes – how?








Goal  Deadline 

 How do you utilise your working hours?

1. What percentage of your working hours do you devote to the problems of your firm’s performance efficiency? - the operative urgent events and their solution- providing service for your current customers

-improving the current products and processes

2. What percentage of your working hours do you devote to future opportunities, innovations and company strategy?- the new opportunities, customers, products, services, processes- the new business systems

– the innovation projects

 3. What percentage of your working hours do you devote to your own development?- what new things have you learned about your customers, methods, technologies, etc.?- what have you learned about yourself and what have you detected?

– what is the potential of what you have learned for improving your firm?

4. What percentage of your working hours do you devote to your fellow workers?- what new things have you taught your fellow workers?- which exceptional abilities have you helped them to reveal?

– are your fellow workers already better than you?


Today – Where am I? Activities – what do I have to do? Future – where do I want to get to?
Value for the customer- what exceptional measurable values do we offer?- what exceptional emotional values do we offer?    





Value for the customer- what exceptional measurable values will we be offering?- what exceptional emotional values will we be offering?
Value for company- how much do we earn?- what further values are we acquiring – image, know-how, knowledge?

– how do we make money (sale of products, after-sale, service, license, joint ventures?

  Value for company- how much do we want to earn?- what further values do we wish to acquire – image, know-how, knowledge?

– in what way will we make money?

Customers- who are our customers who pay us?- who are our non-customers who could pay us?

– what trends do the customers and non-customers have?

  Customers- who will be our customers who will pay us?- who are our non-customers who could pay us?

– what new markets (blue oceans) can we create?

Products and services- what products and services do we offer?    





Products and services- what products and services will we offer?
Processes and organisation- what are our processes and organisation that we provide for our customers?    





Processes and organisation- what will our processes and organisation that we provide for our customers look like?
Resources, partners, knowledge- what are our resources?    





Resources, partners, knowledge- what will our resources look like?

 Analyse your current situation and reflect on your future  


Describe your entrepreneurial path from today to the future

2. 2. 2014

Téma članku: Názory Jána Košturiaka

Autor: Ján Košturiak

Robí poradcu, trénera a kauča v oblasti inovácií, strategického manažmentu, organizácie podniku a priemyselného inžinierstva.

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