Guest Author: Liz McCreary
… stand in front of an audience and speak about your biggest professional blunders for seven minutes?
Me neither! Lucky for us, fearless professionals Marne Platt, Alexander Ramseier, and Martin Daubney agreed to confide in us the unique challenges they faced on their journeys to success, much to our enjoyment at Basel’s second FuckUp Night event that took place on July 7th 2016.
Whereas a quick glance at anyone’s LinkedIn account will show a succession of shining feats and accomplishments, the beauty of FuckUp Nights lies in the frank discussion of mishaps and blunders that, until now, were taboo to openly discuss for fear of discrediting one’s professional talents and skills.
Thanks to the courage of individuals such as our guests speakers, FUN.Basel allows us the opportunity to erase the taboo of admitting imperfections and to simultaneously share how missteps are valuable learning experiences that contribute to one’s success.
I had the pleasure of chatting with the first speaker, New York native MARNE PLATT, before the event began, and I listened in awe as she casually mentioned her sudden career change from the veterinary field to the business sector, the myriad countries she has worked in, and the fact that she is currently promoting her book. While our light-hearted chat broached several topics, her speech centered on two conflicting yet fundamental internal voices that guided her during her corporate career: the “Superwoman” and the “Nemesis”. She shared with us the consequences of only listening to one of those voices and the importance of balancing the attention we give each one.
In vein with the night’s themes of encouragement and guidance, she has written and published her book Living Singlish: Your Life, Your Way in which she “walks young women through the process of self-discovery and empowerment she went through on her own journey”. She is also the founder of Fundamental Capabilities, an organization that offers workshops and mentoring, using the phrase “Straight Talk for Women” as its header.
If you met ALEXANDER RAMSEIER at a party and asked him about his professional background, you’d be equally impressed. His LinkedIn profile boasts his English, Portuguese, German and French skills, complementing a varied professional background in Accounting, IT and Sales. However, during Alexander’s speech at FUN.Basel, we were privy to the struggles and setbacks he experienced “behind the scenes” so to speak, and how those challenges were in fact valuable learning experiences that only made him stronger.
Above all, he emphasized how those missteps were necessary to his current success: “nothing was ever really a failure; it was trial and error.” His advice to us was to not fear failure as failure is inevitable, even after success, but rather to “fail fast, fail often, learn quickly.” Martin set out to start his own business and is now the CEO and founder of Futurebuilt since 2014, whose goals include “advising clients on strategic business development, alliance management, service practice and process optimization”.
Upon reading the book Strength Finder, our third speaker MARTIN DAUBNEY discovered communication was his strength, and so he set upon turning communications into a career in the corporate world. Despite the stability of a managerial position at a billion-dollar corporation, Martin sensed he wasn’t happy with the direction his professional life was going, and he set upon forging a new path using his communications strengths and experience to start his own company and become partner at another.
The path, however, wasn’t without its own challenges and surprises, but Martin not once considered going back in the face of adversity. Now, he is co-founder of Inspire Coaching GmbH, a coaching company that also offers workshops as well as NLP training, and is senior partner at CommsQuest, an organization that provides diverse services such as strategy development and narrative creation, among others. When an attendee asked him what helped him through the tough times, he answered that he simply took a deep breath and told himself, “It will be okay”.
Take-aways from last Thursday’s Fuck Up Night in Basel:
- Listen to your inner motivator as well as your inner critique
- Fail fast, fail often, learn quickly
- Focus, focus, focus
In a world where putting your best face forward is king, there’s nothing like the rare transparency of successful professionals openly sharing the less glamourous side of success.
PWG-Basel would like to thank the speakers for sharing their stories and their time with us, and most importantly for having the courage to be vulnerable.
We salute you!