Christian Borchert is a true visionary, a leader who has built his success out of nothing. His entire life taught him valuable leadership lessons about perseverance, determination, and the importance of a great team. Despite facing many challenges and obstacles, he never gave up on his values and dreams.
With a great team, you can overcome many challenges.
Growing up with a handicapped twin brother, Christian saw early on that life is not always fair. It does not treat everyone equally and randomly throughs challenges and hurdles at people. But he also saw how much his loving Parents Brigitte and Friedhelm were supporting his handicapped brother. and that with a great team, you can overcome many hurdles.
Leadership Lessons to learn from this are that overcoming challenges requires not just individual effort, but also the support of those around us and that working together through these challenges can really form a very strong team and help to develop resilience and strength.
Provide opportunities to people for them to outgrow your expectations.
His school life was also no easy and straightforward journey. After primary school, he had the recommendation to go to “Hauptschule”, the school for the least gifted kids. His parents believed in his abilities and motivated him to go at least to the “Realschule” which is the school for middle-gifted children in Germany. It was not easy for him but he finished this school in 1995. He then got the opportunity through his aunt Dorothea to go for one year to the United States as an exchange student where he not only learned English but foremost lived an independent life and take over responsibility for his life. After two more years in a kind of community college, he was able to advance to university which he finished successfully, and was even able to add an executive MBA later on in his life.
Leadership lessons to learn from this are, that if you believe in people and support them by providing opportunities, they can outgrow the highest expectations. Also, you should always believe in yourself and your abilities, even when others do not. Don’t let setbacks discourage you; use them as motivation to work harder and strive for success and embrace them as opportunities for personal growth, even if they are challenging.
Put the success of your customers first, and your customers will ensure you succeed.
Christian started his professional career in a small consultancy company, mainly working on CRM Projects for BMW. His boss Peter, who was also the owner of the company thought him to be humble and serve customers as well as always look for new methods and technologies to solve tasks. Christian adopted to this and put customers first, serving and working hard for their projects and success, not focusing on his own development but on the success of and for the customer. By working in this way, he was quickly recognized by the customers, assigned more projects and a team, and was even offered the role of CEO for the company after just 4 years of work experience. After gaining deeper insights into the company, there were a few things that were not congruent with Christian’s values. He remembered one promise he had given himself during university “Only advance your career and only do things that are in alignment with your values so that you can every morning wake up with a clean heart and be proud of the person you see in the morning in the mirror.
Leadership lessons to learn from this are, that you should always put customers first and serve them well. Focus on the success of the customer, not just personal development, this will come completely by itself. But no matter how much you love what you are doing, always maintain integrity and alignment with your values and be ready to walk away from it anytime.
Be willing to take risks and push boundaries, even if they have been tried before and failed
Christian started to work for a Multi-National Healthcare Company. After a few months on the job, he recommended his team leader measure customer profitability. The answer from his well-experienced leader was that that is not possible and has been tried many times. A few months later Christian was sent to represent the team in a small not well known. At the end of the meeting, Christian was assigned as the global project lead for what turned out to be one of the biggest projects for the company to measure customer profitability worldwide and realign sales and service activities based on these new customer classifications.
Leadership lessons to learn from this are, to Always be open to new ideas, even if they have been tried before and failed. Be willing to take on new challenges and seize opportunities when they arise.
Leadership requires the ability and willingness to hear and act upon feedback
Christian was quickly promoted and took over multiple leadership roles for the company in Asia. Due to reorganizations and IPO the atmosphere in the company changed quickly. Many colleagues were unhappy but too afraid to speak up. Christian addressed this topic with his leadership team as well as the HR department. The answer he received: “This must be your personal impression as nobody has ever mentioned this to me so far” meant that either the leadership team was not able or not willing to see the truth and take feedback seriously. Employees were thankful that someone was addressing their fears, but since nothing changed, they silently quit the company worked in an environment of fear and just did the bare minimum and tried to be in cover.
Leadership lessons to learn from this are, that you should always encourage feedback and take it very seriously, often it is just the tip of the iceberg. This is true for feedback from employees but also customers. Once you do not get any feedback anymore there is something seriously wrong.
Implement and apply the lessons learned from
Taking this as an opportunity Christian decided to start his own company and solve some of the challenges and problems, he experienced during his career and life. His first company Blue Elephants Solutions Pte. Ltd. was founded in the middle of the pandemic in 2020. Blue Elephants Solutions offers gamified mobile learning solutions based on the principle of spaced repetition to make learning more sustainable and transform knowledge and skills into successful habits that lead to actions and proper impact in the organization. In the same year, he founded Office Analytica, a company focusing on increasing office productivity. The first product is an outlook plugin that uses AI to automatically write and reply to emails and automate many other processes. Besides these two B2 B-focused companies he also started two B2C-focused companies. CLUP.life is building a social Network for community clubs and associations and the first product called CLUP.chat enables users to synchronize group chats between WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal so that every member of the group can just their preferred messenger. The other company is called homes GmbH and is a central platform in which users are informed and guided to a healthier home, reducing toxins in the air and water and improving other factors like thermal comfort and lighting which both can have a big mental health effect. In addition, he mentors and invests in social startups like PayMasta which are helping African hard-working families to gain access to their salary already throughout and not only during the month. All companies managed to develop their first products in the last 1-2 years since they have been founded and are currently starting to gain traction.
There is no futuristic leader without a past
In all his companies he applies the leadership lessons learned from the past. There is no future without the past. To be a futuristic leader, you need to look back at your life and the lessons you have learned.