Evoking Potential – Johannes Romer

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Who?

Johannes has centered his life around three main aspects; Consulting, Coaching and People. After studying consumer psychology in LMU Germany, Johannes went on to pursue work in the fields of business, manufacturing and consulting. Even afterwards, he got an MSc in Coaching and Consulting from the HEC school of management and Oxford University. His work as a consultant has taken him all over the globe in places such as Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Malaysia. Currently, Johannes finds himself directing M2 MindMatters and Germalkota. 

Quick Summary

It’s no secret that consulting has a glamorous touch to it, amongst it’s commendable salaries and interesting environment, it is however anything but an easy road to embark down. Johannes himself was initially rejected at the entry level application. During his average day as a consultant, Johannes finds himself immersed in long hours of research, presentations and often questioning his clients to evoke the answers to their own problems. The real work however, starts as you analyse your answers from the clients and form a solution or outcome. Consulting does have its numerous perks, however these only become apparent at the willingness of one to work hard and stay committed to the lifestyle.  

In addition to consulting, Johannes sees his world through a lens that keeps people at the centre of focus. If we look at the reasons for why a project or business might fail, there is often a misconception that the root causes stem from the lack of technology or funding, however in reality the independent variable really comes down to the people. Referring back to a Swedish company he used to work with in the 2000s, the motto “People make strategies work” resonated with Johannes, stating that if you pick the right or wrong person, the decision is far more important than whether you have the write technology. 

During his stint as a headhunter, Johannes spent a lot of time looking for people to onboard in certain companies. When asked about the certain characteristics he looked for, Johannes referred to the importance of cross transferable skills. For example, there was a time he was looking for someone to run a contact lens manufacturing firm in Singapore, and the conclusion he came to was hiring someone that used to work at the Singapore press. While the environments were both completely different, the soft skills demanded for the two jobs greatly overlapped. What this shows in a broader context is the importance of developing cross transferable macro skills as opposed to specialising early on with relatively specific skills. With Covid around, Johannes spoke about the importance of work experience. Students can often enter the workspace with a ‘textbook’ degree but have little awareness of the reality of the work environment. Students should always be looking for internship opportunities where they can, either in conjunction with studies or during breaks. 

The third major aspect of Johaness’s life we touched on was coaching. As a consequence of interviewing numerous people throughout his life, Johannes found himself slipping into coaching and before he knew it, was immersed into the world of performance coaching. As humorous as it sounds, being a performance coach isn’t far off from being a boxing coach; your goal is to get ahead of the competitors and make your client realise their potential. Johannes specifically does executive coaching, a major misconception around this profession is that these coaches only coach CEOs and high profile individuals, when in reality Johannes has worked with a variety of people from technical people to opera singers. This reinforces the importance of treating each individual equally as opposed to a matter of rank. When asked about how Johaness would go about coaching university students, he said he would begin by carrying out a personality trait profile to learn more about the individual. This would then be followed by an in depth discussion to understand the perspective of the student and their mindset for the future. Johannes identifies the blindspots in their mindset and provides them with the questions they need to find the answers to. 

When asked about the singular piece of advice Johannes would provide to the youth, he talked about the importance of authenticity. Throughout his life, he’s worked with people who have lacked this vital quality and have resultantly found difficulty in linking the two faces of their lives. Therefore, we should find out early on what our passion is and embrace it to maximise our potential.

Be yourself and be authentic

 Johannes Romer

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