Markus Gull
A road sign about construction site hangs on a brick wall

Why are fervent Europeans fighting for every job?

Hardly any other field on earth is as densely populated with rotten phrases and hollow speech bubbles as that of politics, and I have already thought about everything that concerns the wild world of advertising.

When you listen to politicians, burning hot tears shoot out of your eyes. Among my favorite gobbledygook from the mouth of the people's representatives are definitely the two phrases: "I am an ardent European! And: "We fight for every job!"


In the blogcast, I read this recent blog article to you. With emphasis, of course!

Well, there is really no need to emphasize the fact that we are all fervent Europeans by now, and the trend is rising, if we remember the record temperatures of this summer. Thus we can call even the most cold-hearted EU-opponents with justification glowing Europeans. In any case, this bizarre blossom of political rhetoric can be safely pasted into the Heitere Blablarium.

When it comes to the "fight for every job," however, things are different. I ask myself: How does it work in concrete terms, this fighting for every job? Who is being fought against, or for what, and does the fight extend to endangered species such as truck drivers, and if so, by what means? Turning back the clock or something?

Does a committee draw up a list of endangered jobs and then the responsible ministers meet with the executives of DAX companies hungry for redundancies behind the parliament for mud wrestling, or do they put each other in sweatboxes until someone moans out the safeword? Or does it only happen on the speaker level anyway, where you find out by finger-wagging who is pulling the wool over everyone's eyes? Or is something like that, as the people say, simply snapped out of it?

Hm ...

Am I mistaken, or is it to be feared that the struggle of politicians for every job focuses primarily on the struggle for their own jobs, or on the struggle for the job that they themselves would like to have, but on which, unfortunately, a political opponent is making his or her Europeans glow.

Why is this a problem? Well, first of all, we know that the self-perception of politicians becomes skewed at the latest when they believe their own campaign slogans, i.e. when they don't share a true story, but fall for their own tall tale. This does not happen often here and now, but systematically.

But what weighs even more heavily is that these and many other statements knitted according to this pattern are nothing more than symptom flashes for the fact that the vast majority of those elected as responsible for the leadership of our community talk a lot, but have little to say, because the great story into which our society can grow is missing. And this not only weighs heavily, it drags our society like a millstone by the neck to the bottom of a sea whose level rises and rises for this reason, among others.

Supply & Demand

In our time, in our part of the world, there is hardly a scarce commodity which is so bitterly missing and so longingly demanded as connectedness, while at the same time nothing is delivered so often as the against each other. Into this fire, blazing at all corners and ends, politicians pour oil by the canister from the "WE!!! are the good guys" source, although we stand as mankind altogether for the first time before a large common opponent, which threatens us all: the overheating of the planet and the threatening end of its habitability for us humans. Yet it has been sufficiently and completely proven that nothing welds a group together like a threat from the outside. This is so internalized in politics that these threats from the outside are even being pindoctrinated in order to win the battle for one's own jobs. Even that doesn't work anymore?

But we also know that groups are not only bonded by opponents, but also by common tasks and goals, i.e. by stories that transform threat scenarios into opportunity mosaics. Stories that begin with sentences like "I have a dream ..." or "We choose to go to the moon ..." And just such a story is needed. One that begins with "Once upon a time ...".

It's about a new story, a revolutionary new story that goes beyond scenarios of renunciation, restriction and catastrophe and paints the picture of a better world for all of us, a world as it could be and with the question "Why not ...?" to get people moving and to get people moving.

Where are those who can tell such a story?

It is not the "successful politicians", i.e., those whose success is located by means of a broken compass at the last election they won. Let's listen to the Dalai Lama, who told us: "The planet doesn't need successful people anymore. The planet desperately needs peacemakers, healers, innovators, storytellers, and lovers of all kinds." I know these loving innovators, healers and storytellers are in our midst, in all generations: It's you, it's me, it's us. And I know where they should be so that they can be directly effective: in the economy. There is a need for entrepreneurial people, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, people who undertake something, regardless of whether they have, manage or found companies. The main thing is that they start, where they can, to share the new inspiring story of reshaping our world, which starts with freeing ourselves from the many toxic sillinesses that have been drilled into us for generations, and we now believe them unquestioningly, like politicians do with their own poster slogans. Such things, for example:

  • The prerequisite for prosperity is material growth and consumption.
  • When you have more, you feel better.
  • We are the good guys.
  • Decarbonization and e-mobility solve the climate problem.

Yes, such stories were truly efficient as signposts to the Anthropocene, no question. They can be read in Hans Rosling's "Factfulness", among others. In fact, they are only successful as long as the opportunity costs and all the destructive side effects are externalized (i.e., foisted on other people elsewhere and on future generations). Or if one ignores everything that is known about it. This has been happening structurally for at least 50 years - keyword "limits to growth".

Who, how, where?

Where can you meet these loving innovators? Are they the ones who do social entrepreneurship? Are they the ones who get involved in Fridays for Future, or get stuck in early morning traffic in the middle of intersections? Are they the ones hugging trees and switching to green power? Yes, too, absolutely. But what always makes me hopeful in my sometimes flickering perplexity about what's going on with and around us (and caused by us) is that even where you least expect it, a lively rethinking is germinating: in tech corporations, in B2B industries, in the financial sector. Of course, it's still too little, too small, and too late. Sometimes driven by marketing mischief. But it is happening!

I recently had the privilege of giving a keynote at a convention of IT executives, that is, to an audience where - especially at an event focused on their core competencies - one would not at all expect me and the topics on which I could deliver. And as often in such setups, I expected a rejection reaction, as if one had tried to implant butterfly wings in a rhinoceros. - But this time, too: the opposite!

I experience something similar when I work with companies and brands on their new story. At the beginning, it's mostly about the external storytelling and the hope for a magic story that will increase sales. But suddenly you understand that the inner story has to change, that it's about the concerns and meaning of a company, and then everything else on the outside follows almost automatically.

This tells me that we have a living chance when a sufficient amount of people come into the reshaping force. When entrepreneurial people get into action in their companies, taking one step after the other in the right direction - unflinchingly, unstoppably. Wherever entrepreneurial people, i.e. enthusiastic employees, work respectfully in teams on a common task that contributes to more than just making different piles bigger, that's where jobs are created. That is - to remain in the silly rhetoric - the battle zone.

It's no longer about politics and politicians, but about what companies do. We don't have to sing the praises of a trumpeter swan like Patagonia. Just look at what the discount store Aldi, of all companies, has changed when it comes to cheap meat. (yes, not enough - but still). As a responsible politician, you have to crawl under the nearest rock with an oath of revelation on your lips in view of what politics has failed to achieve over many years, don't you? The well-known Bill Clinton campaign slogan "It's the economy, stupid" suddenly takes on a whole new magical meaning, companies get a fulfilling task, their marketing gets new inspiring topics.

If you feel that a new story is needed for yourself, your profession, your company, your team or your brand, if you are on the verge of transformation, you probably want supportive guidance. At this point of the hero's journey, the mentoring force usually appears. 

And if you feel like I could be that mentor for you, I would be honored.

There are several ways to do this, depending on the state of your affairs. The PowerHour as a very simple, fast impulse unit, the New Story Bootcamp as an intensive work package especially for brands & companies, or the structured New Story Mentoring - i.e. my platinum program in One on One.

In either case, we will work together on your powerful inner story that moves, guides and drives you.

We sharpen your perspective, find out what the real core of your task is, what meaning your work has for you and your audience, and what your decisive step is after the famous "why". And finally, we specify what makes the unique impact of your work and formulate the crucial guiding principle for you, your work and everything that comes after. For your New Story, which you share with the world because it is good and good for something.

"Work is love made visible," Khalil Gibran tells us. "And if you cannot work with love, but only with reluctance, it is better that you leave your work behind and sit at the gate of the temple and there take alms from those who work with joy. For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that only half satisfies man's hunger. And if you crush the grapes with resentment, you distill resentment into the wine as poison. And if you also sing like angels, not filling your song with love, you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and to the voices of the night."

And my grandmother, old Story Dudette, wouldn't be my grandmother if she didn't add here, too, with hot European glowing cheeks, "New Story. New Glory."

Share now

Newsletter subscription