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7 Questions on Leadership with Dr. Adrian Krahn

Name: Dr. Adrian Krahn

Title: Co-CEO

Organisation: The Women Circle AG

I am a father of two wonderful sons and, a husband for over 25 years. I started my career with a multinational pharmaceutical company switching to management consulting and then running a textile component company. Thereafter I went on to build companies/organizations.

I have built, developed, and run 6 companies and 2 non-profit organizations. Some were founded from scratch, some were built and/or developed further to SMEs.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Adrian's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

Taking the decision to stop R&D projects, because you are always told that "we just need a little bit more time..."


in younger years people management, because of lack of people/life experience and lack of know-how in psychology, and behavioral science.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

Officially, after having worked as a Corporate Business Developer for the top management building trust with timely, reliable, useful information and output, I got the opportunity to run a business.

Unofficially, I managed the 2008 crisis with a sales slump of nearly 70% and all employees stood behind me.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I start my days with a ritual of drinking lemon water, 30 min yoga, 20 min walk in nature, and 20 min learning session.

After that, I start my work day which I planned the evening before. In the morning, I do the critical and deep thinking work. In the afternoon I do customer, supplier etc. meetings. In the evening I do some sports (mostly jogging and dancing) and plan for the next day.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

In general, leadership has dramatically changed in the last 30 years - from top-down orders to empathic leadership. It takes much more time and involvement with employees. Leadership is more challenging and less people are able to fulfill the requirements.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Wolfgang Jenewein ( influenced me very much.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Live your own life not the life of someone else.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

You only succeed when people follow you.

People only follow you when they trust you.

They only trust you when you walk the talk.

This becomes extremely important when your business is in a crisis as I experienced it in 2008.

It is fairly easy to run a business in good times...

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