Andreas, writer, speaker, entrepreneur and owner of the BE SHiRO, a group of companies dedicated to empowering individuals to reach greatness through authenticity and promoting the sustainability of our planet through the development of renewable energy. Andreas has worked for over 20 years in top executive positions across various industries and in more than 25 different countries, mostly in developing and emerging markets. His career has taken him to Latin America, the United States, the Middle East and throughout Asia. Apart from his extensive involvement in top management positions he acts as mental trainer and motivational speaker and has added his vast life and leadership experience to empowering thousands of people for living and leading authentically. Andreas studied at various international universities and holds an MSc in civil engineering, an MBA in leadership and cross-functional teambuilding, and an MSc in logistics and supply chain management. Furthermore, he has a degree in international conflict management and holds a diploma in mental training and coaching.
Visit Andreas online at www.andreasdudas.com.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Switzerland where I attended all my elementary schools and also the university.
When did you begin writing?
I started writing in 2005 when I had this first idea of revealing all my insights on authentic leadership to a larger audience.
What is this book about?
Do You Dare To Be Yourself? is completely different from other “self-help-books”. Do You Dare To Be Yourself? can be described as Who Moved my Cheese meets If Life is a Game, These are the Rules. It is not a self-help book or how-to book. Instead it combines elements of leadership, self-help, and spiritual wisdom genres in a compelling narrative.
Based on my fascinating real life experiences gained all over the world and written in a fable form Do You Dare To Be Yourself? tells the story of the polar bear, Robin, as he journeys to his own authentic self. The polar bear is a metaphor for power, strength, resilience and emotional stability - traits found in people following the transforming power of being authentic. His coach, a wise eagle, called Alva accompanies him on all his journeys so as to provide mental techniques, advice and moral support.
What inspired you to write it?
Do You Dare To Be Yourself? has been written with a clear intention to empower individuals for finding meaning and purpose through an authentic life, and to empower leaders to gain (reclaim) credibility so as to win people’s hearts and meet successfully the challenges of the 21st century. For people feeling that they would like to change something in their lives or careers the book will be definitely a wake-up call empowering them to move out from the comfort zone.
People who have been following my life journey know: I have always been facing the question of how people can be themselves. It started early in my childhood when I faced a lot of criticism and flak from my peers. My entire life has been characterized so far by being forced to live authentically and to prove to the world that is a tough but a very rewarding journey. Many things during my life inspired me to write this book. However, one of the key experiences which also created the polar bear as a metaphor and symbol for developing a thick skin against scoff and criticism you often face when starting your journey to your true self was the following:
Shortly after taking my MBA in 1999 I came back from Norway and started a job as a consultant with a renowned management consulting company. During a first assignment with a large blue-chip company I was involved in a heavy cost-cutting program and was even appointed as a leader of a small team. To be frank, at this point in time I had never been working as a consultant and I had no clue on how to run such a program. However, I had to make do with what I had learned so far and prepared very well for the kick-off meeting. The next day I had to give a workshop to 20 very experienced controllers and to explain book-keeping procedures, which I had never done before. So, I had a really hard time and a bad case of stage fright. In spite of this, the workshop in the morning went without a hitch, mostly because I was a gifted speaker and able to elicit good ideas from all the controllers. However, the unpleasantness began in the afternoon when I had to teach some corporate finance to my audience. I really struggled to add any real value to the people. When I finished my short lecture the group looked at me for a full minute in perplexed silence and then the chief controller exploded: “You management consultants are all alike. First, you come to our company without anyone asking. Only our CEO wants you here. Then we spend half a day explaining to you how our business is run, and when all is said and done you show us something you don’t even know how to do it yourself.”
After hearing this I was completely devastated and left immediately the room. Outside I met one of my more experienced colleagues and told him my experience. His reply was simple and straight: “If you want to survive as a consultant you have compromise yourself, follow your orders and develop a thick skin like a polar bear.” I personally never agreed on this but from that day I started to use the polar bear as a symbol for being strong and resistant against any criticism, but mainly within the framework of fighting against all the hardship and pain when following your heart and being truly authentic. More about this experience can be read in chapter 25 of my book.
How is it similar to other books in its genre? How is it different?
The book is completely different from other “self-help-books”. It is not a self-help book or how-to book. Instead it combines elements of leadership, self-help, and spiritual wisdom genres in a compelling narrative.
Based on my fascinating real life experiences gained all over the world and written in a fable form the book tells the story of the polar bear, Robin, as he journeys to his own authentic self. The polar bear is a metaphor for power, strength, resilience and emotional stability - traits found in people following the transforming power of being authentic. His coach, a wise eagle, called Alva accompanies him on all his journeys so as to provide mental techniques, advice and moral support.
Do You Dare To Be Yourself? is a life changing book and touches the emotions and hearts of readers, which is the ultimate key ingredient for making real changes in your life and becoming an outstanding personality. Moreover, Do You Dare To Be Yourself? offers frank thoughts, vivid examples, concrete advice and mental techniques on all aspects of life and leadership journey: taking risks, staying grounded, making mistakes, overcoming fear, strengthening self-confidence – and much more.
What is the most important thing readers can learn from your book?
The narrative is based on the experiences I gained during my private and business life all over the world. Do You Dare To Be Yourself? is so authentic that readers identify easily themselves with the main characters in the book. This allows not just to rationally understand what it means to follow the true calling but people will also feel deep in their hearts what they have to do. The book will both encourage and empower people to move out of their comfort zone. Furthermore, they learn how to identify, regain their true self. Furthermore, some very powerful mental techniques will help them to overcome fears and doubts on their journey towards a more fulfilled life.
Where can readers purchase a copy?
The book can be ordered in any bookshop or on lulu. From mid-March the book will also be available on Amazon and all other online retail book shops. The book will also be available as eBook very soon (available in all formats such as kindle, Sony, Nook, etc).
What is up next for you?
Currently I am setting up a detailed agenda for delivering key note speeches and seminars on Do You Dare To Be Yourself? across the US. The first speeches and seminars are planned for August this year and will run into 2013. More details on dates and locations can be soon retrieved from my website. Apart from these activities I am supporting various business schools and colleges across Europe for setting up a mentorship program for their students. I would also like to do this in The US.
Furthermore, I have started to write a new book on “the deeper meaning of life” which is due to be released in Europe in 2013, later in the US. I am also planning to write a new book with the probable title “do you dare to be yourself: chapter 40”, which will be a continuation of the polar bear’s journey and one on “re-empowering female leaders for saving our planet”.
In the meantime I am also pretty busy with running my three companies headquartered both in Switzerland and India.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Take your current age and deduct it from the average life expectancy (it amounts to 78.3 years for Americans). What is left are the years remaining for living up to your full potential. How many years do you have left? Do you really live your life? Do you express all your talents, dreams and values on a daily basis? Life is too short for not living authentically, and it costs far too much to not follow your heart. Life is by far too short for worrying, being scared or having doubts! Start now the life you really deserve. Forget about complainers, show-offs or hypocrites trying to derail you. Live now your unique individuality driven by a deeper meaning and leading to joy, which will in turn leave your legacy on this planet. Years ago I was involved in a bombing attack in Asia and luckily I survived, but I saw many people dying. One important lesson I learned then was: “When facing death, you have nothing to lose. You take risks, because you realize just how useless it is to live in constant fear or to strive for false security. The future and the past have no meaning. Your worldly possessions can no longer help you. The only thing that matters is the here and now. Live each day as if it was your last !” (also a short excerpt taken from my book)
My biggest vision is to build peace on our planet earth through empowering millions of people to live an authentic life, which is the basis for emotional stability, a high degree of self confidence and sustainable happiness. Do You Dare To Be Yourself? shall boost momentum and shall be a real wake-up call for many of us!