Not quite sure what is the reason for My good friend Vitaliano to invite me, as the representative for the blogosphere, to this press event. I kept very quiet as all the other attendees were “real” journalists.

Anyway, I think it was good to be there, as I had the opportunity to meet mr. Paul Zumbühl, CEO of Interroll, a swiss company quoted on the Zurich stock exchange, who are leaders in moving equipment: stuff like drumrolls, conveyors belts etc.

Vitaliano knows that I easily fall in love with any story about a hidden technology that changes people’s lives, and in that sense, Interroll is just that: as a frequent traveller, I know the role these devices play in getting your bag to you quickly, and as an avid online shopper, I am in awe at the logistic prowess of Amazon and their brethren.

But none of this would prompt me to write a post: my knowledge of logistics is, and will remain, very close to zero.

The surprise gift I found at this event, is a concrete demonstration of leadership. Italian journalists were almost incredulous at the idea of a multinational investing in Italy now: politeness prevented them from using the words that were probably in their head: “Are you out of your fuckin’ mind?”

Yet mr. Zumbühl fielded these questions (pointedly refusing to speak anything but italian, even though it obviously was not his mother tongue) with the calm of someone who “keeps his head up”, as Gianni Brera would say of ’60s and ’70s Milan AC football star Gianni l’Abatino Rivera.

Paul Zumbühl shows the type of calm, well informed and confident self assurance I would like to see in many an european industrialist. Someone who knows when to take a risk, still knowing that its a risk but understanding that if you wait for the prevailing opinion to be in favor of taking that risk, you are probably too late.

I wish mr. Zumbühl had a blog or tweeted, he would surely make an inspirational and interesting reading – I will check with Vitaliano on this.

A great lesson I am taking away from today’s event: Leaders can never follow


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