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Interview with Andreas Dudas, Author of Do You Dare To Be Yourself?

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Andreas Dudas is a business leader with over twenty years experience in management and top executive positions. He has written the book, Do You Dare To Be Yourself?, a book on authentic leadership.

You can find him online at website.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in Switzerland to immigrant parents who spent more than 10 years in a forced labor camp. Given this background I was constantly ridiculed by the citizens of my home town, bullied by my fellow students, excluded from any social and sports activities and dismissed from school. Against all odds I started to develop both a thick skin for fighting my way towards a life I really deserved and a big heart respecting others despite their harsh behavior.

What inspired you to write it?

Many things during my life inspired this book. However, one of the key experiences which led to the creation of the polar bear as a metaphor and symbol for developing a thick skin against the 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. The next day I had to give a workshop to 20 experienced controllers and to explain bookkeeping 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 off without a hitch. The unpleasantness began in the afternoon when I had to teach 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 immediately left 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 to 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. More about this experience can be read in chapter 25 of my book.

What is one thing you hope readers will take away from this book?

My sincere wish is that people get both encouraged and empowered to gain real power in life and leadership by simply “being authentic,” which in turn is the golden prerequisite for living a peaceful and completely fulfilled life. The book shall move the hearts of people so that they say: “Wow, now it is high time that I moved out of my comfort zone so as to live the life I really deserved: a life completely connected to my soul’s real purpose.” Do You Dare to Be Yourself? has been the ultimate wake-up call for many readers who started a new career and more fulfilled life.

How is your book different from others on the market?

The book 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 more credibility so as to win people’s hearts.

The book is different from any other “self-help-books.” It is not a self-help book or how-to book. Readers will easily identify with Robin and his life and career experiences, his choices and failures, as he picks himself up and makes progress toward his goal of living an authentic life. It touches the emotions of readers, which is the key to making real changes in life.

The message of this book goes right to the heart of what matters most in life and leadership thanks to a compelling and gripping story based on real-life examples.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

The book can be ordered in any bookshop or on www.lulu.com. From mid-March the book will also be available at Amazon.com and all other online retail book shops. The book will also be available as eBook very soon (available in all formats imaginable).

What is up next for you?

Currently I am setting up a detailed agenda for delivering keynote speeches and seminars on Do You Dare to Be Yourself? across the U.S. 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.”

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About Cheryl C. Malandrinos