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Geek And Poke
Reinhard Eberl-Pacan: Sixteen questions – Sixteen answers
1. What was your greatest professional success?
My greatest professional success was surely the realization that many of my ideas, my experiences and ideas in the field of architecture could suddenly summarize together, in the year 2007 in Berlin, under the keyword Brandschutz (fire protection).
It was not that I had a soft spot for Construction Law. I was interested more in the gaps and the interpretations of the building code. For a long time, I carried the idea to help my colleagues in the implementation, innovation or creativity in their designs without diluting or alienating the design.
The new building laws shifted the responsibility for sure physical structures of the authorities to architect and engineers. This opened the possibility for me to make the unseen obvious, and the impossible possible, together with these colleagues, naturally without having to enter compromises by the observance of the building default.
2. Were there any serious professional Losses? If so, what were the causes?
Yes, there were heavy professional defeats. Twice, I have not succeeded in leading well-functioning and actual teams in crisis periods, in motivating and in developing in spite of adverse circumstances.
At that time, I have searched for reasons far from myself: the bad situation of the construction branch, the rotten paying habits, the insolvency of our customers in the Internet crisis.
Confidence is what was truly absent within me. Also, the foresight, the courage and the experience around me at the moment, to defeat the sphere, e.g., to my employees, to open and to name the situation clearly and unambiguously.
3. What are the challenges you have seen in previous trainings / activities?
My experience from my education and training, as a journalist, brought me to the study of architecture. I was particularly fascinated by the opportunity to create something to last longer than an article in a daily news paper.
The education brought me up with creative activities – such as drawing, painting, sculptural design – which I had previously classified as rather absurd to me. I have never brought it to the mastery, however, at the least, it has given me much self-knowledge.
4. What was the most difficult decision you ever had to make?
The office partnership with two older architects had wore out, after years of more or less, successful cooperation had wrecked and ended.
Due to the contractual agreements, in which I had entered the partnership, I found myself in a comfortable position and was able to win with only a continuation. On the other hand, the tension and the increasing mutual hostility, everyday at work, paralyzed me.
I had to choose: Either I block my strength, my creativity and my thirst in the comfort zone or I cap the umbilical cord, which could hedge my financial existence indefinitely.
It became clear to me, relatively quickly, that there were no real alternatives. I then, unfortunately, used the sharpest warn for a clear dividing line: my sarcasm.
5. What helped you decide?
My faith in myself, my conviction that a new challenge can only make me stronger and the assurance that all would be around me, which is now strongly advised against me, I would understand five years later.
6. Which areas of work are you most interested in?
My concern with fire prevention, it allowed me to go back to my secret appeal to return to the use of language, communication and information.
Today, it inspires me the most, when I can present new and more complex and seemingly inexplicable, outrageous situations with simple words and sentences to the expertise and the interested laymen.
7. “What are your special interests with the theme “fire prevention”?
Fire protection construction law.
Construction Law is the social agreement of a minimum level of safety in the use of buildings.
This level must be maintained by every partner of construction processes, voluntarily with pleasure more, never less. To find it, to communicate, to plan and to move, is my most distinguished job.
8. What role did “wood construction” have in your professional career or education?
Little! Wood, as a building material as of course, always ran with my education and my work alongside.
Where it fitted, it was used. At that time, felt rather not enough, but concepts like energy efficiency, lasting or climate warming played no role.
Sometimes it fell to me like scales of the eyes: Will I ever live in a house in this town, think about energy efficiency, lasting and climate warming and may feel comfortable?
9 What is particularly important at your workplace?
I need, at least, a new challenge every day. I want to learn something I did not know yesterday, and have not yet been fully skilled in.
It would be a pity if one day the sun rose and did not show me new things, or showed me old things in a new light; a pity for the sun. The sun would be sorry, therefore, I work on it.
10. What are your expectations of future employees?
We need to have common interest, but they can not say what I say, not even remember what I think.
They must fulfill the job that i assign them, but it is not wrong to surprise me or at least try. If it is positive, my heart skips, if it is negative, I hope soon their heart skips.
11. Is there willingness for flexible working time, over time?
As a student or a freelancer, I would have been ashamed to leave the office in front of my boss.
This is strenuous and not necessarily productive. Today, I am confident to be the last of my employees to leave the office. I stand by what I said and I communicate it. This is much more pleasant!
12. How would you describe yourself
I love challenges, I love challenges, I love challenges.
However, I don’t love them for their won sake, but because I know that my path leads steep and rocky, rough and to unknown terrain. I have taken a long time to accept that I am still not at the destination.
13. How do you solve conflicts amongst the team?
The short term help: talk, talk, talk.
In the medium term, listening is the key to understanding. Then i just simply listen.
In the long term, I assess people according to their doings: I stand at the side of those who do good and permanently talk about it.
14. What are your personal strengths and weaknesses?
Stupid question! We should rephrase.
It’s completely irrelevant what I judge as a strength or a weakness. I slope to dominance! I am proactive and innovative! I am a self actor!
I can bring out many different sides of me! I am dominated! I am uncontrolled! I am deep and unforgiving! I am spontaneous and enthusiastic. I am able to be different in every situation. It is up to my opponent, what he makes of it.
15. Which hobbies would you like to share with us? (they are related to the aimed activity)
Hobbies were a foreign word to me for a long time. My hobby was my profession, my vocation.
I had to slowly learn that there are some things, which are equivalent to: skiing on the darkest slope, diving in the deepest ocean, riding on the most difficult horse, or sailing at the highest winds. I know I will not create the maximum, but I want to try it!
Besides, I have learned that I am the most important hobby for myself: I simply want to look after myself!
16.What do you want to be in five, ten or fifteen years?
2017: My office a recognized leader in Berlin Fire protection and is the market leader in wood construction positioned throughout Germany.
My task range extend, thereby, I want to expert contributions, lectures and training offers to the fire protection and to the fire protection in wood construction.
2022: I hand my office, finally, to one or several successors.
I will most likely continue my work as a journalist, and possibly give presentations in training my direction and means for fire protection to hold.
In addition, I will work up my collection of poetry, short stories, fairy tale, and narrations to regenerate and move.
2027 … draped with medals and mentioned in all relevant articles and media!