Triptychon vom brennendem Dornbusch, Mitteltafel
Triptychon of the Burning Thornbush, Middle Table

How often do I lack the words to really say something precisely? In the way I want to say it. In those instances, the power of a good picture would help. After all, we all know the following example of a metaphor:

“One picture can say more than a thousand words”

At least two of my friends have a special talent. They quickly understand complicated relations during a shared discussion and then can draw a graph of those connections on a piece of paper or into the pad in no time.

All of a sudden, the topic gets easy to understand, the valuable and beautiful visualization is a great help when it comes to literally get a grip through your eyes on often very complicated mental concepts, projects, plans, intentions, future developments and much more.

Unfortunately, being able to draw beautiful images is not one of my talents. Instead, I learned something else. Not too long ago, I participated in a philosophical colloquium organized by my friend Klaus-Jürgen Grün in Munich. It was about the value and meaning of words and metaphors (Metapher).

During this event, I understood that there is a huge power in metaphors, just like there is in images. And that metaphors are ideal for transporting a message in such a way that others will get convinced. Now I make use of this understanding – and consequently, I feel better when I have to formulate sentences. As before, I use slightly meaningless symbols drawn on a board or paper to support what I am saying.

I wanted to test my newly-acquired competence with a friend. I told him about the great film Alphabet by Erwin Wagenhofer and used a metaphor from this film:

“When we are children, we are 98% genius, after our training, only 2% remain”.

This is how I wanted to show him how sceptical I am when it comes to our educational system. However, it seems like I had not chosen an ideal example. After all, the term “genius” can be interpreted in various ways. This fact was a source of distraction from the statement I had intended to make and thus took away some of the strength of my metaphor.

My partner in this discussion immediately noticed this and the first thing he did was ask me for a precise definition of the term “genius”. Well, this actually put me in a tight spot and the only thing I managed to mumble was something like “thinking against the mainstream”.

The second time, I tried a different metaphor. It actually worked. It underlines a message I hold to be important for all your life:

“Do not preach water while you drink wine!“

We all know quite well that “water” and “wine” are. And the same is true for “preach” and “drink”.

Consequently, this is certainly a nice metaphor when it comes to pointing out your “model function”. And that is a function relevant not only for entrepreneurs.

(Translated by EG)

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