A great Man once said that kind that “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Mark Twain, very few people I have come across in my lifetime were able to reinstate every positive teaching that I was taught as a child. Basic fundamental things like treating people as you would like to be treated, establishing trust through actions not words and giving without any intend to receive anything back.
As we grow older all these things seem to progressively fade away as “life” takes over. The values are still present, but somehow become less important when challenged with the adversity of the day to day life.
This is of course an excuse, an easy root, and it is fundamentally wrong. I find that strong core values are by their very nature resilient to external adversity, they withstand persecution, aggression, and even the most vile of wars.
I believe that people by nature want to do the right thing, even in the darkest of times, they will follow a leader that is driven by the right cause and the right principles. People follow ideals, not people.
Matthias resembles all of this. He understands that great Leadership is about establishing the right path for people to follow. Its not about forcing people down any specific root, but about laying the right foundations for people to “follow their bliss”.
Matthias Schmelz always wanted to be a writer all of his life. Its very interesting to hear him talk about how his journey has lead him to his childhood dream. His story resonates other stories from truly successful and people, that set out on a journey slightly different from the destination that they hoped for, and end up exactly where they dreamed in the first place.
I first met Matthias back in 2010 while working for a Digital Agency. Matthias was one of those clients that gave me so much more than I gave him. Being inspired by people you are doing work for and working with is very rewarding, this was without a doubt one of those cases.
Our work relationship very quickly developed into friendship, and a couple of months later, Matthias invited me to join him with his family and friends in an amazing adventure through Baltic's enigmatic destinations on board the Wind Star Cruise ship.
During this time, I had the honor of meeting some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life. Unsurprisingly, Matthias’s family was as gentle, kind and magical as Matthias. There was just something intangibly special about everyone, from his beautiful wife to his gorgeous children.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Mathias’s Mother, and it became very easy to understand why he became the Man that he is today, there was this contagious aura of kindness and wisdom around her that deeply touched me.
A couple of months prior to the cruise trip, I experienced the same feeling while visiting the Rainbows Headquarters in Lisbon. Seeing the way Matthias treated his employees was a breath of fresh air in a time when the relationship between employee and employer is increasingly more abrasive and less meaningful.
As people passed by us in the elevators, hallways, and the companies canteen, they looked at Matthias with a certain reference, there was respect and admiration, but there was also inspiration and a sense of connection. This was not an imposed or mandatory reverence, it was genuine recognition and appreciation.
It was becoming increasingly apparent to me that Matthias was one of those rare inspiring leaders that Jonathan Perks talks about that aligns all of the principles of "inspiring leadership" into his actions.
Inspiring leaders always look for the best in people. They inspire staff to be the absolute best they can be, and they do this by aligning their actions to how they think and what they say. Inspiring leaders truly care for the people they lead. People can tell if someone genuinely cares for them, Matthias and Fernanda care about the people that work along side them, making Rainbow much more than a company, its a place that enables and empowers people to achieve their dreams.
A couple of years have past since our wonderful voyage together through the Baltic sea, and since then, Portugal has been challenged with the biggest economical recession since the 70s.
In a time when established companies are closing down every day, Matthias and Fernanda keep driving and pushing the company forward. To survive and flourish in times like this, it takes more than leadership, it takes inspiring Leadership.
Matthias is a friend, but he is also a source of inspiration, to me, he resonates what a caring leader should be like and exemplifies what can be achieved when someone follows their bliss and encourages others to do the same thing.