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#49 Trust your people, listen to them, create together a common motivating goal and let the fun begin – Pascal Scheffler

Pascal Scheffler is Innovation Manager at Uniper in Düsseldorf. There he contributes with his experience in the areas of energy, telecommunications, SCADA security and digitalization to support Uniper’s “Empower energy evolution” with new innovative and sustainable business models. Pascal is a great advocate of the German dual education system, which he got to know and appreciate during his apprenticeship as an electrician. In addition, he completed his Abitur, BA and MA parallel to his full-time employment on the secondary educational path, always building on practical experience from his profession.
Out of his experiences the most important components of a successful cooperation are transparency about what drives and motivates individuals and loyalty.
Intrinsic motivation leads to creativity, efficiency, ease and satisfaction, while loyalty gives security and trust and, especially in stressful situations, boosts the very last percent of productivity.


  • Working as an electrician and basic IT knowledge learned
  • Combining education and working experience
  • Transition from working career into project management
  • Certification or learning by doing
  • Learnings from doing project management
  • Why it is good to be a generalist
  • Getting as an outsider into the IT security field and the challenge of building a team
  • Key factors for successful team leadership and tips on how to have more fun at work
  • Guidelines for successful digitization
  • Wrap up questions

Key Discussion Points:

[00:09] Introduction to the episode guest

[01:07] How did it go on from the electrician shop to the next step

[02:15] Basic IT knowledge from the utility business

[07:23] Would you recommend one to do education and working experience parallel?

[09:47] How did you handle work-life balance during the time? Was it a big issue working and studying?

[12:06] Transition from working career into project management

[12:27] Would you recommend certification or learning by doing?

[13:57] Learnings from doing project management

[16:14] What is your motivation

[18:46] What project you tackled that hit you in a special way?

[20:10] Why it is good to be a generalist.

[23:35] Getting into the IT security field and challenges of building a team

[28:33] Key factors for successful team leadership

[31:54] Tips for adding fun in the workplace

[33:53] If I would give you the task to hire people from scratch, How would you choose or test them?

[37:40] What is innovation? Some of your practical examples while working as an innovation manager

[43:12] What is a tentative condition for you?

[45:09] Guidelines for successful digitization

[51:23] How do you think about work-life balance right now

[53:16] What are your favorite books?

[57:22] If you could go back in time to your 18 years old self what would you tell yourself?

Interesting Quotes:

“When you think about digitalization in the grid, then it’s mostly about telecommunication about how to make things smart.”

“What you learn theoretically is not comparable to how you do it in practice.”

“In general, trust your people, listen to them, create a common goal together, which is motivating, and let the fun begin.”

“While hiring a person for your startup, project team, or for the department, find someone who is willing to work, to see and fix things even without someone telling him to do so.

“Innovation is a creative disruption.”

“Choose your war or fight wisely. Sometimes, go with the flow. Sometimes let it happen. Everything happens for a reason. And sooner or later, you will understand and see in everything that happened as a kind of an opportunity.”

Book Recommendations:

Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
How to Lead Smart People – Mike Mister and Arun Singh
The Art of Being Right – Arthur Schopenhauer
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less – Greg McKeown
Herausforderung Hyperwettbewerb in Wettbewerbsarenen: Strategie und strategisches Geschäftsmodell im Fokus (essentials) – Roland Eckert
WAS IST WAS Junior Band 2. Baustelle – Christina Braun

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