Headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, StIR StrategyImpactReputation is a boutique advisory platform providing access to senior experts and selected institutional partners (typically highly specialized advisories) with top-level strategic, delivery, and positioning as well as communications expertise. StIR complements its advisory services with leadership development and coaching offerings.

Building on Napoleon Hill’s Principles of Success—in a 21st-century interpretation—StIR believes in joining its partners on their journeys to success and helping them reach their full potential. Dr. Andreas Baumgartner, the founder and Managing Partner of StIR, is also a fully certified Instructor of the Napoleon Hill Foundation, one of only very few outside the U.S. While building on the Napoleon Hill philosophy, Andreas – and StIR – do not just repeat it. They combine it with various other elements in a modular and flexible way, coming both from the “soft” motivational angle and the “hard” skills angle.

Following is the conversation that Manage HR had with Dr. Andreas Baumgartner, where he shares insights into their approach.

Can you introduce us to StIR and its innovative solutions?

StIR is all about impact. Impact requires reliable information and actual experience. It brings together targeted strategy, implementation skills, delivery excellence and change management, as well as proper internal and external reputation management, in combination with skill-building and coaching. StIR is the trusted partner of its clients across all these areas, providing custom-tailored solutions. StIR’s experts serve public and semi-public sector clients as well as senior private sector decision-makers around the world, with a particular focus on the Middle East, Central Asia, Europe, and Africa. In addition, StIR supports selected entrepreneurs.

Areas of special expertise include special economic zones/cities, economic development and investment facilitation. StIR also provides (geo-) political analysis and advice, as well as training and personal coaching.

Could you mention some of the current trends in the marketplace in general and how has StIR translated those trends into its services and offerings?

The whole advisory/consulting business model is changing rapidly and on many dimensions. Public sector and corporate decision-makers are not looking primarily for “a few smart kids with great excel skills”; they are looking for partners on their journeys to success – partners that don’t focus on “just telling”, but on enabling and strengthening them, on making them successful -while being perfectly happy to stay in the background themselves and not “stealing the spotlight”. This is reflected in StIR’s offering.

Can you kindly tell our readers how your solutions help clients overcome the various challenges they face in the industry?

For leaders to be successful, they need to know what they want and how to achieve it. They need to be determined, focused, and disciplined, yet maintain a good balance. They need strong positive mental attitudes. They need to be listeners as much as tellers. They need to bring together teams complementing their strengths. And they need strategy as well as execution and positioning/communications skills. Nobody is perfect. We work with leaders focusing on and growing their strengths but also addressing their challenges. Our offerings help develop awareness and provide specific ideas. Beyond that, we are happy to join our partners on their journeys.

StIR is all about impact. Impact requires reliable information and actual experience; targeted strategy; implementation skills; delivery excellence and change management; as well as proper internal and external reputation management and – certainly not least – leadership development

Please elaborate on the key believes of StIR in the coaching and skills development space and how they are building on Napoleon Hill’s Success Principles?

In many coaching and training offerings, people need to choose between two extremes: a focus on mental wellbeing, motivation, and “life skills” (i.e., all those skills typically associated with the color “red”) or on learning specific business skills such as strategy development, planning, delivery excellence principles, etc. (that is, all those “blue” skills). But for success, both are needed: positive mental attitude, creativity, enthusiasm, a “burning desire” – as well as rational skills, including self-discipline, resources management, planning, etc. One without the other doesn’t lead to success.

This is reflected in some of our favourite Napoleon Hill quotes, that really synthesize the philosophy:

• Whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.
• The starting point of all achievement is desire.
• Nothing comes from nothing. […] Plan your work and work your plan.
• A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits.
• Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.

Last but not least, Napoleon Hill emphasized the importance of physical and mental health.

There is an important message of balance in this! The approach that StIR (building on Napoleon Hill’s philosophy) pursues is one that clearly says: yes, you do need to work hard – but it is not a philosophy that propagates “stupid workaholic attitudes.” It is only possible to succeed in the mid- to long-run if one gets the balance right – i.e., maintains his/her physical and mental balance (the latter at least as important, yet often ignored).

And we do so not in a “vacuum”, but we work with our partners on specific projects with clearly defined objectives. Some of them are major public sector and/or economic development projects; some of them are amazing ideas of start-up entrepreneurs that StIR supports. There is nothing wrong with projects still being vague at the beginning – we help cut through to the essence and work with our partners on defining their “ultimate major purpose” and the specific plans. But there needs to be that basic substance and ambition!

What differentiates StIR from other players?

Skill building and coaching are but one of the business fields of StIR, but a very important and quickly growing one – plus one that increasingly becomes an integral part of any advisory projects StIR is doing. StIR is about really DEVELOPING LEADERS, whether they come from and are active in the private sector, the semi-public sector, or the public sector. For example, we are coaching senior decision-makers both from the private and the public sector in a highly discreet and confidential way. Some of them are responsible for programmes with a budget of multiple million dollars. At the same time, we work with some start-up entrepreneurs.

Further, we don’t believe in trying to work with one standard model to address highly diverse challenges. We strive to support partners in the way they actually need. Hence, we listen – and then tailor our offering around their needs, together with them. And we are highly discreet and professional in doing so. Our partners trust us, and they do so for good reasons.