Who’s behind the CACTUS?
I’m Christian Sachs. My wife Ines and I are the founders of Cactus Competence. I am an enthusiastic project manager and entrepreneur and Ines takes care that things flow smoothly, from the website till the marketing of our brand.
Project management can and has to be fun! The pleasure and enjoyment that comes from achieving a self-setted or given target of a project with your team, let it be big or small, is fantastic.
Working in a project can, should and has to be fun!
Fun is an important motivator. We know this from our own experience. With the fun the success comes by itself.
With all the fun in the work, we take our concern very seriously and offer well-tried and experienced practical know-how combined with well-grounded theoretical background. Always focusing on the road capability.
We have tested in practice every single tip and tool that we present here. We are still working as project managers in the field. This distinguishes us from many other project management trainers.
The CACTUS Team
– the Boss –
Project management expert with more than 25 years of experience in Germany, France, Asia and South- and Central America. And still working as project manager ad interim in the field.
- Author of our Blog
- Speaks German, English and French
- Certified Project Management Professional (PMP©)
- Experienced speaker and trainer
- Qualified psychological adviser
- C.Eng. M.Sc. Mechanical Engineering
– the strong woman behind him –
Web marketing and branding expert with more than 18 years of experience in Germany and France. And still managing projects in this area.
- Guest author of our Blog and author of Cactus BRANDING
- Speaks German, English and French
- Marketing Diploma
- Runs her own business as branding expert
Here’s what Christian Sachs sais about himself:
How I became what I am
Project management is fun. This is the motto of Cactus Competence, that’s what this is about, in everything I do. But who is that Christian Sachs and how I came to the point to help others finding the pleasure in successful project management (again)?
1967 – 1992: Thank you Mr. Teacher
We are moving, constantly. Karlsruhe, Böblingen, Munich, Stuttgart and Paris are the stops, some repeatedly. So I learn to adjust to ever-changing conditions and to cut out dead wood. Furthermore, I understand that I can learn everything I want, even when the teachers say I never would. For example the French language (thank you for that Mr. Wenzel, it’s been a long time and you are forgiven).
Despite this constant moving, I manage to pass my high school diploma within the stipulated time and to finish my mechanical engineering studies within 9 semesters.
1992 – 1999: Variety and continuity
The first working years and even more moving. The names of the places are getting more illustrious. Eu in France (is THE town with 2 characters in French crosswords), Gochsheim and Aschaffenburg in Germany, Colmar back in France and Leonberg in Germany again.
I’m gaining experience in the cycle, mechanical engineering and automotive industry.
I’m realizing that I need variety in the job as well and move on as soon as I start feeling bored.
1995 I get married.
For the first time, I start my own business and go bust as fast as I decided to take the plunge. To mentally and financially recover from that “bloody nose” took me no more than 14 years.
At least, the marriage with my wife and today’s business partner Ines is still holding on. Seams that I need one constant in life after all.
1999 – 2004: Valeo shapes
The longest time with one employer, but 5 jobs within 5 years.
The automotive supplier Valeo shapes me most in professional regards. I get to know all project functions, I assume my first project leads. Moreover, I learn to manage teams, to delegate and how to kick off quickly and deliver good results with a minimum training period. I have a nice time and Valeo entirely fulfills my desire for new tasks and challenges.
Yet I realize that a certain work life balance is important to me and that this kind of permanent standby duty is a real pain in my neck. Continually on a plain to fly from A to B, from C to D is not for me. After 5 years I have enough and change – this time not only – the job but the employer too.
2004 – 2009: Promotion and re-start
I’m becoming more and more a kind of generalist. I’m gaining experience outside Europe. China, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, an exciting time.
But again, I’m more far away than at home what wasn’t initially planned but just so happened.
Therefore and because I’m offered a position as director in Stuttgart, after 2 years I change over to the software industry.
I’m bringing in new ideas, the company is growing and getting more professional. The customers are enthused about the improved service. But I’m facing hurdles, the parent company CEO puts me in my place. He doesn’t want to implement some of my suggestions, customer demands or not.
Finally come the crisis, the definitive break and the anew plunge into independence.
2009 – … Project manager, being entrepreneur temporarily
I decide to fully concentrate on project management and start my own business as an interim manager. This allows me to be at the same time entrepreneur and project manager – which in fact is being an entrepreneur for the time of the project.
We launch cactus-competence.com and Ines takes over responsibility of the marketing and website programming (at the time still coded in HTML), besides her activities as trainer.
I’m managing projects in the automotive industry, the service sector and the Internet sector.
I refine my capability to kick off quickly. Since it’s not possible to know everything by myself, I take advantage of my faculty to successfully delegate tasks. The teams appreciate that I give them the freedom to accomplish their tasks on their own responsibility and in the same time cover their backs if things go wrong.
I don’t want to just work as project manager but also to pass on my knowledge.