Prof. Dr. phil. h.c. mult. Erich Lejeune
In 2002, Erich Lejeune took inspiration from a conversation with then Bavarian State Minister for Science, Prof. h.c. Hans Zehetmair, at whose instigation he founded the Lejeune Academy in Munich Bogenhausen.
Since 2008, Munich’s Jesuit School of Philosophy has been a scientific partner to the Lejeune Academy. In 2012, Erich Lejeune founded the Erich Lejeune Faculty of Philosophy and Motivation at the School of Philosophy with internationally renowned philosopher Prof. Godehard Brüntrup SJ as the Chair. So far, the faculty is the only one of its kind worldwide. In addition, Erich Lejeune advises the executive committee of the Jesuit School of Philosophy on questions of strategy.
The Lejeune Academy focuses on taking a hitherto unprecedented approach to combining philosophy and motivation. The mix of authentic life experience, a positive attitude, vision, proven entrepreneurial success, values, coping with failure and setting goals is effective and sustainable. The most important teacher is life itself, something Erich Lejeune has learned from every angle. He understands misery, poverty, existential fear and defeat, and knows that the path to success depends on a lot of self-discipline and motivation and, with honest self-awareness, will lead to a fulfilling life. Erich Lejeune has literally built his career, from “dish washer to multimillionaire”, on the strength of his own motivation. In his more than 2,500 talks, moreover, he has given thousands of enthusiastic listeners the motivation to find similar strength and success.
From his own personal experience, he now has demonstrably greater knowledge, skill and profound understanding than many a scholar. Thousands of copies of his international bestsellers such as “Live honestly – grow rich!” and “You can achieve what you want!”, have been sold, since Erich Lejeune lives what he preaches. In his bestseller „Know yourself“, he asked himself 301 life questions in the quest for truth, success and the meaning of life. Hence, he is the only motivational coach to have successfully turned his strategies as a top salesman and international entrepreneur, step by step, into reality in the harsh world of corporate business. Erich Lejeune lives an authentic life first-hand: growing up in the poorest conditions of a working-class district in post-war Munich, he tirelessly fought his way to the top with motivation and determination. He determinedly pursued the proverbial path from “dish washer to multimillionaire”.
After completing an apprenticeship in wholesaling, he successfully fulfilled executive roles in the electronics industry. At a low point in his life, after committing himself to the truth and suffering defeat, he came up with an innovative idea which led to him and his wife, Irène Lejeune, along with a partner, founding the ce Consumer Electronic company in the global high-tech industry. In only a few years, he revolutionised the international semiconductor market as a chip broker and in 1998 went public with his company, ce, on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. The successful IPO raised billions in capital and was valued higher than many a Dax 30 company. Erich Lejeune recognised the economic and strategic importance of microchips very early on, establishing subsidiaries worldwide. He achieved the second revolution on the semiconductor market when he created the world’s first virtual chip exchange, which has more than 500 blue chip companies as members globally.
After three decades as a successful global entrepreneur, he now offers business leaders, politicians, management executives and employees – also as part of in-house projects – valuable insights as a leading coach and international motivational speaker together with his Academy team. In doing so, he himself is always the best example of why his Lejeune motivational philosophy works.
The insights he has gained from life and his philosophical, genuinely motivational and entrepreneurial knowledge, are therefore of great interest to universities: He gives lectures on “Motivation for Excellence” at the elite Technical University of Munich, and the Jesuit School of Philosophy, also in Munich, where Dr Lejeune is also a member of the Advisory Council. Like no other, he has suffused and underpinned the topic of motivation philosophically for more than five decades. In his book „Know yourself“, which contains the 301 most important questions of life, he takes a well-founded approach to the subject – a work that combines motivation, life practice and philosophical acumen and thus confirms the growing role of motivation as a life science.
The numerous awards bestowed upon Erich Lejeune are testament to the honest values upon which his business achievements have always been based. In 1997 he was named Senator h.c. in the Federal Association for Small and Medium-sized Business (Bundesverband Mittelständische Wirtschaft, BVMW) and spokesperson for the Economic Senate of the BVMW; in 1998 he was awarded the coveted European Crystal Globe for Business; in 1999 he was named “German Entrepreneur of the Year” by Germany’s Manager Magazine, Schitag Ernst & Young and SAP AG; and in the same year he was awarded the European Taxpayers’ Prize of the German Association of Taxpayers.
His tireless commitment to a better world and economy has earned him the Order of Merit on Ribbon and the Order of Merit, First Class, of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as the Bavarian Order of Merit. Among other awards, Erich Lejeune – himself a marathon runner – has also received the Wittelsbacher Golden Badge of Honour for his involvement in the modern pentathlon.
The Lejeune Academy is his life’s work, indebted to all the Huguenot qualities he has inherited and has abided by his entire life: true honesty and commitment to the truth and the good for which even Socrates and Plato felt responsible.