Chris Mattheisen answers CBI's Proust-inspired questionnaire


Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, believed that, in answering certain questions, an individual's true nature is revealed. Here are the responses Microsoft country general manager for Hungary and former CEO of Magyar Telekom Chris Mattheisen gave to Corvinus Business Intelligence podcast's Proust-inspired questionnaire.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Being on a desert island with my guitars and a few Caipirinha drinks.

What is the quality you most like in a person?

A sense of humor.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My collection of guitars. There is the guitarist prayer which goes "Dear Lord, if I die please don't let my wife sell my guitars for how much I told her I paid for them."

How do you keep yourself motivated?

Learning. Constant learning. All my life.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Turning around a big supertanker company like Magyar Telekom from where it was in 2006 to where it is when I left a few years ago.

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

I would probably be a little bit more extroverted than I am.

What is your most treasured possession?

My custom-made pedal steel guitar.

What, and not who, is the greatest love of your life?

Music. Definitely.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing what would it be?

A rhinoceros.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My dry sense of humor.

What do you most value in your friends?

Honesty, openness, and directness.

Who is your favourite writer?

W Somerset Maun.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Philip Marlowe from the Raymond Chandler novels.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Marcus Aurelius.

What is your greatest regret?

That I didn't take piano lessons seriously when I was a kid.

If you were to live somewhere else than where you currently live?


What is the trait you most deplore in others?


Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

"Back to the salt mines."

The full podcast episode is available here.

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