About Us

Über Ihre Hosts

freiGeist.team PodCasts für Unternehmer. Einfach gute Gespräche.

Our Goals and Vision

We – Thomas Bärtl and Michael Kozikowski – embrace the freiGeist idea. For us, the term freiGeist means being free in one’s own mind, adopting different perspectives, not restricting one’s thinking by traditional norms or even prohibitions on thinking, and taking alternative paths. For us, this is an important basis for wise action and that is why we have chosen it as a maxim for our activities.

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Live erster Sonntag im Monat @23.00

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Meet The Hosts

Dipl.-Kfm. Thomas Bärtl

Dipl.-Kfm. Thomas Bärtl

Visual Story Teller, Co-Host

Focus on the Trend instead of the Event

Thomas’ leadership is focused on the front-end, developing human capacity to meet the challenges. From designing a sales team to manage service issues concurrently, to orchestrating a tough merger between former rival banks, to conducting organization transformation from within sales and customer engagement models. 

Informed by NLP-practitioner training, studying body language and visual communication, his leadership style prioritises leveraging people-asset as the primary tool. Besides the people-asset, Thomas’ approach to growth is firmly informed by product-potential, for example, he was responsible for a € 3 billion credit portfolio for private and commercial by combining both sales and risk management in a singular approach.  Years later, he and his team supported 70+ Sparkassen bringing profitable investment solutions to their private customers.

Stepping forward early is one of Thomas’ priority value-sets. He was one of the youngest board members of a German Sparkasse and demonstrated a unique talent for taking responsibility and driving growth early. While leading from people and product-development and being early to step forward, he doesn’t let moss grow over his stone; frequently taking cross-industry steps to rebuild in new worlds. While it is comfortable to ‘know’ a field, he took four key side-steps to round-out an expertise of financial and asset mastery from all angles over his professional career. From consulting to corporate and private banking, to investment banking to photojournalism; he is constantly mastering and moving on. Taking the best of each segment to contribute fresh approaches in the next.

For Thomas, there are not boundaries, rather paths to new discoveries.  This improvising and managing in unknown and unpredictable times is one of his great contributions to business. He led his bank to be one of the few who actually grew their business customer base and profitability during the 2007-2008 financial crisis, and managed to conduct successful IPO engagement and valuation before, during and after the dot.com bubble. This capacity to lead successfully and navigate volatile time is not just in his professional life, however practiced privately to.

For decades he has completed cross-country enduro-riding, and off-road solo-continent crossings. He loves to put himself in unusual circumstances and creatively find the path around, through or over, be it mountainous or vast deserts. Geographical improvisation is matched to his personal agility too, after losing his father at a very young age, Thomas took the world to be his teacher. It brought him a muli-culti/lingual marriage, a cross-continent nomadic lifestyle and a good sense of humour to realise that no matter how many Black Swans one has experienced in life; the next surprise is around the corner. Thus, his hiking boots are already laced and he’s out the door with a lens in hand at the first sign. He’s the sort of guy you want on your team when you want to get fitter for the unexpected, reflect on geo-political seismic shifts and plan what it means for your direct profit and loss and strategic steps for your people and product development. Want to read more? Visit Thomas at:

WP StB Dipl.-Kfm. Michael Kozikowski

WP StB Dipl.-Kfm. Michael Kozikowski


Michael is the sort of guy who would rather go for a walk with you to hear more about the issues that are afront. He’ll leave the path for a while to explore a mental model and rejoin you at the fire to exchange all the ideas that everyone came up with.

As a teen, he siliconed-up the gaps in his new canon camera to take underwater pictures. While a bit nonsense, it illustrates his interest to create new solutions before they exist, and the tenacity to boldly try to make the impossible happen. Certainly, that mindset is what ensured his appointment to the KPMG Executive Board for over 12 years and to understand failure as a control mechanism. 

While the self-styled underwater camera wasn’t effective, Michael’s decision to leave corporate consulting in 2012 to create a fit-for-purpose advisory service the last years was. He says the difference is not implementing tasks in a pre-defined way according the ‘tried and tested’, rather to genuinely co-create effective solutions for entrepreneurs and boards to create the impact they are looking for.  For some it is bringing out the best of high-performance teams, or others to advance company development with the right balance of inputs = 40% willpower + 30% intellect + 30% expertise. This combination became clear to him over the years working in various stocklisting and valuation procedures.

While the trend in asset management is more unicorn and hockey stick, he prefers the beauty over disruption. Explaining that a healthy curiosity to find the small improvements is the source of method. He has a tendency to reach out and stroke an item of fine-crafting such as a statue or architectural form. He looks for the beauty in a structure to find where it has elements of perfection; and then looks for where it doesn’t work. This gap betwixt, is where he goes to work advising boards and company owners and teams on how they can adjust from what is right in their organisation to address future growth. This interest in the source of value comes from having a feeling of how it is created. When coming up with ideas, he first tests them out himself to know what it takes to bring it to fruition. While preparing for eur-asian overland trip with his son, he knocked and chocked a four-wheel-drive into form to understand what services and skills are needed to maintain them on a 41.000 km journey together. While not becoming an expert in mechanical repair, by knowing the task he had the right idea of what value support crew along the way could offer. He gets under the hood of his customers for first-person view of the challenges and looks for how to create independence from constraints. As a youth he would travel with his father to various events and activities, without receiving instruction from him. He said that finding your way through is the way to generate independence and the mindset to look for these signals is a key success factor. Creating room for innovation and solutions is what he is passionate about, preferring to leave pauses in conversations, gaps between strategies and encourage teams to find their way out of a mystery room.

He’s the type to take a boat out, give the crew confidence in supplies that they have all they need to sail; yet suggest how blue-ocean sailing is not going to be the long-term future. He will give customers and teams the security of a base yet push them in the winds to define their own ideas of identifying islands and solutions, allies and bounties. Michael is the sort of guy who would rather go for a walk with you to hear more about the issues that are afront. He’ll leave the path for a while to explore a mental model and rejoin you at the fire to exchange all the ideas that everyone came up with. The zone between distance and closeness is where he works; he’ll share a coffee with you and after about three months, he hopes you would be well on your way. Want to read more? Visit Michael at https://fiducon.com


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Wir freuen uns Sie bei unseren Podcasts zu begrüßen. Abonnieren Sie unseren Podcast auf Ihrer gewohnten Podcast Plattform und verpassen Sie nicht, wenn wir Sie zu einem Gedankenexperiment und zu einem Perspektivwechsel einladen, der dazu führen wird dass Sie Ihren Verhandlungspartner besser kennenlernen werden. Wir freuen uns wenn Sie aus unserer Reise “vom furchtbaren zum fruchtbaren Bankgespräch” dabei sind.