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IAm Marc Eulerich

Blogs Marc Eulerich, PHD, CIA Nov 29, 2022

Basketball is a team sport! And even though great basketball players like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, or Kobe Bryant could decide games on their own, it was the players alongside the superstars who determined the team's long-term success.

This knowledge, that together a team can achieve great things, has always motivated me and has led to new successes in my life. This holds true in both my professional career and in other areas, like sports.

I am 41 years old, married, and the father of a wonderful daughter. I work as a professor of internal auditing at the University of Duisburg-Essen and head the Center for Internal Auditing Excellence there. And in addition to educating students in the field of internal auditing and conducting research on a wide variety of internal auditing topics, I play basketball as a favorite hobby.

This year, I was very fortunate to be a small part of a great team and play in the 40+ national championship. My role was definitely not as the best player, definitely not as a special player — but always as a team player. And somehow, the great performance of my team made it possible for me to be called up and even score, too. In every game of the "Elite Eight" tournament, one or another player from my team was dominant and successful. Also, in every game, one or two players did not play their best game. Nevertheless, it was clear to all of us: We wanted to win together! And if necessary, we would also lose together. Fortunately, we were successful in this "Mission for Gold" and became the German champions in our age group. It was the combination of the great team performance, great individual players, and supplementary players who supported the team on the court for anywhere from a few minutes to the whole game that led the team from the bench to success.

This win is probably my greatest sporting success and reflects my attitude as an internal auditor and professor for this wonderful profession:

Internal auditors sometimes have to make the decisive throw on their own! But most of the time they play as a team with fantastic teammates and hopefully fair opponents. Because then the winning streak is likely to be much longer and the championship awaits them as a success.

And as a professor? I also must understand and accept my role on the team. At times, I am a teacher and leader for my undergraduate and graduate students. At other times, perhaps on a research paper with other researchers, I have a smaller role to play. The last 11 years as a professor of internal audit have shown me that I have been successful precisely when our team of different researchers complements each other in the best possible way. Perhaps the strength of one colleague compensates for the weakness of another or the motivation of the team is able to motivate me to new peak performances.

Ultimately, the concept is the same everywhere: We all have to know when we are allowed to lead the team, when we are only expected to perform special tasks as a bench player, or when we might have just been "benched" for the entire season. I am happy that I have a role to play as an internal auditor, as a professor, as an athlete, and as a father, and I am looking forward to many more successes on my different kinds of teams in the future.

Marc Eulerich, PHD, CIA

Professor for the Mercator School of Management and head of the Center for Internal Auditing Excellence , Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany