• 04/27/2020
  • Corona-Krise

Neutered tomcat

In today's circular CEO Ernst Prost criticizes people who do not bear responsibility themselves but are conviced to know exactly what other people do wrong.

Dear companions,

it may be 35 or 40 years ago when we had Mr. Manfred Maus as a guest in our Marketing Club in Augsburg. This man founded OBI together with two other men... of course I sat in the front row with a sharpened pencil and plenty sheets of paper. There was something to learn here! My notepad was full with question when the Q&A  began. "My name is Doctor Dippel from Dippel & Partner. I would be interested to know why you did not do it like this, but rather choose to do it that way instead. It would have been much better if you had done it the other way don't you think so, Mr. Maus? I dropped the pencil and my jaw at the same time, suddenly the room was quite. Mr. Maus focused for a while on the very well dressed Dr. Dippel and then said: "You must be a management consultant". "Correct. Doktor Dippel, strategic management consultancy Dippel & Partner". Mr. Maus went on to say "Forgive me, but you look like a neutered tomcat. You know how to do it, but you can't."...  Rumms - Manfred Maus had spoken...  I will never forget and every time I meet a know it all, this story comes to my mind.

I had a similar incident many years ago in the USA. Gary Boyd - our first sales representative and myself stood in our booth at the SEMA-Show in Las Vegas . Not a very big but rather small one. We didn't had a USP (unique selling point) either, but for the first time Liqui Moly motor oils were available in the United States of America. Wow! Gary said: "No chance Mr. Prost,  we are too expensive". Now we had our USP, we put up a sign: "The most expensive oil in the USA, but from Germany". This sales episode, however is only anecdotal. Today I'm talking about the know-it-all and not pioneers... On the second day of the fair, two gentlemen of the former type came and explained to Gary and me what we are doing all wrong and what we should do completely different and in general is much better than what were doing. Gary, tanned Californian and the type of Dream Boy listened for a while to what the gentlemen from Boston knew and then just asked politely: "When you are so clever, why aren't you so rich?" One of those checkmate moves I'll never forget my whole life.

Thank you Gary Boyd, thank you Manfred Maus. 

I wish us all a healthy, joyful and successful week!


Ernst Prost