Roland Dürre
Saturday January 28th, 2012

To Wulff

There is a new verb in the German language: “To Wulff” . It will probably become the word of the year …

I must admit, I “wulff” a lot.

All the time, I get invitations. Events organized by enterprises or interest groups. I get a good meal and a free bed. Once in a while, the first class train ticket to the location is also part of the package.

I wonder why?

The answer is simple: Those who send me the invitations overestimate my personal influence as a representative of a (slightly) successfull enterprise. And they want to acquire it (less me) as a customer.

However, they probably could not care less about both the enterprise and yours truly as a customer and person. All they want is more turnover, i.e. the money I supposedly can dispose of. That is what they want to hear jingling in their cash box. And those who send me the invitations could not possibly know that I am rather frugal and do not tend to throw the money I am the custodian of out of the window.

Yet I sometimes accept those “tempting” free invitations. Mind you, the reason is not because I want a free meal and night in a hotel. After all, I have a nice home and am constantly struggling against the few extra pounds I carry.

🙂 But I, too, have a goal! And therefore I turn the tables.

Because, I, too, am looking for turnover all the time! And turnover is an elusive piece of venison. If you want to catch it, you must meet many requirements. The first condition is that you are very visible and that your own enterprise is well-known. Without contacts and intensive communication, nothing goes. Building up the necessary trust happens in small steps. It is a tedious and very indirect business. You have to be extremely patient.

But – these kinds of events lead to contacts and your network will grow.

🙂 Consequently, I overcome my weaker self and get active – “mingling with the masses“

I go to where I get a free drink and food – sometimes even a free bed and trip. Once in a while, you luck out. Sometimes a good speaker for the IF Forum or a new knowledge provider for the IF AGORA is found faster than you would have expected.

Contacts through which (mostly over more than three angles) some business might arise are fewer. The way towards the actual deal, including the signature, is still a long way off. In our complex world, you have to do a lot of “wulffing” in order to be a success. That is hard work, indeed.

However, I am not a “wulffer” in the true sense of the word. I belong to no party. Neither am I a politician. And I hold no Federal Office. And I do not influence anybody for third parties.

I am only my own lobbyist. The enterprise I am “wulffing“ for is the one I hold considerable shares of. So the only people I “wulff” for is myself and our stakeholders. If it promotes my own interests – along with those of my partners – I happily agree to being invited and eating a free Schnitzel.

As you see, I do not criticize “wulffing” as such. Only “wulffing” in the true meaning of the word. I do not particularly like “wulffers” who pretend the state and the people living in it are their private property. And who move in the interest of any number of groups the Schnitzels of which they happen to eat at a certain time.

I particularly dislike it if I then get the impression that the citizens – who are actually the true shareholders and stakeholders of the state – are at best unwanted at the parties.
And I also dislike to see the “wulffers” showing a total disinterest in how we would have expected them to behave and how they should fulfill their public role and their mandate.

(Translated by EG)

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