A Sore Loser & Poor Capitalist
Win with humility, lose with grace.
A Sore Loser & Poor CapitalistI read an article in last month's Detroit Free Press that left me bewildered and frankly, mad. For most of his career, metro- Detroit car salesman, Ali Reda, looked up to his mentor, Joe Girard, following Gerard's advice on how to become a successful car salesman. A wise career move since Gerard has held the Guinness world's record as the world's best car salesman for over 40 years - that is until this past year, when Reda's sales numbers broke Girard's record. But Girard is not relinquishing his title without a fight. Girard would choose to challenge Reda's integrity rather than celebrate Reda's recent accomplishment.
"I read [Gerard's] book, 'How to Sell Anything to Anybody,' and it said he would teach you how to become the best," said Reda, 44, of Dearborn. "He's an absolute legend in the industry. Your whole career, you're chasing his name. So now his reaction, well, it's kind of a gut shot."
Reda is sad and dismayed at the 89-year-old Girard's refusal to accept that Reda, a Chevrolet and Cadillac salesman, shattered Girard's new car sales record. In fact, Girard has allegedly threatened to send lawyers to the dealership where Reda works. Girard demands a recount.
"...I would be honored to shake his hand," Reda said. "Joe Girard is a big figure in our industry...He set the pace for me. He gave me a goal."
But Girard doesn't let go easily. The Free Press reported that Girard never forgave a boss who had fired him. Girard mailed a copy of his W-2 annual earnings statement to his old boss with a note at the bottom telling him, "You fired the wrong guy." After his former boss died, Girard reportedly took a W-2 to the cemetery and buried it atop the man's casket.
Girard now questions official sales data that propelled Reda into the records book. GM officials and owners of the family dealership are also surprised by Girard's reaction. They invited Girard and his wife to attend an awards breakfast honoring Reda but the Girards rejected the invitation. Instead, Gerard's wife said that her husband would "usually" get paid more than $60,000 for such an appearance.
Girard may have once held a world record, but he is far from behaving like a winner. A real capitalist would have acted graciously and then at the same time hold Reda up as an example that his career advice works. Yet Girard remains bitter. It's hard to believe that Girard served as an inspiration in Reda's career.
Moral of the StoryThe late philosopher Osho once said that it is impossible to always ride on the crest of a wave. With success, "the higher the wave goes, the deeper the wake that follows it. Enjoy both." Win with humility, lose with grace.