"Be Scared and
Do It Anyway"

PUMA Senior Managers share career advice

July 7, 2014

PUMA Senior Managers share career advice

July 7, 2014

Always wanted to know what it takes to make a career and be successful in your job? Intrigued to find out how others got to where they are now?

PUMA Senior Managers have shared their wisdom from their own professional experiences and tell you what it takes to get ahead.

Good Luck … and loads of Success!

Bjørn Gulden

Chief Executive Officer

To be successful in your job here at PUMA, a true love for the brand, passion for sports and fashion, and commercial taste are inevitable.

In general, I think you should be a team player and have a high degree of social skills, energy and endurance to get ahead. It also definitely helps to speak several languages.

But actually – if you just live PUMA’s new values and are determined, confident, brave and joyful, success and progress will come automatically.

Karin Baust

General Manager Running/ Training

Be flexible and open to change, but always stay focused on your goals. If you genuinely care about doing the best job possible with integrity, passion and perspective, success in your career will follow. Sometimes you get a little bit of luck on your side as well, that’s always a bonus.

Jürgen Wormser

Global Director Footwear Sourcing & Development


Have fun in what you are doing and believe in it – and in yourself.


Challenge the existing- and yourself (take it, change it or leave it).


If you are not a good listener, it will be difficult understanding and creating the big picture.


Lead by example. Play tough but be fair.


Be the shield and act like a coach. Protect, guide, lead, support and reward your team.

Arne Freundt

Global Director Strategy

Be passionate about what you do; it’s passion that will take you the extra mile.

Don’t stop at identifying the problem, take self-initiative and drive it until it is solved

Don’t just do a task, be clear you understand the underlying objective and don’t be shy to propose new ways to achieve it.

Take ownership and responsibility – it’s your baby!

Be pragmatic and hands-on.

Don’t try to solve problems via email – pick up the phone!

Adam Petrick

Director of Brand Marketing

First, make sure you are clear on what you are doing. If it’s not clear and simple, then you won’t be able to stay on track. Develop an “elevator pitch” for any big idea. If you can outline the whole thing in the course of an elevator ride, and have it make sense, then you’ll know you’ve got a firm grasp on what you want to do. Second, if it’s really easy to get people on board with what you’re doing, you’re definitely on the right track. Finally, if you are passionate about where you are going, and believe in the power of your idea to effect change, things will be effortless.

Also try to turn communications into actions as much as possible. Email is powerful, but until the thinking becomes action, remember that nothing is really getting done.

Nina Nix

CEO Dobotex International

Honestly, I knew very little about the true demands that my role would have when I took it on and I was perhaps super scared of becoming the new lead person of a multinational organization with the expectation to grow the business to the next level. But exactly that feeling told me that it is a good challenge to take on! What does it take to get ahead? I believe that you need to be prepared to step out of your comfort zone and to be open to new challenges. Be scared and do it anyway! This is not an easy task but by staying true to your values you can shape your own future. Remember no one can and no one may do it for you, your future depends on your own actions!

Dietmar Knoess

Global Director Human Resources

Well, working hard certainly helps a lot to build up your career. On top of that, it’s crucial that you really like what you are doing. Otherwise, it will be difficult to give your very best, to find the right balance and to have fun at work.

From a skill side, I believe that it’s important that you know what you are doing and that you work systematically on building up a proper skill set. In order to do so, it helps a lot when you pull yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time either in taking on projects or working in a different environment.

Torsten Hochstetter

Global Creative Director

In order to be successful in our PUMA organisation, it is crucial to check with yourself if you really live and breathe the Brand’s Culture and if you are passionate about Sports and Sports inspiration. It is important that you identify yourself with our new values: BRAVE, CONFIDENT, DETERMINED and JOYFUL. With your own passion and your own drive we will together be able to be the Fastest Sports Brand in the world. If the Brand is successful you will be as well.

Kevin Tolchard

Director Global Merchandising

I guess one of the great skills that is seldom talked about is time management – something that seems to have slipped from my grasp in returning this note to you on time! (Editor’s note: Kevin needed a reminder for submission of his career tip, but so did 95% of the addressees.)

Other insights, which hopefully are not rocket science, are the following – I’ve lived by these for many, many years:

Be a sponge – learn from the people around you, trust the people you work with to do their jobs and always remember that the team is stronger than the individual.

Strive to be the best you can in the role that you are in – again learning from those around you, seek out the experts in your world and mine them for information, help and guidance.

Be flexible and open to options – not every career move will be logical, but when added to your current armory of skills and job successes, they will take you to a path you may never have imagined for yourself.

Look for similarities in place of debating the differences.

For managers, empower your teams – you hired them for a reason, now help them to succeed in their roles – get out of their way and remove any obstacles to success that they may encounter. Build the best team you possibly can, never settle for second best.

Michael Lämmermann

Chief Financial Officer

Regarding professional skills in the Finance area, a certain university degree should be attained to show that you are capable to handle complex tasks and issues. You should also have a broad financial knowledge and understanding at your disposal in the more and more complex world of finance.

In terms of other skills, my recommendation is to listen and understand what people want and expect from you, to be pro-active in solving problems rather than only identifying them, and to be able to adapt to different working organisations, set-ups and cultures. It is helpful if you have been exposed to a variety of tasks within bigger companies to see how a business works – from a finance perspective, from physical inventory taking to being involved in year-end closings and negotiating with different parties, such as customers, suppliers, auditors, licensees, banks, etc.

And sometimes you just have to be at the right time and the right place to be given an area of responsibility that you have to handle on your own without being fully prepared for that task. This is the best learning environment and it happened to me twice in my life.

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