Lamborghini: See redirection in your rejection!
When men reject your idea, it is because God is redirecting you to something better. Sometimes, that one rejection is all you need to get to where God is taking you. Mar Amend once said: “Rejection doesn’t mean you are not good enough; it means the other person failed to notice what you have to offer”. Soichiro Honda was rejected by Toyota Motor Corporation when he applied for an engineering job because God has something greater for him than just spending the rest of his life as an engineer with Toyota. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first TV job because someone thought she was “unfit for TV”, but today, she is being referred to as the “screen goddess”. Arnold Schwarzenegger was rejected many times because of his strange Austrian accent, relatively unpronounceable surname and short stature, but he ended up becoming one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood.
The story behind the evolution of the Lamborghini brand is a good example of how to get redirection from rejection and result from insult. A skilled mechanic and farmer by the name Ferruccio Lamborghini decides to critique the maker of his luxury sports car, Enzo Ferrari and this eventually ignites a rivalry that would produce some of the most beautiful, expensive and high-performing automobiles in history.
In the 1960s, Enzo Ferrari cars were the top-of-the-line in luxury sports cars in Italy and in the world. A humble farmer and tractor mechanic by the name Ferruccio Lamborghini was privileged to have a Ferrari car in his automobile collections but he had always struggled with one nagging problem-clutch damage. Frustrated by the recurring weak clutch problems, he booked an appointment with the legendary Enzo Ferrari to advise him on how to permanently resolve the clutch problem.
The meeting, which was quite brief, would change the fate of supercars forever! It would also be a great example to business owners of how not to treat customers. Mr. Lamborghini explained that the clutch of the Ferrari was seemingly too weak for such a high performing car and suggested an upgrade that could actually make the clutch last much longer. Enzo Ferrari had a very hard time accepting constructive criticism and instead of listening to the proposal, he rejected Lamborghini’s suggestion with his now famous statement: “You are a tractor-driver, you are a farmer. You shouldn’t complain driving my cars because they are the best cars in the world. The clutch is not the problem, the problem is you don’t know how to drive a Ferrari and you break the clutch.” A meeting that was supposed to be a synergy of ideas between two great minds turned to a bitter face-off that will change the face of supercars forever.
Lamborghini’s response was quite sensational: “Yes, I am a farmer! I will show you how to make better sports car and I will do it so well to show you how a sports car has to be”. On his way back home from the meeting with Ferrari, Lamborghini made two strong decisions. The first was never to use a Ferrari product again and the second was to build a luxury car that will be both better and faster than the Ferrari. The goal as stated by Lamborghini was to build “the perfect car”. He saw Ferrari’s insult as his driving force and began designing different models of his own brand. In only four months, he revealed the Lamborghini 350GTV which was later branded 350GT at the Turin Motor Show in October 1963.
The Lamborghini brand began to be known for its power, comfort, luxury, and refinement. From Lamborghini 350GTV to Lamborghini Miura and then to the legendary Lamborghini Countach to Lamborghini Diablo to Lamborghini Murcielago, then to Lamborghini Gallardo to Aventador, Reventon, Huracan and then to the newest Lamborghini Urus. Each brand has become faster, more aerodynamic, more insanely styled and more technologically advanced than their contemporary brands of super cars.
Ferrari rejected Lamborghini’s idea and lost the golden opportunity to become the #1 luxury super car manufacturer in the world. The tale of these two Italian super-sports car manufacturers carries within it a great lesson for business owners. We must never look down or trivialize other people’s idea because it may actually be the seed to our next level.
The Holy Bible captured it succinctly in Psalm 118:22: “The stone which the builders rejected is become the head stone of the corner”. Sometimes, the greatest thing that will ever happen to some of us is rejection! Ferrari’s insult eventually became Lamborghini’s breakthrough.
Soichiro Honda was rejected by an HR manager at Toyota Motor Corporation when he applied for an engineering job, leaving him jobless until he began making scooters in his garage and eventually founded Honda Motor Company. Alexander Graham Bell said: “When one door closes, another opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us”.
Rejection is inevitable and the most empowering way to handle rejection is to see it as redirection. God sometimes allow men to reject us so that we don’t settle for less than what he has for us. The easiest way to cheat a man is to make him settle for less in life because those that settle for less don’t get the best out of life. Many would have settled for less in life if they’ve never been rejected. See rejection as redirection, a call not to settle for less and also as a feedback on areas of improvement.
Who could have ever taught that an ordinary farmer and tractor mechanic will produce a brand that will give Ferrari a run for his money? Business owners should learn how to use criticism to evolve better products. No matter how sophisticated a product is, there will always be a way to evolve something better. Never despise customers’ suggestion, it may actually hold the key to new innovations. Thomas Edison once said, “There is always a better way, find it”.