April 01, 2009
Executive Connection with Dr. Friedrick Kroos, President, CEO, JAFRA
In this month’s Executive Connection, Direct Selling News Publisher and Editor in Chief John Fleming spoke to Dr. Friedrich Kroos, President and CEO of JAFRA, about his vision, JAFRA’s consultants and much more.
DSN: What do you enjoy most about being a top executive of JAFRA?
Dr. Kroos: The combination of JAFRA as a company—what it stands for—and having an excellent team.
DSN: What has been your greatest challenge in your career with JAFRA?
Dr. Kroos: We’ve had a lot of changes in the organization, so the challenge has been managing through all the changes. I was a change myself when I joined the company two years ago. The challenges for us in the organization are to get to know each other and work together. But at the same time, that has also been the advantage I have, coming from an external position and having the chance in last two years to get acquainted with this great company.
DSN: How would you describe the ideal JAFRA consultant?
Dr. Kroos: Anyone who wants to make a difference in her life is a great JAFRA consultant. It’s not about classifying characteristics. The ideal consultant just sticks to her attitude about what she stands for. In the end, it’s taking the opportunity and agreeing enthusiastically with the values of the company—those are the things that are important. Those are the things that make them join and stay.
DSN: What is your vision for JAFRA?
Dr. Kroos: To offer this opportunity to millions of women worldwide and to make a difference in everyone’s lives as well as the company.
DSN: Is there one basic principle which has governed your leadership at JAFRA?
Dr. Kroos: I’m convinced that leaders must give a clear direction and strategy. Then you have to give people leeway, have confidence that they will achieve the goal and support them as they do it.
DSN: Leaders usually draw on something or someone for inspiration, guidance and direction. Do you have a hero or heroine?
Dr. Kroos: The interesting thing with heroes is that they change with the times. They change as needs change. I don’t have specific hero. I’m impressed with the performance and spirit of certain people. When I see the ladies who are building their own business through JAFRA, they’re really inspiring.
DSN: Which other direct selling company or person do you admire the most and why?
Dr. Kroos: I focus on and admire our consultants. Regarding another direct selling company, I’m just blessed to be with the company I’m in now.
DSN: What do you see as our industry’s greatest challenge?
Dr. Kroos: Never losing focus on what direct selling is about. With all the new technologies and IT solutions, we must never question that direct selling is all about the personal approach and personal leadership. One can think about the best tools, but at the end, it’s about personal relationships. That’s what we have to keep in mind.
DSN: What is your favorite way to relax?
Dr. Kroos: With my family—even when they’re challenging. Having quality time with my wife and children is the most important thing.
DSN: What is your favorite travel destination and why?
Dr. Kroos: We enjoy discovering cities over the weekend, independent of which country they’re in. We had the opportunity to live in Italy for five years and liked it very much.