Podcast: Strategy should be informed by challenges says Siemens' Tobias Unger


Seth Adler
11/02/2017

In this episode of the AI Network Podcast, host Seth Adler is joined by Siemens' head of innovation, digitalization & benchmarking, Tobias Unger

strategy lightbulb hero

Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

Tobias Unger joins us and shares why his former job title of head of organizational development and strategic projects is a working title for head of innovation, digitalization & benchmarkingand why he didn’t like the word strategy in his job title.

He sees himself as a down to earth guy, and he’s interested in discussing his colleagues' problems and what stresses them. That, he says, is where automation is needed and will be most effective.

Strategy, he says, is lacking a down-to-earth feel. He wants to ensure his colleagues understand that finding solutions to their actual issues is what creates the strategynot the other way around.

On life lessons, Tobias says that while every situation is different, you can deal with each situation as long as you adapt. 

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Transcript

Key
Interviewer: Seth Adler
Guest: Tobias Unger

Interviewer: So Tobias Unger, but there’s a middle name?

Guest: Sebastian.

Interviewer:  Yeah. So do you use the whole name?

Guest:  Yes.

Interviewer:       Tobias Sebastian Unger…

Guest:  Yes.

Interviewer:       has a certain, well I could say [0:02:22] but it’s also almost onomatopoeia… no, it’s what’s the Shakespeare stuff in? You know what I mean? I am [0:02:33]                

Guest:  You mean it sounds complicated?

Interviewer:       Well, it sounds complicated, it sounds involved: Tobias Sebastian Unger. It sounds fantastic.

Guest:  Well there is only one way to be unique on Siemens…

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  employee list and…

Interviewer:       This is that.

Guest:  you want to be… you want to have that e-mail address that is only yours. You want people to find you in this Siemens address book.

Interviewer:       Sure.

Guest:  I have to use my middle name.

Interviewer:       Yeah. Sizeable organization, Siemens, is that fair to say?

Guest:  Yes.

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  I mean we are 351,000 employees worldwide and we got fairly some thousand shared services.

Interviewer:       So first I would love for you to tell us your actual job title as of today.

Guest:  Oh my gosh. That’s somehow related to my long and complicated name because we it will be Head of Organization Development and Strategic Project which is basically a working title…

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  It’s currently Head of Innovation, Digitalization and Benchmarking for Siemens Shared Services.

Interviewer:       So I like the latter one, right? Because that sounds better. What you told me earlier, is that you don’t like the word “strategy” in a job title.

Guest:  That’s right.

Interviewer:       I find that fascinating.

Guest:  Why?

Interviewer:       Exactly.

Guest:  You know, I’m pretty down to earth guy and… I mean one of my key qualities, I think, is I can talk to people and I love talking to people, I love talking to people regarding their problems and work and finding out what really stresses the uses because I think that’s where really automation needs to be effective on the user level and sometimes strategy has the touch of high level consultancy, not really down to earth with, like, nice fancy slides which I also can do but I love to have really some foot on the ground and really come down to the problems and then go to a strategy level, not the other way around.

Interviewer:       I see. And maybe some of this is because you know of what you speak, right?

Guest:  I don’t know. Sometimes…

Interviewer:       You’ve been a management consultant is my point.

Guest:  Yeah, that’s completely right. I’ve been the management consultant but if you talk to the guys here at…

Interviewer:       Yes.

Guest:  the Shared Service, we use sometimes find even people that are more geek than you really are.

Interviewer:       Sure.

Guest:  Yeah, that are much more into the details, much more into the topics and that’s just amazing because I love those talks and I love coming straight to the points where I can learn and where I basically I can take away some stuff that helps us at Siemens, in our digitalization journey.

Interviewer:       You like to roll up your sleeves.

Guest:  Oh yeah.

Interviewer:       You’re not so interested in telling other people to roll up their sleeves.

Guest:  No, I like to do it myself.

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  I mean, my grandfather owned vineyards and I grew up in a village of 150 people…

Interviewer:       Where? What country?

Guest:  Germany.

Interviewer:       Uh-huh. Where though?

Guest:  Close to the border of Luxembourg and France.

Interviewer:       Uh-huh.

Guest:  But…

Interviewer:       What grapes were you growing?

Guest:  Well…

Interviewer:       Rieslings.

Guest:  Riesling, yeah! A lot of… actually, a lot of Rieslings and Müller-Thurgau which is like a little bit of local flavor, it’s the region of the Moselle, yeah where the Moselle needs to sour. It’s a really nice area to live but, I mean, people there you know, they stand up in the morning and they just want to do stuff and when they go home in the evening, they want to see that they did something really done and that… that they had an effect with what they did and that drives them on.

Interviewer:       This is part of the… is the community, in total, has this kind of mindset and…

Guest:  Well.

Interviewer:       Way of life or these are the people that you graduated to… gravitated to?

Guest:  That’s basically comes a little bit from my family history and that’s the people I tend to relate with and that I somehow also tend to attract because I have a lot of great people that I know that are really hands on and really… also want to get things done.

Interviewer:       Let’s do the thing. While we’re talking about the thing, let’s do the thing. One more question on the grapes, any… and this will be terrible pronunciation [06:43] do you know what I’m talking about, even?

Guest:  Yeah [06:46]

Interviewer:       There. Say it one more time.

Guest:  [0:06:48]

Interviewer:       That sounds much better

Guest:  No, we don’t have these peculiar ones in the region but we really got a great Riesling I could recommend.

Interviewer:       Now, did you do time, if you will? Do you know how to, you know, grow grapes and you know…

Guest:  Oh, yeah.

Interviewer:       Bring them to maturity and…

Guest:  I know… I know the process.

Interviewer:       You do?

Guest:  Yes. From a very, let’s say, practical standpoint because I left Germany when I was 12. We went to Brazil for four years so I didn’t learn the family business, somehow gave it difference into my CV but I know really the groundwork which is picking grapes in 5:00 in the morning when it’s -4° because you want to have this ice wine ready and that’s really hard work and it’s really manual stuff. Maybe that’s why I love automation so much.

Interviewer:       It’s also precise, right? And it also takes forever. Is that fair?

Guest:  That’s fair.

Interviewer:       Yeah. So, but you don’t seem like a guy that wants to take forever with anything?

Guest:  No, not really.

Interviewer:       Right.

Guest:  I mean, you’re very good at reading people. I mean, I tend to get bored at certain stages and that is always when I find a solution to the problem, then I need the next problem…

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  In order to get my… to keep my head spinning.

Interviewer:       Well, you can only stay in one country until you are 12, then in… only 4 years later, you moved to another country but I think that your parents were involved in those decisions, yes?

Guest:  That’s completely true.

Interviewer:       All right.

Guest:  And I’m very happy that they decided to that way.

Interviewer:       Now, so… but 12 though, you’ve got a mind that is kind of turning into the mind that you have now, if I remember correctly. What was that like moving from Germany to Brazil? That must have been not pleasant in some ways.

Guest:  At the beginning, not. I mean, it was a big change and like with any change that is really comes unexpected and is really so big that you can’t imagine the consequences. At first, you are not that happy but I can tell you… I couldn’t imagine going to Brazil. When I was there, after 3 months, I couldn’t imagine going home ever after.

Interviewer:       Of course, right. And then four years later? Now, this is when you’re 16. So now this is when you’re in secondary school. This is the move that really hurt, I would imagine, right?

Guest:  That’s completely true, especially if you know the Brazilian culture.        

Interviewer:       What is the… what do you mean by that? what do you… what are you getting at there?

Guest:  Well, there are some benefits when you are a guy and you live in Brazil in your youth.

Interviewer:       Yes!

Guest:  Pursuing college is very open and people are very polite. So I arrived there and after two weeks, I got my first invitation to big parties and you could take five people in addition and that was highly welcomed which is not something you would know from European, especially German culture.

Interviewer:       Sure. A little bit more reserved in Germany.

Guest:  Exactly. That you have to know people in order to know people. And I mean, it takes much longer to build relationships to Brazilians. They are, I mean, much open but they also… they consume relationships much quicker than you would… do that in Germany.

Interviewer:       The half life is quicker, yes?

Guest:  Yes.

Interviewer:       Right?

Guest:  Yes, they know what they want and I mean they just… they just surf the wave

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  And if… if one wave is done, then they just take the next one.

Interviewer:       It is, I guess, a good analogy. So every weekend is carnival basically, right?

Guest:  Not every weekend but…

Interviewer:       Most weekends.

Guest:  those guys know how to make a party last.

Interviewer:       There we go. Alright, so now, this 16 year old guy finally figures out how to do the whole party thing, this is what we’re… then we get, we literally rip you out of the jaws of victory, right? Where did we go? Where did we

Guest:  Well back to Germany.

Interviewer:       Oh, you did go back to Germany!

Guest:  Yeah, I did go back to Germany. I did my [10:36] in order to qualify for university, then I did my civil service for one year doing social work but then again, I got out because I decided to study in Germany and then Spain, so I had a four years bachelor degree, 2 years in Germany and 2 years in Spain but I changed every half a year between the two locations.

Interviewer:       Yes.

Guest:  That was fun.

Interviewer:       Of course. Now, this… this is what we would expect [10:59] right? Now, as far as going back to Germany and doing this whole social work thing. Social work in Germany, we just talked about how reserved Germany is.

Guest:  Yes.

Interviewer:       How does that work?

Guest:  Actually, it works it pretty well because it… you directly get a very personal and intimate relationship to the person.

Interviewer:       ‘Cause they will allow it in that… in that atmosphere…

Guest:  Yes.

Interviewer:       in that environment?

Guest:  They have to accept you and they have to allow it and you have to…

Interviewer:       Because those are the rules in that environment.

Guest:  Exactly.

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  And, I mean you have to submit to it because you are entering the private space of a person and you are like… you’re part of, basically part of the family because the, you know, the caretaking that you’re doing, this is very personal stuff from watching people, you see all their problems, you see all their daily life, you see their relationships and I mean, every phone call they make, you are there, so I mean, that’s a very, very tight relationship that we have to the person and I mean, I’m happy to say that this taught me a lot…

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  in the process.

Interviewer:       So if you learned how ti pick grapes at 4am in the freezing cold in Germany the first time… you learned how to party, let’s be honest, in Brazil, you come back, what did you learn? You said you learned a lot. What did you learn being a young guy who couldn’t have been more 18, 19 years old doing that, right?

Interviewer:       what were the learning, you know? I guess, I understand humanity now, you know, in a way that I never could if I didn’t have this job?    

Guest:  No, it’s just that it’s different everywhere but, I mean it’s… you can deal with a situation as long as you learn how to adapt. As long as you learn how to read your environment and there’s positive and negative side all over the place and honest to say, today when I look back I wouldn’t say I prefer one or the other. It’s completely different and I think they key point for me was I could be happy with both or even with every environment and that’s also very good for, actually the job I’m doing today and that’s also, I think, a little bit why I’m at shared services because I have so much contact to so many different people from different cultures, I can speak all my languages and I can really relate to those people while working and that’s, I consider, a great luxury.

Interviewer:       So if I’m counting languages, we have German, we have Portuguese, we have Spanish, we have English obviously because we’re speaking…

Guest:  That’s right.

Interviewer:       English together here.

Guest:  Some English.

Interviewer:       Right? So that’s the four?

Guest:  That’s the four.

Interviewer:       Yeah. And I think that there’s a fifth, of course, right?

Guest:  Well, I could add some French to the list but…

Interviewer:       You could? I see…

Guest:  Yeah, no, but that’s only basic survival skills.

Interviewer:       Uh-huh.

Guest:  I never… I never really, really practiced but…

Interviewer:       It’s related but only related.

Guest:  Exactly but it’s on my list. The next one is definitely on my list.

Interviewer:       I see and then, does this mean that you’ll want to live in France at some point?

Guest:  I could imagine. Actually, yes but I think my next move is going more in the direction of a country which language I already speak.

Interviewer:       Okay. We will get back to that. Let’s talk about shared services. So here you get to literally play with the entire world. You get to dive into as many different disciplines as you can possibly take, right? Is that  what’s attractive to you?

Guest:  Yes.

Interviewer:       How did you find this job to begin with? How do we have the pleasure of having you in shared services?

Guest:  Oh. [14:35] actually. I never… I never applied for a job in my life. Somehow, things happened and it happened always in the same sequence: I met somebody, I talked with this person, we got a good relationship and then I got an offer. I never actually consciously decided for which job to go for because honestly speaking, I never would have picked the jobs I had in  my life, yeah?

Interviewer:       Okay.

Guest:  And it always happened when meeting people. I mean, and… that somehow it happens to me sometimes.

Interviewer:       This is the shared services position we’re talking about? We’re talking about all of them but specifically the shared services position, so is this a higher, you know, level at the time at least? The shared services executive seeing, you know, the fact that you would be perfect in the space, is that basically what happened?

Guest:  Honestly, I don’t know. I think people pick me for reason, especially when it’s employment relationship but you know, I let them decide. So I don’t have to make up my mind why I’m in this position.

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  I just can say that I really enjoy the position I’m currently in right now.

Interviewer:       Sure. What were you doing when this person found you?

Guest:  I was actually consulting Siemens and how to set up shared services.

Interviewer:       So this was the management consulting we were talking about…

Guest:  Exactly.

Interviewer:       Right? And so of course, you know, they get the kid, they get Tobias in management consulting, you were a young guy, they were like “go do this, now go do that. fly over here, fly over there. Now you gotta do this, now you gotta do that. Oh, he understands shared services, let him keep going,” and then you get to Siemens and they’re like “we’re gonna keep you.”

Guest:  Yeah, I think at the moment they’re still at this level, yes, of wanting to keep me, hopefully.

Interviewer:       Right, yeah.

Guest:  And it’s working pretty well.

Interviewer:       When you got client’s side as we say, right? What were the first things that you realized, kind of, with everything coming together. You had this management consulting job which you basically did very well because you’re a personable guy and you do like to go and do different things and be in different places, and so you found this utopia somehow, was it… was it scary? You know, in other words, “oh my god, I have the perfect job for myself. I must do well or this is heaven.”

Guest:  For me, it was just like “okay, this is happening. I’m  a guy that is… I mean, I’m pretty German in my core…

Interviewer:       I was gonna say, you sound German for the first time.

Guest:  I see challenges and I just didn’t like to… I mean concentrate myself completely to solve the puzzles and so, I tend to not see them things around me and completely focus.

Interviewer:       Right.

Guest:  And that’s what keeps me running.

Interviewer:       All right. So let’s get back to this job title again. Let’s take them one at a time. The first word is what?

Guest:  The first one is “innovation.”

Interviewer:       Innovation, all right. So let’s talk about innovation. How are you focused on innovation at Siemens right now as we speak?

Guest:  Well, from our perspective, I mean we are very much focused on innovation in all its different forms because we clearly see that that’s what we need in order to advance, in order to grow.

Interviewer:       Sure. So, great. Innovation – here’s this nebulous concept we know we wanted. How are you actualizing that?

Guest:  A lot of, you know… speaking to people who face the same problem, I mean within the shared service community, because the topics, I mean, tend to be pretty much related or the same. On the other hand, we address innovation by really engaging our workforce.

Interviewer:       Okay.

Guest:  Engaging our employees.

Interviewer:       Inward bound.

Guest:  Inbound.

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  And we bought them up because we have seen that you can have great technology that doesn’t produce anything good and it’s better when you just ask your people how to implement and how to run these stuff that you have on the menu. Because, I mean 6,000… what… what is my brain against 6,000 or 7,000 other brains thinking about how to solve peculiar problems. That complexity wouldn’t go on my head and I trust a lot in our team that they help me out in order to really find good application cases in order to leverage what we have.

Interviewer:       So we look inward, we use the entire intellectual property of the entire enterprise, right?

Guest:  Yeah.

Interviewer:       You mentioned the numbers before, that’s how we’re gonna innovate! We’re all gonna come up with this together.

Guest:  Yes.

Interviewer:       Digitalization.

Guest:  I mean, digitalization is a lot of understanding technological trends.

Guest:  Which piece of software or which platform or whatever I’m buying, what’s it doing in its core? What’s different to what I’m already having and how does it integrate into my landsape?

Interviewer:       So the integrate into my landscape is the “how you avoid bright, shiny objects” I would imagine. In other words, I’m not just gonna go this… go buy this thing ‘cause it’s really cool and it probably does great things, it’s that connectivity, right?

Guest:  Yeah.

Interviewer:       or convergence piece that’s important.

Guest:  Exactly.

Interviewer:       Right?

Guest:  Exactly. I mean, the convergence is one part and… but the special, I mean the especially interesting topic for me is how it fits into the puzzle that I already have because I’m just adding another piece and you can see all those solutions that by themselves, separately, they are perfect but they could never work on the landscape that you currently have.

Interviewer:       Well, you just said “I’m adding a piece” and you didn’t say but I’m gonna say it for you “I’m not adding a solution,” the whole concept is I’m adding a piece to the puzzle not a solution…

Guest:  Yes.

Interviewer:       to the problem.

Guest: That’s completely right.

Interviewer:       Benchmarking. Why is this part of the thing? This feels like the German part, I think.

Guest:  The number crunches.

Interviewer:       You know, I mean like we just gotta make sure that we’re doing it by the thing and you know ‘cause the other ones sound a little Brazilian, right? Maybe a little Spanish.

Guest:  No, benchmarking is being a lot… is a lot about transparency first.

Interviewer:       Okay.

Guest:  You have to know your organization, you have to know your processes, and you have to know where the problems are and you have to be very honest with that because at the end of the day, it’s not helping if you’re not seeing the problem because then, you can’t take the right actions.

Interviewer:       One thing is not seeing the problem, the other thing is being honest with it. What do you mean by you have to be honest with it?

Guest:  Well, I think it’s a little about error culture. You have to admit that fail and also, not everybody everyday is taking the brightest and best decisions but that’s just part of the journey, and I mean,  [21:53] is a lot about failing early.

Interviewer:       Sure. Fail quickly and cheaply, right?

Guest:  Exactly.

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  And with benchmark, if you have to, if you have right level of transparency, you just avoid the pitfall that you see the problem too late, when it’s already big problem.

Interviewer:       So how much of what you do with the benchmarking, and the innovation, and the digitalization is, you know, when you say “adding a piece” it sounds like that’s when you decide “okay, let’s actually add the piece, that’s the big thing.” How much of what you do is about testing and doing a small project and doing and you know, kind of thinking additively in a small way before going big with it?

Guest:  Oh, actually the innovation part is a lot about these small changes and trying things before you really think big scale because you know, from my perspective, it’s not always finding the big one and only [22:51] that will solve of all the entire headache that you have.

Interviewer:       In the US we call that the silver bullet.

Guest:  Exactly.

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  It’s not always about the silver bullet, it’s more like “okay, I see here something different. I see an area but I couldn’t prove… okay, and then I find a piece that matches it, yeah?” it’s a lot about trial and error because it’s so high complexity, you can never know based on testimonials or vendor stories or whatsoever. Sometimes, you really have to try it out and that’s… and then you are better small and flexible to fail instead of too big to fail.

Interviewer:       Sure. Of course. We’ve been through that and that’s a different conversation for a different time because it’s not on this  subject but as far as those small wins or small fails, if I may put you on the spot, can you give us an example of a case study of either, you know, small kind of test where you’re like “hey! This one worked. Let’s do it bigger,” or “hey, this one really didn’t work. Let’s never do this again.”

Guest:  Well actually, I was leading  project that implemented the solution that failed big time afterwards and I think that’s a great learning for my professional journey.

Interviewer:       Yeah. Without then getting into specifics I guess, take us through… because it sounds like you implemented, it felt like a win and then shortly thereafter or even maybe a long time after, it was like “oh no, we did not win.” So take us through your emotional, kind of, construct of when that, you know, other shoe did actually dropped. What were you feeling, what were you thinking, and then what did you do about it?

Guest:  All right. So, I mean, first of all it was very challenging project and we wanted this piece of technology really implemented and alive.

Interviewer:       We wanted it. We needed it.

Guest:  Exactly. We wanted it, we were so much focused and we did our best and we achieved it. The problem was, I mean I was the project manager and I had to manage all this entire project, with all this complexity, with you know, all the people involved, all the over time, etcetera, etcetera.

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  We finally achieved it, we had a go life and then, just at the end of the [25:15]

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  the complete system crashed because it was just too complex and afterwards, we realized, okay, I mean we could have known that because if you look at that from a neutral perspective, without all the ambition…

Interviewer:       Sure. And the emotion of getting it. Yeah.

Guest:  And the emotion of getting things done…

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  then you would have realized in an early stage “okay, this can never work guys.”

Interviewer:       Yeah. If we looked down the road over there…

Guest:  Yeah.

Interviewer:       There’s... it’s never gonna work over there.       

Guest:  Exactly.

Interviewer:       It’s almost, I feel like as you were describing it, it’s like [0:25:45] getting the boulder of the mountain…

Guest:  Exactly.

Interviewer:       But he actually gets it up the mountain and then “oh God, what happens when it goes down the other side? Look at all those people!”

Guest:  Yeah. And that was actually, that was the worst part for me, that was the emotional part because I mean, I had to face all those people over the weekend. I sat with this guy, I mean it was a great team, we still had a great time even though everybody was doing shifts in Sunday in order to get, in order to fix the problem, in order to keep the process in our service alive and I mean, for me that was a hard start but once we were into it, once we were basically set as a team again and we wanted to solve the problem and clear up the mess, that was a really great experience because they could really come to the bottom of motivation.

Interviewer:       I’ll tell you, that says something about you as a leader and here’s the reason why: because you literally  had a big fail… these are your words not my words, big failure and here’s your team on the other side of that failure, still with you, kinda putting the pieces back together to make sure we’re okay. Not everybody would have the team still with them, I think, you know?

Guest:  Yes and not everybody showed up.

Interviewer:       Well okay, fair enough. But you know, hey listen, I like to say “if you can’t change the people, change the people.” All right, so I’ve got the three final questions. I’ll tell you what they are and then I’ll ask you them in order. What does most surprise you at work? Now this is the whole time, right? What does most surprise you in life? And then on the soundtrack of your life, one track, one song that’s gotta be on there but that’s last. First things first. Along the way here, right? You are doing wacky things, you’re doing small scale, you’re doing big scale, you’re innovating, you’re benchmarking, everything’s going digital, what has most surprised you at work?

Guest:  At work, what most surprised me is how close you really get to people. If you’re not working, if you’re at the university, you imagine a professional life, like really a professional life…

Interviewer:       Yeah.

Guest:  like many… a lot of professional distance…

Interviewer:       Yeah, sure.

Guest:  a lot of professional treatment, how people relate to each other.

Interviewer:       Adults.

Guest:  Adults, very serious, very businessman, everybody wearing a suit…

Interviewer:       Sure.

Guest:  You shake hands with a distance, etcetera and really that surprised me a lot how well relationships and also personal relationships perform at work.

Interviewer:       Yeah. Turns out, you know, when people say “listen it’s just business. It’s not personal, it’s just business,” turns out, business is personal.

Guest:  For me, definitely.

Interviewer:       I don’t know how it couldn’t be. What does most surprise you in life?

Guest:  Well, it sounds cheesy but probably my wife.

Interviewer:       Yeah, well this is a good answer. Especially if it’s gonna listen to it, right? But why…

Guest:  I hope she does.

Interviewer:       Yeah, but when did you meet her along the way here? Where is she from?

Guest:  She’s actually from Bavaria.

Interviewer:       She’s from Bavaria.

Guest:  She’s from Munich.

Interviewer:       Okay, alright.

Guest:  Yeah.

Interviewer:       Wait, you said Bavaria or Munich? Pick one. We gotta… what are you talking about? Those are two different cities, if I’m not mistaken.

Guest:  No, Bavaria is the state and Munich is the city.

Interviewer:       So, I am mistaken. That is proving once again I am American but go on.

Guest:  And we actually, we met 5 years ago during a football match and it was the first football match I attended in my life.

Interviewer:       Was it Germany vs. the US, by the way I still remember.

Guest:  No, not that one.

Interviewer:       Not that one.

Guest:  It was Champion’s League, it was Chelsea vs. Munich.

Interviewer:       I see. And you were supporting Munich?

Guest:  I was supporting Munich, Munich lost.

Interviewer:       Was she supporting Munich?

Guest:  I won. She was supporting Munich, of course.

Interviewer:       “Munich lost, I won,” that’s fantastic. So in a pub, no less. This is where you meet this fine young woman…

Guest:  Public viewing in the stadium.

Interviewer:       Oh, really?

Guest:  Yes.

Interviewer:       Oh my goodness. You were there.

Guest:  Yes.

Interviewer:       You were at the game. Okay, what was the… how did it… how did it go? How’d you do it, right? Did you see her, did she see you?

Guest:  I saw her.

Interviewer:       Of course.

Guest:  A friend of mine saw her.

Interviewer;       Right.

Guest:  Yeah and then I had to apply a little trick.

Interviewer:       Yes.

Guest:  In order to make my case.

Interviewer:       I see. No further questions on that because we’re getting way too personal evne though business is personal. Let me ask you this, if she’s from Germany, why… I’m trying to guess that the country you’re going to next, I don’t think it’s Spain, right? It’s gotta be Brazil. You’re gotta move back to Brazil, that’s what I think is gonna happen. Is that right?

Guest:  Maybe same language but different country.

Interviewer:       Oh, Portugal? But did you… you were… when did you go to Portugal? Did we miss that piece?

Guest:  No, just on a project basis.

Interviewer:       Ah, I see.

Guest:  I never lived there permanently.

Interviewer:       Okay, all right. And so we gotta get there, we gotta do this.

Guest:  Yeah, definitely.

Interviewer:       All right. What city, you know, is of interest?

Guest:  Lisbon.

Interviewer:       Well, sure.

Guest:  Yes.

Interviewer:       Right? Okay.  So I’m glad that we finally got to that and speaking of finally got to that, on the soundtrack of your life, one track, one song that’s gotta be on there.

Guest:  Nothing Else Matters.

Interviewer:       Any… wait a second, Nothing Else Mat… from who? Whose?

Guest:  Mettalica.

Interviewer:       Oh my god. This is… this is exactly why we ask the question. I would never have… you have this wonderful scarf on and I wish people could see it. I know it’s a podcast and you have the horn-rimmed glasses and you’re dressed very nicely, you really are. You’re dressed in clothing that just would not look good on me, right? There’s… you just… you’re dressed to the nines and this guy listens to Mettalica. I love it.

Guest:  Well, I play the guitar and I really like hand-made music.

Interviewer:       Look at that. you shred is what you do on the guitar.

Guest:  Oh yeah.

Interviewer:       Right? So, I mean, do you only listen to the… to metals as far as the guitar is concerned or… what would be your other influence as far as playing?

Guest:  A lot of classical music actually.

Interviewer:       Huh! Like what? Like Salamanca type of soft or…

Guest:  No, no like really Beethoven…

Interviewer:       On a guitar?

Guest:  No, not on the guitar…

Interviewer:       Oh, okay.

Guest:  I mean just… but you also, you have a lot of classical music influences on guitar players.

Interviewer:       Such as?

Guest:  Such as Joe Satriani.

Interviewer:       Oh sure! Oh that guy’s good. That guy is really good.

Guest:  He is great. I mean amazing.

Interviewer:       So you probably also like Eric Johnson?

Guest:  Yes.

Interviewer:       Cliffs of Dover,  right?

Guest:  Oh, yeah. Eric Clapton.

Interviewer:       There you go. Oh well, sure. Otherwise known in this country as God and I’m not being blasphemous, they said it, I didn’t.

Guest:  Yeah. And if you see him live, I mean you know it’s true.

Interviewer:       So I saw him with the two other members of [32:26] when Jack Bruce was still alive.

Guest:  Oh yeah.

Interviewer:       Ginger  Baker.

Guest:  Okay, now I’m jealous.

Interviewer:       Yeah, no you should be.

Guest;  Yeah.

Interviewer:       I mean they were 70 years old and cooking.

Guest:  Yeah.

Interviewer:       Tobias, this has been a pleasure.

Guest:  Me too, thank you.

Interviewer:       And there you have Tobias Unger. Going back to his grandfather’s owned vineyards with him waking up, you know, at 5:00 in the morning, in -4° temperatures packing grapes and making sure the job got done seems to be where his whole philosophy and psychology was born, so very much appreciate Tobias, appreciate you, stay tuned.

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