Do what you do do well

The One & Only approach to brands and marketing is a humanisitic view, applied to both organsiations and individuals. At it's core lies the elimination of practices and expressions that do not fit or are not authentic to the entity.

I read a sports story once (I can't remember where, who the protagonist was or the actual team involved - except that it was a famous American baseball coach and team - I'll do my best to be faithful, if not accurate); a new coach had been hired to work with a team that had been performing badly. The owner and had sunk millions into his team after making billions in some entrepreneurial venture; now he had the time and cash to indulge in his lifelong passion. It troubled him that the team was in such a slump.

The first thing the new coach did was to interview all of his players. He paid particular attention to the pitchers. He believed pitchers won games. If batters couldn't hit the ball then they couldn't score home runs, let alone steal third.

The players were tense about the meetings and were either eager to please or defensive about their performance in the season so far. All feared spending time on the bench.

"Tell me your top five pitches" the coach demanded of each of his pitchers.
The players would rank their specialty throws in descending order.
"Curve ball, spit ball, knuckle ball, fast ball, screw ball, slider..." Every pitcher had his specialty armoury.
"So what are you going to work on?"
Without exception the players dutifully replied they would spend more time on the pitches they were less competant with.
"Forget it!" the new coach drawled "Work on your best pitch, forget the rest. Spend all of your time on your best shot. Forget the rest."

The team went on to win far more reliably than others in the league and while they didn't win the championship that year they hit their previous lacklustre performance out of the ballpark.

The moral? Do what you do best. Play to strength. What is the point in trying to divide your energy and resources into such tiny parcels that they they have no effect, or worse, allow your weaknesses to be dilute your strengths?

In a similar vein, playing to strength and developing it into a signature, I found this quote on the web

“The voice is the focus of so much comment on Welles’s performances, early and late, that it is worth observing that any huge natural endowment is a double-edged sword for a performer. The greatest artists — Olivier and Margot Fonteyn spring to mind — are those of modest natural endowments who have worked and worked to extend them, thus developing in themselves disciplines and hard-won strength which open up worlds of expression and imagination unknown to those who had it all for nothing.”

Orson Wells - The Road to Xanadu

This book, which has received rave reviews is written by English actor Simon Callow (the funeral from Four Weddings and a Funeral.)


  1. Hi David
    I've visited your blog a few times now - well done: the articles are always thought provoking and well written. Keep up the good work
    Gordon Cameron


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