Thursday, June 6, 2013

Good enough is never good enough

“This business is fun!” I kept saying it to my Eastern European friends. And at one point they wondered that if this was a fun business, why I was pressing them to raise the bar? As they got to learn the business more, they realized that the fun comes from winning. And that if we had to win, we had to keep raising the bar – good enough is never good enough.

And to remind them about the constancy of raising the bar, I shared a recent article (and subtitled it "A great Lesson in Selling") from Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, “No bully in the pulpit,” 20th Apr 2013: How is it that the president won the argument on gun safety with the public and lost the vote in the Senate? It’s because he doesn’t know how to work the system [doesn’t know how to sell – commentary supplied.] And it’s clear now that he doesn’t want to learn, or to even hire some clever people who can tell him how to do it or do it for him.”

It was a glaring example of his weakness in using leverage to get what he wants. No one on Capitol Hill is scared of him [he has no credibility – commentary supplied]. . . Then, as usual, he took his foot off the gas, lost momentum and confided his pessimism to journalists [ergo: cannot ride a momentum – commentary supplied] . . . The White House had a defeatist mantra: This is tough. [Lacks training in selling: beyond knowledge, he needs the requisite positive attitude demanded of selling, the right skills and the earnest habits of a winner – commentary supplied.] We need to do it. But we’re probably going to lose. When you go into a fight saying you’re probably going to lose, you’re probably going to lose [lose the brand, the market, the business – commentary supplied.]

The White House should have created a war room full of charts [sales management is information management – commentary supplied] with the names of politicians [or direct and indirect customers or regions or stores or buyers – commentary supplied] they had to capture, like they had in “The American President.” Soaring speeches have their place, but this was about blocking and tackling [like in American football – commentary supplied].”

The president was oblivious to red-state Democrats [or unfriendly customers and buyers – commentary supplied] facing tough elections” . . . “How can we make this a bill you can vote for and defend?” [Buy him coffee or a drink or whatever – commentary supplied] . . . “Heidi, you’re brand new [you need our outstanding brands and marketing support – commentary supplied] and you’re going to have a long career [and generate returns – commentary supplied.] You work with us, we’ll work with you [and generate even more – commentary supplied.]

The president said the Newtown families deserved a vote. But he was setting his sights too low. They deserved a law.”

And that is the bottom line: This blog has consistently praised President Aquino’s “daang matuwid” but the object and premise of the blog is to challenge Juan de la Cruz to reinvent himself. And that means we have to keep raising the bar. Investors are looking at us but we can’t take that as the be-all and end-all. And which is why international institutions have been busy giving us unsolicited advice. The worst thing we can do is to be narcissistic – “pa pogi”. We have to toss “pwede na ‘yan” – because good enough is never good enough. The good news is the administration said that they would focus on infrastructure, agriculture and tourism. That sounds good. They could then demonstrate the leadership, the focus and the priority? And use the bully pulpit to get PHL to raise the bar – and not be ensconced in our comfort zone?

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