Just how important are the results of your marketing efforts? I’d say somewhere between “very” and “critical.” Unlike your experiences as a six-year-old on a pee wee baseball team, when it wasn’t about whether you won or lost, but how you played the game, life as an adult can be cruel.
Just ask Grady Sizemore, who not so long ago was considered one of the brightest young outfielders in the game, earning three All Star appearances, two gold gloves and one silver slugger by the time he was 25. But injuries have limited his results, and at the age of 30 he is all but forgotten.
“When you try your best, but you don’t succeed,” despite what Coldplay suggests, you are often lucky to keep your job. In the agency business, doing your best and not succeeding can lead to lots of bad outcomes, from getting an earful to getting the axe.
We live in a results-driven world. Performance matters, service matters, cost matters, relationship matters… everything matters. But don’t fool yourself, outcomes trump everything.
Which presents the opportunity for two lessons. First, we should probably be a little clearer with our children that when you play on a competitive field, everyone expects you to win (fun is a separate matter altogether). And second, setting crystal clear objectives makes it dramatically easier to know whether or not or to what extend you have succeeded – whether you are celebrating or defending yourself.
As Coldplay reminds in another song, “Nobody said it was easy.”