#4 Core Competency vs. Innovation

  I sell ice in the winter, I sell fire in hell

I am a hustler baby.  I’ll sell water to a well

I was born to get cake, move on and switch states

Cop the Coupe with the roof gone and switch plates

 Jay-Z    U Don’t  Know The Blueprint

 Naturally, sales people think this is a mantra for them exclusively.  Just give me the product, and I will make it happen.  This is not the point as BPM sees it, however.  There is a point highlighted by Jay-Z that is bigger and that is true in sales and finance and law and any other business function.  Supreme confidence is critical to success.  Supreme confidence is not to be confused with arrogance or bluster, which often limit success.  People gravitate towards confidence.  It is true of the gawky teenager looking to the uber-cool jock, just as it is true of sophisticated adults.  If you exude confidence, people will be comfortable doing business with you.  If you are too cocky they will shun you or seize the first slip on your part as an opportunity to attack.  Jay-Z sets the right tone.

 Jay-Z is aware of his skill set.  He understands that the hard sell is one that he can make and has no problem with a straight forward declarative of the fact.  All of us need to approach our respective talents in this manner.  Play to strengths and don’t hesitant in stating them.  Exude blunt, confidence when presenting ourselves to the outside world.  Demeanor is everything.  Frankly, BPM does not know if Jay-Z can move the ice and fire inventory as stated, but he does not hesitate or waiver in presenting that skill set.

 Note, however, that the same quotation reflects a flexibility that recognizes personal limits.  Jay-Z talks about his exit strategy. The bottom line is that Jay-Z is going to make what money he can, close up shop and move on.  Frankly, it appears that if he finds his self-confidence is misdirected he may even reinvent himself/switch plates and try a different audience.  The Cop the Coupe reference is truly the most refreshing restatement of the hackneyed “think-outside the box” axiom.  Hopefully, the average professional will not need to switch zip codes when things go awry, but Jay’s flexibility is noteworthy.

When you walk in a room to give a speech, are called on the telephone to give an opinion or pushed out front to do the explaining, do it confidently with respect to the matters you do know.  We are not all experts in many areas, but we can calm people down when they have confidence about what skills we do have.  If that fails, wrap it up quickly and move shop. 




The Brand Speaks for itself or Takeaway#3

I’m genuine like Gucci, raw like sushi

Big Daddy Kane  Raw Long Live the Kane

Speak less, say more.  There is a beauty to this Strunk & White concise statement that can only be destroyed by commentary.

BPM thinks of the essence of branding when hearing this line.  The succinct couplet tells BMP who e Kane is.  He is a quality item.  He certainly is not one of the knock-off Rolexes and Louis Vuitton bags that littered the streets of New York and Venice when he wrote this line.  He is the genuine article.  Moreover, he has texture and taste.  Taste the wasabi and know that he is potent.  It is beautiful.

How many of us can say the same for our practice and our own corporate brand.  Do you say too much in memoranda and meetings?  Does your PowerPoint deck have too made slides?  Sometimes, the talkative dilute efficacy by speaking too much and really saying nothing … all sound and fury.

Does your communication and tagline succinctly address the fullness of your brand?   Let this be a model to tightening your expression for the most impact.

Do you understand BPM’s take?  If so, here is a takeaway for you.





Other Related Links:  Brand Discussion at SXSW

Takeaway #231: Sustainable competitive advantage

i ain’t doing this for a check or fame
this right here is to relieve my pain

Theophilus London Humdrum Town

Takeaway#231:  What is your sustainable, competitive advantage?  What drives you on a daily basis to go the extra mile and work a little harder?  It can’t be just the money.  It may be that on which you spend the money.  You need to isolate that advantage, now.  It is your weakness and strength.  The reality is you can’t really do it well, unless you know exactly why you are doing it.

 Humdrum Town Video Clip

Takeaway #136: stay liquid, my friend…

        Whose house? HOV no doubt

 ‘Bout the only rapper still gettin money in the drought

 I moves out in the global

I’m a mogul fifty thousand feet in the air and I’m still on my mobile

Jay-Z   (Jockin Jay-Z The Blueprint 3)

Takeaway 136: The funds are dry in credit gulch.  Are you liquid? Are you hedged? Can you hear me now or are you still talking on a Motorola Star-Tac telephone with Gordon Gecko?