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#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. 




About codemizell

The Beats Per Management collective (“The BPM”) is curator for C.O.D.E Mizell and supports the repurposing of hip hop content for professional success. BPM consists of former Hip Hop junkies now living in the corporate world. BPM members carried milk crates of 12” records when “bpm” used to mean beats-per-minute for mixing music, now BPM members focus on Excel spreadsheets, legal briefs, power points, whiteboard-scribbling and business plans. BPM cannot shake the instant recall of Hip Hop lyrics. The good news is that BPM realized that these lyrics had application to its daily management concerns. BPM does not claim to have captured the true artist intent in its lyrical analysis, BPM seeks only to celebrate the role that hype-lyrics can play in the daily grind to get business done in the corporate world. This is not a glorification of urban pop-culture or a debate on the poetic merits of rap, we leave that to the literary critics and socio-political commentators. If you disagree with BPM send us your spin on the lyrics. We have an open mind, and hope you do. The “BPM Takeaways” dispense reminders for your business day. Hopefully, the next time a referenced-cut is heard on the radio, it will trigger your “Takeaway” and not just flashbacks to the music video. A quote-a-day will make you a better executive. BPM hopes to keep all advice short and to the point – Executive Summary Style. Technically the lyrics are “raps” and the culture of the genre is “hip hop” but lets not get overly technical -- substance not form that controls here. The point is you are putting that untapped knowledge to use. And to think they said that Hip-Hop would get you nowhere…puhhleasse. -Roscoe Waxx for BPM

2 responses to “#4 Core Competency vs. Innovation

  1. Nicki Minaj exemplifies the Jay-Z innovation lesson: The innovative leader


  2. …”it appears that if he finds his self-confidence is misdirected he may even reinvent himself/switch plates and try a different audience.” — Yes, good. Nimbleness. Necessary in business and life, particularly in times of crisis. Resilience.

    Will havet o miss your Harvard talk Friday. Bummed about that. Was hoping to be involved in the Q&A ad say “hello.” Hope the session is available online at some point. “Do your thang B!”

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