Tag Archives: being the best

Let it or Make it?


I’m a pretty laid back guy.  When things need to get done though, I make them happen instead of let them happen.  Yesterday one of my buddies said, “man, things are pretty slow today.”  Things are slow because we are allowing them to be slow.

To make things happen one must:

  • Learn the system and identify slack points and remove them.
  • Meet the people involved, especially decision makers, address their concerns directly and mitigate.
  • Drive the timeline.  When will this step be completed?  What’s next?  Warm up the next step.
  • Congratulate accomplishments.
  • Keep the bosses excited so you can ensure resources and support.
  • Be ready, each ‘thing’ made happened opens up the possibility for another.

If you let things happen you wait for things to come to you.  You avoid pressuring the system, your peers, subordinates or superiors.

It doesn’t matter if you work at McDonalds, Google or the White House.  Stop waiting for someone to hand you a purpose and make things happen, time is running out.

The Making of America: True Story

Are you willing to work?

True Story:

A large area immediately outside my office had to be excavated due to some kind of underground HVAC flooding problem.

The first day was pretty hot.  The guys started to clear the stones then cut into the dirt with a shovel.  It was getting hotter.  A few guys worked on it at first, then as the job expanded the guys had other duties to do and one guy was left to dig.  It was hot.  The man dug and dug.  It was apparent at this point that the shovel he was given was inadequate for the job.  He was in jeans that didn’t fit well and an old t shirt, he just kept digging.

The next day, another guy was on the job.  He was younger, tall and slender.  He dug some when he first arrived but the heat came quick.  He dug a little, stopped for a smoke. Dug a little more, did some texting then his buddy showed up.  He sat on the side of the hole for a bit, smoked and talked then dug a little more.  Someone brought over some Gatorade and a sandwich.  He left earlier in the day than the guy from yesterday.

It rained heavily that night.

The next day the first guy showed up again.  Since it had rained the job site was a bit of a mess.  The hole no longer had perfect edges, it was sloppy and eroded.  The dirt pile was flattened and some was falling back into the hole.  The man did what he could to shovel it out.  He wasn’t having much success.  He grabbed a nearby plastic cup from a fast food restaurant (the big kind that are against the law in NY) that was littered from the past.  The man began using the cup to throw the water out of the hole.  He had to throw it some distance as to avoid it from receding back.  He did this for several hours, even as it started to rain again.

The final day an excavator showed up, now with space to expand the hole.  In a few days, the entire job was finished.  It was covered nicely with new gravel, looking better than when it had started.

I didn’t see Juan or Steve again.

Fried dough with sugar; who does it better? The hedgehog does.

I grew up on Long Island.   We had Dunkin’ Donuts.  I have fond memories of my Mom bringing home a dozen donuts or stopping by for a quick Boston Creme before we got on the train.  It was good.

Dunkin Donuts makes the best donuts and coffee on the planet.

Dunkin Donuts makes the best donuts and coffee on the planet.


Dunkin Donuts makes sandwiches.  Shitty ones.  Dunkin Donuts makes…well, they have ice cream stores attached to them now.  They make all kinds of garbage.  Check out the front page of their website:  www.dunkindonuts.com

They lost their brand.

What if, for the last several years, they just refined and built on to the fact that they make the best coffee and donuts on the planet?  Whether or not its true doesn’t matter; it can be true.

What if for the past several years they concentrated on just coffee and donuts, that perfect combo and left the rest to fast food joints or other, lesser establishments?

The Dunkin Donuts brand would be a lot better off.  Maybe they would make less money in the short term, but in the long term, they could forever seal their fate as the best coffee and donuts on the planet.

I walk into Starbucks and ask the bubbly chick what she does and she says she is a barrista.  She makes coffee, oh yeah, they have some other stuff too.

When I walk into Dunkin Donuts the dude isn’t sure what he does, he makes ice cream sundaes, terrible sandwiches, some  ice cream cakes, breakfast burritos and oh yeah, donuts too.

It’s sad really.

It all goes back to the hedgehog concept.  To be truly successful, you should:

1.  Determine where your passion is.

2.  Determine what you CAN be the best at.

3.  Determine what drives your profit engine.

Jim Collins, author of the Good to Great series describes it in video here:

The Hedgehog Concept

You can apply this anywhere.  Apply it to your life.  Apply it to your office.  There is something that you are passionate about, something that you can be the best at, and maybe it will even pay the bills…if not, maybe it should.  Whatever you choose should not be breakfast burritos, though.

Romeo Dance Cheetah – US Air Guitar Champion

He’s the best at what he does; can you be the best at what you do?

A few weeks ago I met this dude, stage name: Romeo Dance Cheetah.  He is a marketing guy who specializes in video production.  Pretty good guy it seems.

His boss mentioned that he was a national air guitar champion while we were having lunch.  After thinking about it, I was impressed.

He is the best in our country at what he does.  He trained, he performed and he won.  He went on to the international championship (I think in Amsterdam) but was out gunned.

Not everyone can be the best but we can try.  Maybe instead of trying to be the best and falling short, we should spend time trying to find out what we can be the best at, and then do it.

Either way, accept your lot or try to be the best, your choice.

My hats off to you Romeo Dance Cheetah.