"The winner is the chef who takes the same ingredients as everyone else and produces the best results."
--- Edward de Bono
In his book, Quiet Strength, The Principles, Practices & Priorities of a Winning Life, Tony Dungy tells about his life as a football player, coach, father, and mentor. In it, Dungy describes how when he coached the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Indianapolis Colts, his strategy was the same: do the basics, but do them better than anyone else.
What an extremely simple, yet effective principle to apply to business as well. Too many times we tend to get caught up in finding a new way to increase profits or a different gimmick to help us improve our business, when the answer is right in front of us all along.
"If you took our top fifteen decisions out, we'd have a pretty average record. It wasn't hyperactivity, but a hell of a lot of patience. You stuck to your principles and when opportunities came along, you pounced on them with vigor."
--- Charlie Munger
Not that looking to improve or finding a unique way to do business is wrong --- quite the opposite. That is what catapults the average business to excellence. However, extreme focus to perfecting the foundation of the business is what keeps a business at that new level.
A quick examination of the most successful businesses throughout history will reveal that the leadership of the business focused on "doing what you do" better, day in and day out. It is that little edge that allows a business to beat out the competition every time.
"I always wanted to be the best I could be at whatever I did. I didn't want to be the number one golfer in the world. I just wanted to be as good as I could be. I work hard, I push myself hard, and I probably even expect too much of myself."
--- Greg Norman
You're going to hear a lot about resolutions and goal setting this time of year. It is expected and probably a good thing to do for many areas of your life. As for your business, perhaps a goal or resolution is to strive for perfection in the basics. Look at what the core of your business is and set some goals to be the very best at doing those things.
Whether it is installing LED signage, creating sign designs, forming neon, or gold leafing, set for 2008 (and beyond!) to be the best that you can at those things. It might mean taking some classes, hooking up with a mentor, or spending more time in the shop, but go the distance to major in the minors.
"I believe in giving everything my best shot. I do not believe in holding back. I am very driven by the fact that we are destined with these opportunities."
--- Shailendra Singh
Little by little, day after day improving what you do will gradually bring rewards. It works for winning the Super Bowl, winning a contract, increasing profits, and building a reputation. Make a resolution today to be the very best you can be at doing what you do.
"You don't win on emotion. You win on execution."
--- Tony Dungy
Willis Avenue Building and the Rooftop Sign that Wasn’t
By Louis M Brill
This is a tale of a billboard wind load that almost took down the building it sat upon and its replacement rooftop sign that really wasn't the roof sign it appeared to be.
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Today and Tomorrow: Considering Digital Imaging an SGIA Interview
By Dan Marx
In recognition of the SGIA Journal's 10th anniversary in 2007, we take a look forward and backward, evaluating how our industry has changed and how we expect it will change by the time the Journal celebrates its twentieth anniversary.
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Seen at a Gym in South Dakota:
"Merry Fitness and a Happy New Rear!"
On the door of a Music Library:
Outside a country shop in West Virginia
"We buy junk and sell antiques"
If you've read these before, sorry, but if you haven't sent in any new ones, shame on you. We know those funny signs are out there. Why not share them with the world? Send your comments, suggestions, and hysterical observations to: email@example.com.