Monday, January 12, 2009

Winning Ugly Together


My mantra for 2009 is “Winning Ugly Together”. I wish it were “Winning Beautiful Together” but the reality is that the economic and commercial challenges we face will draw on our stamina and our imaginations in ways most of us have never faced before. It’s going to be ugly, and the only way to face this is a) together and b) with a totally winning attitude.

“Winning Ugly” is borne of the rough and tumble of great victories on the rugby field, on the basketball court, on the tennis court, in political arenas, in battlefields. Grit, guts and genius spilling out from every pore to secure victory at the final moment.

Vince Lombardi, football “Coach of the Century”, said “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit.”

I’ve just had a note from Pully Chau, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi China. Their new business team worked for six weeks straight, relentlessly, and have come up with five major new business wins and two pending. This is a time for ultra-competitiveness and the China Lovemarks Team have set the 2009 benchmark for our network. They are committed to playing smarter; actions not words; inspirational leadership; optimism; and keeping the love flowing.

Nothing has changed in the belief system we have developed over the last decade: Peak Performance; Lovemarks as a world-changing idea; True Blue as our means of creating sustainability. Nothing Is Impossible remains stamped on our foreheads. All of this gets executed in 2009 with urgency, relentlessness, and a passion to win. Together. Ugly (or Beautiful). As Sean Fitzpatrick, the most successful All Black captain of all time said after a memorably bruising encounter, “It wasn’t pretty out there, but we’ll take the win.”