Monday, March 9, 2009

The two attitudes.

On Saturday I heard on the radio a wonderful, mordantly cynical turn of a phrase from Steve Post, the host of a radio show on WNYC called "The No Show."

The phrase was, "Where there's a will, there's a won't."

It occurs to me this gloomy Monday that that phrase, and its more usual counter-part, "Where there's a will, there's a way" encompass the difference between successful and unsuccessful businesses. (As opposed to the Marxian, "Where there's a will, there's a lawyer," which has nothing to do with anything.)

Here's what I mean. And don't for a minute think I am writing anything profound here. It's all so painfully obvious--painful because it is most often the obvious that is over-looked.

1. Where's there's a will, there's a won't. Companies and people with this attitude are destined to fail. This is playing defensively, back on your heels. There are plenty of reasons why NOT to do something. Choruses of nay-sayers. Innovation, risk-taking, challenging the status quo is prohibited.

2. Where there's a will, there's a way. The companies and people with this attitude make things happen despite difficulties and obstacles.

There are two ways and only two ways we can face the future. Which will you choose?


Anonymous said...

My last job was at a wonky little agency that upheld that motto. It was mesmerizing to be told off for working a little longer to improve a concept or asking questions in a meeting. They'd hit some kind of peak in the early 90s and were trying to ride that wave forever, without rocking the boat.

george tannenbaum said...

I know that place. I think I worked there too.

Unknown said...

Well, where's there's a client (and all she/he/thee, has to go through to get your work trough there's a nil, not a will, at best a bill