Do You Play The Ball…

…or does the ball play you?

One of the VP’s of engineering used this expression to describe people within our organization and I think it is a great lense to review your actions and work from. Essentially, what we observed is that there are those that create, initiate, and drive efforts, while others are re-active.

Playing the ball is especially important to focus on in this economic climate. Read the WSJ every day and learn of large losses, big layoffs. For some reason the people remaining at companies do not end up with less work, but more. The old “do less with more” management mantra. Of course the real answer is: do less. But do the things that matter most.

Here are some questions for marketing to ask themselves as to whether they “play the ball”

1) How often does sales come with a deal that needs only one new critical feature to close a huge deal?

2) Do you prepare your marketing plan and then present at the quarterly sales meeting or does the quarterly sales meeting get scheduled driving you to create the marketing plan?

3) Same as #2 with product road maps…

4) Does you boss come and ask you “we need a market analysis of the XXX segment” or do you present to your boss before she asks?

You get the point. Today’s reduced staff and heavier workload, is not a reason to ignore the strategy. In fact it is a time to revisit and revamp your strategy.

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One response to “Do You Play The Ball…”

  1. Ella Mar says :

    I totally agree, I’ve never heard that term used before but the idea is bang on. If you don’t ‘play the ball’ your value and your impact is a fraction of what it could be. In any powerful organization you want proactive people who feel and take ownership… following directions takes a lot less effort and provides a lot less value!

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