But it is not true that I am self-made. Like everyone, to get to where I am, I stood on the shoulders of giants. My life was built on a foundation of parents, coaches, and teachers; of kind souls who lent couches or gym back rooms where I could sleep; of mentors who shared wisdom and advice; of idols who motivated me from the pages of magazines (and, as my life grew, from personal interaction). Arnold Schwarzenegger
I featured Mr. Schwarzenegger’s statement in the “Acknowledgement” of my recent book, AVOIDING CRITICAL MARKETING ERRORS: How to Go from Dumb to Smart Marketing. It sums up my feeling about my successes in life and, for that matter, everyone else’s success—including yours! We didn’t fall into this life from outer space fully dressed for success. It took a team or, if you prefer, in the words of Michael Jordan, a (capable) supporting cast!
At 1:48 pm Central Standard Time on Sunday, 2 August 2020, the SpaceX Dragon, returned from outer space. The spacecraft completed a flawless 2-month mission that took two NASA astronauts to the ISS (International Space Station) and back, with a picture-perfect splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico, off Pensacola, Florida.
This spaceflight represents a historic mission. It was the first orbital mission launched from U.S. soil featuring American astronauts since 2011 when NASA canceled its Space Shuttle program. Moreover, they transported more than 300-pounds of experiments, equipment, and cargo from the ISS back to the U.S. Perhaps, more impressive, it’s the first human flight in a “commercial” spacecraft. Additionally, it’s the product of Elon Musk’s rocket company with NASA oversight and funding. This successful collaboration will serve to reignite space exploration.
I find many significant lessons from this success. These lessons include:
- The vision and devotion to achieving what others believe is impossible (e.g., commercial exploration of space, using the immune system to help defeat cancer).
- Importance of collaboration to fill gaps needed to achieve success (e.g., absence of funding for Phase 3 clinical studies for a promising compound or merchandisers to augment the retail sales force).
- Winning in business requires support from a team. It is not an individual sport, even if it is played as one.
While the NASA astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, epitomize courage, technical intelligence, and skill. Harkening back to Mr. Schwarzenegger’s acknowledgment, they did and could not achieve this historic mission alone. They had the help of thousands of other people. The rocket company had nearly 5,000 employees in early 2016. The number of contributors does not include those involved from NASA, and suppliers of everything from raw materials to state-of-the-art instruments and systems.
It doesn’t matter if your goal is put astronauts back on the moon or become a champion in an individual event such as tennis or, in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s case, a bodybuilder, you’re going to need a team. This is also true for marketers and the business enterprise.
Importantly, marketers need to lead the team. The marketer is responsible for “creating brand loyalty” and achieve target business objectives of sales, market share, and profit. You cannot bring customers into existence, go beyond a product to create a brand, or install customer loyalty without your extended team’s contributions. Nor will you realize your business goals. This team includes: the sales force, marketing research, medical affairs, legal and regulatory members, manufacturing, quality control, KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders), ad agency, packaging developers, suppliers, scientific advisory board, retail trade, and those many others who contribute to the development and execution of our business strategies.
Stop for a moment and adorn yourself with the “cloak of humility.” Make a list of the functional areas and people who comprise your team, and you require to create brand loyalty and achieve target business objectives. Identify with their input, what your brand needs from them, and when, to map your way to success. Monitor each step of the way to inspect for what you expect from every team member’s efforts. Lead by example.
Winning requires support from a team and your leadership.
Congratulations to the SpaceX-NASA team for going where no one had gone before—or at least in a long, long time!
Take your marketing to the next level to make it matter (more). Avoid critical marketing errors and adopt proven principles, best practices, and quality processes to impact sales, market share, and profit. Learn more here: http://bdn-intl.com/avoiding-critical-marketing-errors
Stay SAFE and be well.
Peace and best wishes,