Don’t Let The Play Get In The Way Of The Game

When I was in high school my basketball coach, Bruce Davenport, told us something I have never forgotten. He said, Boys…this is how the play works, stick to the play…and if the play isn’t working…play the game and remember…don’t let the play get in the way of the game, because no matter what… we are here to win the game.

I have used that analogy so many times. I can’t tell you how many times this situation comes up in everyday life experiences and in relationships… especially in the work place.

In our fast changing culture of new media and new ideas…if you always stick to the play book or the rules or guidelines or whatever you want to call it…you will loose the game at some point.

One of the things as a marketer I know is you MUST have the ability to change and adapt quickly and go with your gut for what the situation dictates.

When we were playing basketball, we could execute a play over and over and over again and it would work every time…until that one time where it was not working…as soon as we would see the play wasn’t working we stopped the play and just played the game…time to focus on the basket and go for the best shot, the best way you know how. It’s that simple.

If you always play by the rules without knowing how to play outside the rules then you or you business will be viewed as old fashion, obsolete, not up with the changing market, etc…you will get passed by, over looked and the little guy in the corner that is flexible in his approach will win every time. But remember, it helps to know the play or rules in order to change at a moments notice.

Does it mean you abandon the play or rules every time? No…you have to have a foundation that you know works. I’m saying that it might not work every time. You have to know when to change and adapt so that you can play the game in order to get the desired result.

Experience and maturity help in knowing the bigger picture of how your game is supposed to be played. Just don’t forget to play with lots of energy. Experience and maturity combined with energy leads to powerful knowledge that will get you through your game of business in the best way possible.

Where do you sit in the game? Are you so ridged that you ALWAYS follow the play or are you flexible enough to change to get the desired end result?


The views expressed here are those of a personal nature and do not reflect the corporate view of my employer or anyone else who employee my services.
  • NashvilleDebbi

    Kinda like a Zen moment. Free your mind and the rest will follow…Great article Spence!

  • Kyle Reed

    Reminds me a lot of the post on samba blog today (
    They talk a lot about the fact that we focus on certain things that seem obvious to spend our time on (the play) but in reality these things do not take us forward, they do not promote us to move up in the company (the win).

    I am totally with you on this one. I don't really want to play by the rules. I know that there is a structure to things, but I do not want to be so caught up in the structure and rules that I cannot see outside the box. that is what scares me, when I get caught up in routine and structure. Being 24 and in a job that is not predictable I often times want to revert to the rules, what makes sense , and how to get success, but ultimately I feel like it is so unpredictable that you cannot capture it with a formula but instead to just go out and play.

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