“Somewhere, Darth Vader, Lex Luthor and Mr. Burns are smiling…”

By Matter

Last night, the Yankees won their 40th AL pennant by ousting the Angels 5-2 in Game 6 of the ALCS. While the victory has already brought about the usual parade of cringe-worthy quotations from Mr. Kate Hudson (“I couldn’t be more excited,” he said. “I feel like a 10-year-old kid.”) and I, admittedly, hate seeing the Yanks win anything, the franchise’s accomplishment got me thinking about sustained excellence.

Many Sox fans make the evil empire, buying-all-up-all-the-talent argument to explain the history of success in NYC. I suppose that’s fair, but it certainly doesn’t negate any triumphs enjoyed; it’s just smart business, and, in truth, the Sox have patterned themselves after this in recent years. I think whether it be by aggressive investment or disciplined preparation, the elite teams, companies, PR people, et al. stay at the top of their game by maintaining a distaste for the mediocre and the idle and by labeling anything less than outstanding as unacceptable.

Of course there are times when, as PR people, we won’t get ink on a story angle we’re pitching or a new social media program may be slow to get digital word-of-mouth flowing. (It’s been six years since the Yankees have been in the World Series, after all, even longer since winning the Championship.) What we have to avoid is hanging our hats on past successes and letting our creative energy and tenacity for results stall.

One of my biggest pet peeves, both in and outside of the world of PR, is lethargy and excuse-making. Whether it’s the fear of the seemingly insurmountable tasks before a complicated event or program, or the memory of past challenges, we have to avoid self-created distractions and keep focused on fresh strategy and smart, sustained execution to create continued production for our clients. Keeping a steady eye on why something won’t work shutters inventiveness and is a major drag on any team.

So, in honor of The Pinstripers, I encourage you to keep your rally caps on all week and pursue success with some good, old fashioned greed. Stay thirsty, my friends.