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  • Bob Burg

“You've basically revolutionized the way we are doing business. . . Your teaching style is very, very effective.”

~ Thomas J. Bartosic, SVP, Career Sales, G.E. Financial Assurance

Joe Calloway And Those 1960’s Packers

May 16th, 2013 by Bob Burg

Be the best at what matters mostMy friend, Joe Calloway, acclaimed business speaker and author of several books, including the newly-released, Be The Best At What Matters Most, is not one who puts a high-price on being imaginative, innovative and unique…simply for the sake of being imaginative, innovative and unique.

Early in his book, he writes:

“Your goal should be to be so good at the basics that you are cutting edge…Note that I’m not talking about just being good. I’m talking about being *so* good at the basics that you are extraordinary. I’m talking about not just being competitive but actually *winning* on the basics. Here’s the reality: If you win on the basics, you win it all.”  

The above reminded me of the Superbowl Champion, Green Bay Packers of the 1960’s. Coached by the Legendary Vince Lombardi, they had a play called the Power Sweep. It was a very elementary play, about as fundamental and “easy to read” as a play could be. Yet, despite knowing the play was coming, the opposing defenses were powerless to stop it.

I used to love watching replays of it because it was simply the basic fundamentals of blocking and teamwork so excellently performed…it was, well, “cutting edge.”

As Joe says (paraphrased): people constantly talk about doing things “outside the box” when, in reality, the game (or, the business) is won “inside the box.”

Whether a power sweep or providing excellence to your customers on an ongoing, consistent basis, how do you win your games…inside the box? I’d love to know.

{Note from Bob: Joe’s book is magnificent. I harvested nuggets of gold to apply to my own business right from the beginning and all the way through to the end. HIGHLY recommend!}

18 Responses to “Joe Calloway And Those 1960’s Packers”
  1. Doug Wagner said at 1:55 pm on

    I really liked Joe’s book and the message in it. It is an excellent reminder that people come to you for a primary reason. If you don’t excel at that, then nothing else matters.

    There is a time and a place for the extras, once you have the basics down.

    This actually helps a busy business owner by telling you where not to waste your time. By reinvesting that time in the basics you actually deliver more value.

    Great post Bob.

  2. Bob Burg said at 2:00 pm on

    Doug: Great points you make – ALL of them. Joe has a way of delivering his message in such a way that it’s very easy to determine exactly what DOES matter most in your business and how to focus on that. As you implied, he has no problem with the extras, but they should add to – not replace – the basics. Brilliant book!

  3. Doug Wagner said at 2:08 pm on

    Yes Bob, and I loved how he also applied that not to just customers but to your employees and every other aspect of your business.

  4. Tom Byrd said at 4:36 pm on

    Thanks for sharing. Look forward to reading the book. Based on what you wrote reminds me of our mantra Be Brilliant at the Basics. Reasoning being if you can’t do basics really well then customer won’t trust you with the more advanced offerings. Take Care. Tom

  5. Bob Burg said at 5:02 pm on

    Tom: Thank you. And, yes, what a GREAT point!

  6. Pete Evans said at 5:11 pm on

    Great posting Bob. The posting is a timely reminder that is essential to do the simple things well.
    Those businesses which do the simple things well and then add the extras are the ones that consistently add value. It is also about practicing the simple things. Great sports teams practice the moves on the training pitch so that they then look spectacular during a match. This is what great sales people do, they practice the simple steps which are needed to be successful. Unless you are prepared to put in the hard yards, then you are not going to set yourself up for success.

    I am going to get the book!! Sounds like a great read.

  7. Bob Burg said at 5:24 pm on

    Pete: Right on, my friend. Great commentary!

  8. Amy Wells said at 9:10 pm on

    Bob, one of “the basics” that I constantly strive to do better and gooder and gooderest, is connecting. From the moment they walk in the door of my business, to the moment they walk out, everything stops while they are there to be served. Oh, except the other day, I pulled in the parking lot of my salon, as our first client was leaving…. I knew that she didnt have time to try anything on, so I went to her car door and knocked on her window. LOL By her size (large) I figured she was ‘shy to try’, so I said, “Hey, did you find anything you liked? I am the owner and I am sad that I missed being here while you were here.” She said, “Actually there was one dress that I was wondering if it would work.” She came back in the Salon and her first fitting is tomorrow…….connect connect connect. It’s basic!!!

    Thank you for getting me thinking.

  9. Doug Wagner said at 9:19 pm on

    That is a great story Amy. Wow.

  10. Bob Burg said at 10:18 pm on

    Amy: That’s awesome. And, knowing you as I do, it’s easy for me to see why you are a master connector! I agree with Doug…what a terrific story!

  11. Pete Evans said at 2:28 am on

    Amy. That’s a fantastic example. You did it so well and made your client feel so special. Connecting is so important in all aspects of our lives. It amazes me that when people go networking they don’t practice the basics of “follow-up”. If you take the time and trouble to network then you need to ensure that you “connect” properly afterwards.

    Thanks again for sharing Amy.

  12. Jeremy Weisz said at 11:35 am on

    Yes Bob,
    love your post. I immediately thought of John Wooden. Amazing book “wooden” talks about the fundamentals.

    thanks for the reminder of sticking to the fundamentals!


  13. Bob Burg said at 11:43 am on

    Jeremy: Thank you. Yes, Coach Wooden was another one like that. While certainly a different personality type than Vince Lombardi, his focus on the fundamentals was a huge part of his success, and the ongoing life success of his players. I loved the book, Wooden, as well. Thank you for sharing with us!

  14. @ericmortenson said at 8:07 am on

    Yes! Joe’s comment about thinking inside the box goes along with something I tweeted a month or two ago:
    Following the rules is my favorite way to innovate…nobody does it these days.

  15. Bob Burg said at 9:23 am on

    Eric: Profound point! 🙂

  16. Elle said at 10:37 pm on

    Thanks for the recommendation – have added it to my must obtain next time I go on amazon list 🙂

  17. Bob Burg said at 8:36 am on

    Elle: My pleasure. Extremely well-worth the read!

  18. […] much about? Or, could it be that the winners constantly think “outside the box”? In a recent post with noted performance expert, Joe Calloway, we saw that, actually the game is either lost or won […]

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