Tuesday, March 18, 2014

You quote out of context.

I don't know about you, but whenever I see someone quoting a coach of whatever generic sports team applied to business, religion, life, etc. I cringe.
It tells me that no one has really got a better idea, or there's not much good news to share. In place of that, you have to try to fire the troops up with whatever you've got, and that means sports. There will be a clear winner, a clear loser, both sides will give 110% (despite being mathematically impossible, for either side) and nothing real will be lost!
It's a psychological trick to make you feel better about the situation you find yourself in while those in charge try to figure out what the fuck they're really going to do. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't.
This quote, in particular, is worthless. It's wrong. The speed a group travels at is the speed of the lowest unit within that group. A leader could choose to expelled the slowest, and thereby increase the overall speed of the group, but if it's established that the maximum speed is X, handwaving and cheer-leading will still result in X speed.
You'll also notice the quote is unattributed. I expect that if you found the guy who said it in the first place and asked him how it applied to selling office supplies in a retail space, he'd be making the same face you're making now reading this.
If you really want a quote, try this one from Sun Tzu;
When you are weak, try to appear strong. When you are strong, appear weak.
Recently, Office Depot and Office Max merged, we're told, to stand-up to Staples who has been kicking both our collective asses. Earlier this month, Staples began closing some of their stores. So our competitor had the appearance of strength, but... Maybe we should stick to reading The Art of War and leave the football quoting to the armchair quarterbacks on Sundays.