The Standard

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“The standard is the standard.”

–     Matt LaFluer (b. 1979), first-year head coach of the 13-time World Champion Green Bay Packers

We know it when we see it.  The standard.  If we’re setting expectations well, no one need ever doubt our “standard.”

Seth Godin turns 59 today.  Seth makes me better, every day.  A client of mine uses #getbettereveryday, and Seth Godin is the embodiment of that hashtag.  I don’t agree with everything he says, yet if I had to argue on behalf of everything he says, I could.  His thoughts are that well organized, his perspective pointed and direct, but approachable.  Clarity is not only his friend, it might be his twin brother.  He is the standard for marketing thought and for directions to execute great marketing.  Subscribe to his blog here, and if you don’t think it makes you better, you’ll be mistaken.  Just sayin’…

Salvatore “Sal” (Teddy) Lococo would have been 62 yesterday.  There’s no link to Sal on Wikipedia, there’s no webpage for his work.  Sal was my friend and also my barber.  He was “the” barber in Milwaukee.  He cut Bud Selig’s hair every Friday morning at 10 AM, and until Buddy messed it up (usually within about an hour), he looked like a million bucks walking out of the shop.  Nothing drove Sal more crazy than Buddy being on TV with his hair “all wrong.”  “For —-‘s sake, Buddy!”  he would blurt out!  “What did you do?”  If you clicked the link on Selig’s name, you saw a photo.  Sal did not do that.  That was 100% Buddy’s handiwork!

Sal cut my hair every other Friday at 10:30.  He even made me presentable.  He cut it for both my mom’s and dad’s funeral, refused to accept payment and still did an incredible job even through real, Sicilian tears.  “Stevie, I can’t believe your dad is gone.  That’s just ——g breaking my heart!”  We cried real tears when Sal passed last year, because of the friend he was, not the barber.  That said, he set the standard for haircuts, and even though I like what my current stylist does with what’s left of my hair, Salvatore “Sal” (Teddy) Lococo was, and always will be, the standard-bearer.

In well-run organizations, the standard is the standard, and it is clear to anyone who cares to look.  We can try to raise it, and we should.  We can try to enhance it, which of course we should.  But we know it when we see it, and if we have to ask what it is, there’s more broken than just our standard-setting.

 

 


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