Confusing Passion with Competence

It happens every day…

There’s a myth in American business that the passion of genius drives results.

We picture the kid in blue jeans and t-shirt, shoeless, working non-stop, sleeping on the floor or an office couch, more engrossed in the making of the product than the rewards it will bring.

And we picture that because of the huge impact Steve Jobs has had on the world.

But there is no other Steve Jobs out there. If there had been, we’d already know about it. Mark Zuckerberg? The stock price thinks not.

The point is that behind Steve’s passion and reality distortion field were the nuts and bolts of brilliant engineering minds, like Jon Ive, and the detailed, left-brained distribution organization of Tim Cook.

Behind Steve Jobs were incredibly talented and competent people.

That’s what makes Radio so tough these days. Not enough incredibly talented and competent people inside each station. The ones in the building are over-worked.

We’ve got to have more creative insights because they’ve tended to be blocked by the number-crunchers from the Bain-types in each consolidated company.

But we’ve also got to have management that maximizes resources and recognizes great talent.

You can hire the most passionate PD or GM in the world and if s/he can’t walk the walk, your station’s going nowhere.

As the brilliant management guru, and former Heavyweight Champion of the World, Mike Tyson, once said, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”