Call me Ishmael.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.
You might recognize these lines.
They're the openings, respectively, to Moby Dick, A Tale of Two Cities, and The Old Man and the Sea.
I was thinking about great openings the other day when an employee of mine came to me with an idea for a promotion Steiner Sports could do in conjunction with WFAN for one of our player meet-and-greets.
It was a great idea. If handled well, WFAN would win, Steiner would win, the players would win - everyone would be happy.
But even though it was a great idea, I wish he had come to me with more.
What I mean is:
How will that deal help the rest of the company - in addition to the one department it's directly tied to?
How will this deal lead to the next deal?
How will this deal make more money than similar options?
In other words: How does this story end?
What does it look like when you play the tape all the way through?
A great idea is nice, but I like to see my team members finish the story all the way through. It's nicer when they do that and I, as the manager, don't have to step in and come up with the ending. Saves everyone a lot of time.
My question to you is: How many times have you presented a great idea to your company, without finishing the story?
Just as a great novel needs the whole story, so does a great business deal.
In effect, the finish is where you make the money.
Did you know that the most successful people in the world never come up with an idea first? That’s because the most successful people do the best job of improving an already existing product or service.