In this episode, host John Laurito talks about creative thinking and execution in business. Now, most companies have SOPs in doing things, but it doesn’t mean that’s the only way to do them. Leaders can use this strategy of looking at things from a fresh perspective and executing things differently from how they used to be.
[0:20] John’s favorite movie
[3:18] Aspects of execution
John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership, and what makes the best leaders so good after running companies small and large over the last 20 years. Today, I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name’s John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader!
John All right. Welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep into all things leader-related, related to leading yourself and leading others, I’m John Laurito your host. So one of my favorite movies, I’ve seen so many zillions of movies, but one of my favorite movies and for a couple of reasons because I love the movie. But secondly, because it was really impactful to me at the time, and I’ll explain why I’m talking about it. But the movie is Tin Cup. This was a movie back in. I’m going to say like mid-nineties with Kevin Costner. Rene Russo and Don Johnson, and a bunch of other characters. Chichi Moran, a bunch people, and a funny show, golf movie about Kevin Costner becoming a pro golfer, and all this kind of fun competing at the U.S. Open. So in any event, I’m not going to give away the movie, but I will say there was a very significant meaning in this movie for me because I saw it at a time when I was in my second year of business, I was 23 or 24.
John I was not doing well. I was having a horrific time just in general, in business and life. I wasn’t making any money. I was in debt. I was not happy with really anything that was going on, and I just was like, All right, I’m right, I’m done, I’m throwing in the towel. I mean, I am really, I’m so sick of this business. I just don’t know why I can’t have success in it. This and that, and I just was like, OK, I just need a sign. I just need to know, do I keep going down this road and beat my head up against a brick wall? Or do I just throw in the towel and just do something different, something that’s better or easier or just different? I just need to get out of this. And I remember thinking just I was helpless, hopeless, and helpless. Like, literally, I had no idea what to do, and I was just like, praying for some kind of sign. Just tell me, somebody, tell me what to do, and I went to see this movie tin cup, coincidentally that night.
John And there’s a message in it at the end that resonated with me. And it was like the movie was speaking to me, and it was just all about, if you want something bad enough, I mean, truly bad enough, you do not worry about the consequences. You just keep going for it until you get it. Like, literally, if you truly pulled out the safety net and said, Hey, I don’t care what happens, I am going to do this and I don’t care what it takes, how many times it takes, whatever happens, I need to make this happen. It’s amazing, truly unbelievable what you can accomplish. So that movie was a turning point for me mentally, and I just was refocus at that point. Is that OK?
John I don’t really care. I don’t care how much debt I get into. I don’t care how long this takes. I’m going to be successful. And it was amazing that almost instantly my business started turning around. Almost instantly, it was unbelievable. It was incredible. So but that’s actually not the point of this me bringing up this movie. It does have major significance, but I watched it again recently and I was doing a workshop on the topic of execution. I was doing a workshop for some leaders on different aspects of executing at a high level. And I showed a clip in this movie and it happened to be the scene where Roy played by the main character, Kevin Costner, is making a bet with John Don Johnson, his nemesis in the movie, and they’re basically betting who can hit a seven yard, a seven iron farthest.
John And so Roy is the one Kevin Costner who makes the better challenges him, takes the first shot, hits it like 225 or something like that, which is a huge job for seven iron. And then Don Johnson really casually takes it, drops the ball from the same spot, but turns to a totally different angle. Hits it really nice and easy, but hits it instead of in the driving range. Hits it down a road and the ball just bounces and bounces and bounces. Amounts, bounce, bounce, and bounces and just doesn’t stop. So he obviously won, and that was who could hit the furthest. While nobody said you had to hit in the same direction or in the driving range, that was just an assumption that was made. Nobody spelled that out.
John The object was who can hit at the furthest, who can make this little white ball go the furthest? That was it. That was what the competition happened to be for a car was like this huge prize, right? So one of them went about it. The way that is assumed, it’s expected. OK, well, that’s the way we’ve always been. That’s the norm, right? And they hit it in the driving range, that’s where we hit balls, right? The other decided, You know what? Let me just actually think about what’s the objective here? And let me take everything off the table. There are no rules. OK, whatever I need to do, I just have to hit the ball with this seven iron. I have to. I can’t have somebody else this white ball. I’ve got to hit with this seven iron and somehow have it travel further than his ball. That’s it.
John And he figured out the way to do it. My point with this is, as leaders, sometimes we just get so fixated on one way to do things. We go down a road. We just assume that 50 percent of it is already mapped out for us because the strategy is already done. We can’t just deviate. It’s just now. We can only vary a little bit right now. Just think about the objective of what you’re trying to do and truly start with a blank canvas. I’ve talked about the zero-based budgeting concept, which is to scrap everything you’ve done in the past. Scrap your old way of thinking and truly come at this like you are just coming in fresh from a whole different industry, from a whole different company, from a whole different country, literally.
John Just look at it like this is entirely a clean slate. And it’s amazing when you start to really, really think out of the box and just narrow in on the objective. You start to come up with some unbelievably creative ways to go about doing it and solving the problem. So a really cool story just was a good reminder of the importance of being creative, not fixed on a certain set of norms, but creative in your thinking of how you’re going to execute. OK. That’s a big part of this. So with that said, I’ll give your time back in the day. Sure. One look at this and I’m heading back, possibly to do one more episode that I’m out of here on vacation.
John So in any event, I hope you enjoyed this. As always, like, subscribe, and share. I appreciate all your ideas for future content and guests and go down below. Give a five-star review. I appreciate you. Thanks, everybody. Bye.
John Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader for suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on!