The power of instinct

If this blog was written on Sesame Street (which it often feels like it is when leftover cookies are to be found in the board room) it would be brought to you by the word ‘irony.’ Not due to any rainy wedding days or an excess of spoons when a knife is needed, but rather through your humble narrator’s struggle to find the words for this piece when over-thinking it. It was only when switching off my more critical faculties and letting the words flow that this blog started to take shape. It became clear that, while there is always a time and a place for scheduling, discussing and plotting, sometimes it pays to let the heart rule the head and just go with the flow.

We all know the power of acting on impulse – anybody who plays sport can wallow in the glorious memory of an instinctive swing of a boot, bat or racquet that reaped results. Though, how often in business has taking such a chance proved fruitful? It’s rare indeed that a true success story starts with rolling the dice, screwing the eyes shut and hoping for the best, but equally an ocean born of examination does not necessarily guarantee smooth sailing. Often times, the strongest ideas take years to build, nurture and tweak– and these are the concepts that frequently leave an indelible mark on the landscape of our industry and popular culture as a whole. However, following the heart is an equally appealing philosophy when the ‘right’ decision does not make itself immediately clear.

Gut instinct is appealing, but, of course, it’s not always to be trusted – just ask the A&R department of Decca Records, who infamously declined to sign The Beatles at the start of the ‘60s as they considered guitar music to be declining in popularity. On the other hand, consider the case of the Sporting Director who took a chance on a sickly child with growth hormone deficiency, bringing him to a new country and footing the bill for costly medical treatment. That child grew up to be Lionel Messi, widely considered the greatest player in the world’s most marketable sport. Or take the young American who dropped out of college prior to graduating with an idea and an instinct that it would all work out for the best – next time you look at your iPod you may remember that things didn’t work out too badly for Steve Jobs. It seems that combination of following gut instinct and relying on experience can be the best approach, both in life and in business – and yes, even in writing blogs.

Written by Greg Porter, PLBR Operations Manager

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