“Come back with your shield – or on it” – (Plutarch Spartan Battle Cry)
Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the National Football League, loves to say he’ll do anything to ‘Protect the Shield’. He’ll discipline players, fine the owners, change the rules, anything to protect the brand that is the NFL. To him, the shield is the most important thing in his world.
He knows who he is, and what his organization stands for. And whether you like the soup he is selling or not, you have to admire his focus on doing whatever it takes to stand behind his brand.
In the last few months, all of us at Hand Crank Films have been searching for that level of integrity. We’ve turned down a few clients not because we can afford to (we can’t) but because they didn’t quite fit into what we believe our shield should stand for: quality that matters. Vision that is unexpected. Something different that we are unique to provide. It’s easy to talk about but much tougher to live by, and that’s the journey we’re on right now.
And yes, we know that tons of people talk about ‘quality’ or ‘caring’ or ‘the passion behind the project’. They are common words to aspire to. But much fewer of those people actually commit to living those words out, to doing whatever it takes to make them happen. It’s hard work, but work that needs to be done.
ACTION ITEM: Do you know what your shield stands for? Or maybe (like us), what you want it to stand for? If you do, then commit to reaching it a little each and every time.
We like to think we’re up to the task. Damn straight. And if you are too, maybe we can help each other get there.