The Toronto Blue Jays teach us how to go from good to great.
By Amber Hudson and Manoj Raheja
Since the ’93 World Series the Toronto Blue Jays have defined mediocrity. Sure, they tried a few things here and there but really they’ve remained steeped in the ordinary for over 20 years.
Enter Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos: a young guy in the last of his 6 year contract with the vision, passion and cojones to make a real change. We’re talking big, bold, risky moves including adding 6 new players in the past 2 weeks to take the talent in the roster from good to amazing. Anthopoulos is showing the world he isn’t messing around…these are true game-changing decisions.
Of course it’s one thing to lay down the vision; it’s another to make the vision a reality. And a reality it is: the Jays swept the first-place New York Yankees last weekend and are now just 1.5 games back in the American League East, up from 8. The fans, the city, hell the country is feeling the Jays fever (StubHub reported year over year ticket sales are +30%). It seems the big bets are paying off.
So take a lesson from Anthopoulos: to grow you need to identify what’s needed to take your brand from good enough to great. Then take the leap of faith. Dove did it by shunning models for real women in their successful “Real Beauty”. Red Bull grabbed attention by sending Felix Baumgartner to jump 130,000 feet from space. Old Spice increased sales 107% by deciding to talk to women through a shirtless dude on a horse. At the end of the day you just have to go for it because, as they say, the difference between mediocrity and excellence is often just a matter of effort.