The Jack Factor

"Marucci"Chances are (unless you are an MLB player) you don’t know Jack. Jack Marucci that is. For the record, the bats used by greater than a 1/3 of all MLB players are ‘Marucci’ bats. Not bad for a guy who admits he never had a business plan and whose home and factory address were one in the same when the majors officially endorsed his product. What started as a hobby is now a highly respected business producing some 50,000 bats each year.

There’s a lot we can learn from Jack Marucci and chief among them is the value of humility in business. If polled, I suspect that a lot of folks would think twice about this and even fewer would be likely to practice it. As an example, in a recent post I mentioned inflated size messaging. That's when you pretend to be bigger than you are. For example, though you are a business of 1 you refer to yourself as 'we.' In another example, you invest in a multi-extension phone line, which reaches various departments even though all calls are answered by the same person. You believe that bigger is better, at least in the eyes of the beholder. I admit, sometimes this strategy yields amazing results. Take Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank for example; they founded Home Depot and they used the illusion of massive inventory (read: empty boxes) to propel them into the do-it-yourself stratosphere.

But for many of us humility can do amazing things. For one thing, humility feels good. No pretense, no need to build things up- just play it as it lies. We accept who we are and what we do; it does not mean we settle for less- it means we are content with our selves and the effort we are making. Most importantly we are not afraid to let that be known. It is this last matter that heralds another great advantage of humility- we are approachable. Humility is wildly disarming; the most jaded characters are often unsure how to behave in the face of humility. The more readily approachable we are, the greater the likelihood that we can showcase the great things we do. The third great thing about humility is that it serves as a reality check. Humility reminds us of the limits we have and the effort we must make to move beyond them. Rather than deter our potential, humility serves as a constant reminder that we can do more, if that is what we choose to do. It reminds us that obstacles are something we must accept and then choose to overcome.

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