My favourite Tommy Cooper joke is as follows.
“I had an interesting day today.
I had some good news, and some bad news.
I went up to the loft to look through the old junk up there.
Do you know what I found?
I found a violin and an oil painting, all covered in cobwebs they were.
Been there for years, untouched, no one knew they were there.
I rubbed all the dust off and cleaned ‘em up.
The good news is, one was a Stradivarius and the other was a Van Gogh.
What a find.
The bad news is the oil painting was by Stradivarius and the violin was by Van Gogh.
And Stradivarius was rubbish at oil painting.
And Van Gogh couldn’t make a violin to save his life.”
I like the simple logic of that joke.
I like the fact that each person was a genius at what they did, and crap at what the other did.
But that didn’t make them any less great at what they did.
So how come we assume that, because someone’s good at one thing, they’ll be good at everything?
What happened to specialists?
Why does everyone have to do everyone else’s job?
Why do planners have to have an opinion on editing?
Why do clients have to choose the director?
Why do creative directors have to be good at presenting to clients and going to meetings?
Why doesn’t anyone trust anyone else to do their own job?
Jonathan Pearce is a football commentator.
He said he was talking to Bobby Moore, the man who lifted The World Cup for England.
Bobby Moore asked him if he’d ever played football himself.
Jonathan Pearce said “I played at school, but I never thought of turning professional because I couldn’t head the ball, and I couldn’t run, in fact I never crossed the half way line.”
Bobby Moore smiled and said “I made a career out of that.”
See Bobby wasn’t trying to be all things to all men.
He wasn’t trying to do everyone else’s job.
He didn’t need to be constantly running upfront, telling the forwards what to do.
He was the best defender in the world.
That was good enough for him.
If he did his job brilliantly the team won.
End of story.
Do your own job brilliantly, and let other people do theirs.
Otherwise no one does either job well.
Jimmy Greaves was the most prolific goal scorer England’s ever had.
He summed his job up like this.
“I’d reckon to get into the box 500 times a season.
About 100 times the ball would come across.
Half the time I’d connect with it, and half of those would go in the net. And 25 goals a season would do me.”
Jimmy Greaves wasn’t talking about rushing back to help out the defence.
He didn’t see that as his job.
He knew he wouldn’t be any good at it.
He knows he’s got one job, scoring goals.
Do your own job, let the other people get on with their job.
At half time in the World Cup final, the England team came into the dressing room.
The manager, Alf Ramsey, said to Bobby Moore “As captain you need to be in control of what’s happening on the pitch.
So I’d like you to have a word with a few of the players. Here’s what I want you to tell Hunt and Hurst to do……”
Bobby Moore just carried on lacing up his boots.
He said “Leave off Alf. I’ve got me own game to worry about.”
And because of that attitude, England won the World Cup.