I touched recently on the differing core approaches to elite level football presently battling for supremacy. There's been a number of progressions in how the game ought be played, since first codified in mid-19th Century England.
Tactically in more recent times, the 'Total Football' of 70s Dutch masters help give us their word (happily for my limited linguistics from commonplace ancient Greek root) for this concept; filosofie. The label popularised by the sport's global icon Pelé, The Beautiful Game, associates closely in age and expression.
Since then, a trio of philosophies have vied for dominance. The Italian catenaccio, of the defence focused door-bolt, where if nil-nil you think you're winning. The German gegenpress, of 'heavy metal' high-press and blistering counter attacks. And the Spanish evolution of Total Football itself, as tiki-taka, which majors on possession and mesmeric swift, short passing.
Nowadays the latter is viewed as holding primacy. Yet astonishingly tricky to replicate, let alone advance.
I mull this over here because I note an English team, with recent appearances across Europe, appoint their latest manager on account of his 'outstanding interview in which he outlined his philosophy and vision for [the Club]'s future'.
In one sense, I was quite taken with a separation of philosophy and vision.
Not so long ago, such constructs could've been lazily treated as synonymous.
I attended B-school when only the mission statement of purpose had back then just begun to be considered.
The emergence of vision, as a separate entity, was a welcome later development. I also recognised this as also contributing to 'strategic intent'. As given pop-sci boost via Malcolm Gladwell's Blink explanation of Commander's Intent. Moving from the "why" of mission to "where we want to be".
The 'how' branched off into its own 'strategic statement'. Akin to what senior execs tell investors or divulge on analyst calls. I like the framing of this as your competitive game plan.
Then to manifesto became a thing. Where an underpinning list of core principles set out the values guiding your endeavour. It is today's flavour of this that gets summed up as your philosophy.
Sadly such thinking, formally or otherwise, to frame these essential strategy flagstones is seldom undertaken widely or openly.
Not solely through ignorance or idleness or dismissal I must add. I've run sessions with leadership teams on these, and properly creating them is a deceptively deep and difficult task.
Since the days of prime Drucker (who else?) their nuances and construction may have evolved but you can always gain great insight from drafting your versions of them.
Focusing back on philosophy, it can be tricky to list your “what we believe in and how we will behave”, without falling prey to a buzzword bingo trap. There's a plethora of positive traits. So how do you select those integral to you, without sounding like random values generator output?
I use a test for fresh music releases I won't hear twice; tuneless, derivative and vapid. Markers which may equally apply to inauthentic, lifeless and anodyne statements of principles and values.
Which brings us back to footballing doctrine and your selling ideals.
The tighter your Sales Philosophy, the higher your chance of not simply winning customers, but winning better customers.
What beliefs and methods and drivers complement your ambitions?
Are you a safety-first, competitive lock-out choice? All guns-blazing breathless rapid-fire force? Or territory-owning, space-filling, tilting dominator?
Other combinations and options are available.
Principles that work for me include the unambiguous pursuit of stated client life improvement. Where a focus is lasered on the issue of concern you resolve. The uncovering, explanation, and delivery of such relief committed to a particular, distinguishing standard.
When you are living such genuine values that both bind those with whom you sell and attract durable customers who enjoy verified fruits, you know you're on the right track.