“I may not always be right, but I am never wrong”

By Lance Neuhauser Executive Vice-President, Strategy

In my last post (Lance’s Ten ‘Original’ Business Phrases to Live By) I outlined a mission to “divulge phrases that, when properly lived by will change mental constructs, raise levels of business and social consciousness, and ultimately save you time, money and sanity.”

It is important to note that I placed the word original in quotes. The reason…all 10 of the quotes will indeed be Lance originals. However, some of the quotes may be variations/augmented versions of other quotes.

Case in point…

My Bubby (a.k.a. grandmother) was the one notorious for saying, “I may not always be right, but I am never wrong”. Whereas I was notorious for laughing at her.

Why? Because her logic was clearly off, and because arguing against a Bubby violates all kinds of rules if you ever want see a homemade banana cake again.

Then I started working in marketing, and the logic of her statement began to grow on me.

I have since modified the quote to read:

“As long as I have logic and rationale I may not always be right, but I am never wrong.”

Think about it.

We are in a profession where art meets science, intention battles behavior, and causality is deduced.

Bill Cosby says, “The first law of Advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague.”

And according to British author and mathematician Bertrand Russell, “everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.”

In our business, concrete answers are not found in our precision, but rather in the actions and reactions that stem from our logic and rationale. Therefore, as long as we create a consistent method by which we arrive at logic based conclusions, we can head down a path that proves 1 of 2 things:

  1. We are right. We improve results. Our art is scientifically validated. Behavior is better met with intention. Causality is mapped to action.
  2. Our results do not improve, but we are not wrong. We deduce the variations in our art that reduces intended behavior. We discover another way not to be right.

In actuality, there are very few fields of study that contain right and wrong answers. Pure sciences like chemistry, mathematics, and accounting are close. However, even in those cases, the most evolutionary practitioners challenged laws, advanced logic and built a new foundation from which to determine what is right and what is another way to not be right.

FDR said it best, “it is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.”

In our world of marketing, specifically digital marketing, that allows us to change quickly, learn and change again, we are the only ones to blame if we ever land on a wrong answer.

Being wrong means not being diligent. It means not taking a method. It means not being frank. It means not trying again.

Therefore, if you join me in the quest to always have logic, rationale and an action plan, you too may not always be right, but you’ll never be wrong.

And since we are committing to always ‘take a method’, it is important for us to discuss how we will actually arrive at our method. Which brings us to Quote 2…

Stay tuned for:

“Information is only as useful as the actions that result from it.”


Copyright © 2008 Resolution Media, Inc. All rights reserved.