‘We’ll Already Have Won!’
I was recently reminded of one of the most unlikely of business movies, Heaven Can Wait.
I thought of it as we were preparing the interview with Publisher Paul Feldman for the October edition of InsuranceNewsNet Magazine. I know this is quite in advance to tell you about it, but mark your calendar! It will be an intriguing and insightful feature.
The discussion was with Bo Eason, who was with the Houston Oilers for four seasons. Although an injury pulled him out of the game that he loved so much, he parlayed his life story to even greater acclaim as a sought-out speaker, actor and playwright. He wrote the play, Runt of the Litter, about his childhood and career in football.
His is a fascinating story about drive. Even though he was physically unsuited to be a college or professional player, he was not about to let that stop him. He just kept showing up and practicing hard until coaches and others had no choice but to accept him. In his interview with us, Bo said the best insurance salespeople have the same drive to succeed. They are never content.
The obvious connection with 1978’s Heaven Can Wait is that the movie’s main character was a pro football player. But, thinking back, it’s intriguing how good a business motivation movie it is, particularly in the context of its counter-culture era. Joe the quarterback died before his time because an anxious angel took his soul before his body expired.
Joe is sent back into the body of a recently expired millionaire and continues in his drive to play in the Super Bowl, even in the form of an out-of-shape rich guy. As he awaits the angel to find him an athlete’s body, love walks in the door in the form of a protesting environmentalist. Joe wants to stick around and help her, so he forgoes the other body and decides to buy his former team, the Los Angeles Rams, and starts training with his butlers.
Like Bo Eason, Joe projected his relentless drive and clear sense of direction wherever he went. He went into his corporate board meetings armed with football wisdom.
“What do you do when you’re ahead? … You don’t make mistakes. You don’t gamble unnecessarily. You protect your lead. You don’t pass from your own end zone. You make sure nobody gets hurt. You got to use these guys in the next game. … We’re not here for just one game. We’re going all the way to the Super Bowl! And when we get there, we’ll already have won!”
No one knew what Joe, in the rich guy guise, would do next. It was usually the right thing that would pay off in the end, but that that confused people familiar with the usually conniving millionaire.
He related to people. He spoke to what they really wanted and needed. He enchanted people with his energy and candor.
Those are all the ways Bo engages with his audiences. Even in a room full of thousands of people, individuals feel like he is speaking directly to them. I won’t give too much away, but in the October edition, we will explain his techniques for doing this.
But before adopting any techniques, understand they will be pointless without two elements: Desire and drive.
It’s an excellent reminder that in anything we do, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.