Pending Business: Keep It Simple

By Steve Lapa
Lapcom Communications Corp


PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The thing about great leaders is their ability to keep the mission simple.

I once asked a Super Bowl champion coach how he coached temperamental wide receivers earning millions of guaranteed dollars each season. His answer was elegantly simple. I tell them, “You get paid to just catch the ball.” Sounds simple, right? Except when two opponents are coming for you at Mach 4 speed, trained to deliver that bone crushing collision to make you regret even thinking “just catch the ball.” The mission is simple yet executing the mission, not so easy. And so it was with the legendary Lowry Mays, founder of Clear Channel Communications, now iHeartMedia.

His recent passing was the subject of a short profile in the September 16 edition of The New York Times. The article referenced one of his great sayings, We’re simply in the business of selling our customers products.” For a man who knew little about the radio business when he started and built what still stands as the largest owner of terrestrial radio stations in the world, he understood keeping it simple. The Clear Channel mission was stated in 10 words or less for thousands of radio station talent, sellers and managers to follow. But like that highly paid athlete, when we hear those distracting footsteps instead of focusing on the mission, we fumble opportunity. So how do sellers and managers keep things simple and stay focused? Here are some tips:

  • Clear goals. Review your goals daily. Are they simple, realistic and measurable or foggy and soft? Do you write down your goals and read them every day? The best hard drive ever invented is above your shoulders.
  • How am I doing, coach? Winners want feedback. No matter what your tenure or income level, seek input on your performance. It will help you course correct and adjust before the wheels come off the sales wagon.
  • Are your unique selling points simple and easy to understand? I would often ask people outside of our industry for feedback on my presentations. The feedback forces simplicity.
  • Fun facts can be distracting. So many sales calls and proposals are overloaded with useless information.

From Super Bowl champions to a legendary media empire, the simple missions win.

Steve Lapa is the president of Lapcom Communications Corp. based in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Lapcom is a media sales, marketing, and development consultancy. Contact Steve Lapa via email at: