The Third Inning: The aggressive team is often the winning team

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Today is the third inning of The Porch’s baseball series at the start of the 2016 season. Today, we look at being aggressive. So, here is the full line-up for the series:

· First Inning: Everyone has a chance!

· Second Inning: Patient pondering, then frantic action!

· Third Inning: The aggressive team is often the winning team

· Fourth Inning: If you can hit….

· Fifth Inning: Many singles are better than one solo home run

· Sixth Inning: A strong bullpen is key

· Seventh Inning: Time to stretch

· Eighth Inning: Rally time!

· Ninth Inning: “It ain’t over till it’s over”

Being aggressive in baseball means you take more risks with your base running, you take more chances with your pitching, and you tend to work more for the big inning than play small ball (translation: you let hitters swing away more instead of bunt or hit behind the runners — it is OK if you do not understand the delicate nuances of baseball — just get the point that you can play less or more aggressive). Rarely, is an “aggressive” team a consistently losing team. It can happen, but often being successfully aggressive results in more confidence which results in better performance.

In the same way, there is a balance in our work between being too aggressive versus too conservative. For example, waiting until you are 99% confident in the answer may be too late when being 80% would have provided a perfectly good result. Or, taking some risks in R&D may be worth it to attain first-to-file status… often meaning the difference between a so-so product and a $1B blockbuster! Identifying and taking appropriate risks is an essential part of every job at our company. We all must assess risks, balance those against the benefits, and take needed action. We cannot work in a “zero risk” world. For example, if we never tolerated any risks, we would never release a batch of product for shipment.

So, just like in baseball, we need to be aggressive when needed. Being first can often make the difference. Making a decision, even when you might not have all the facts, may be prudent in some cases. Look for those opportunities to have an “action default” rather than a “pondering” nature. Be bold; be courageous. As we have said before, be a warrior, not a worrier!

Let’s make this a terrific and enjoyable day!

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