Salvador’s Business Lessons

Salvador’s Business Lessons

Salvador’s Business Lessons

It was the Euro 2016, and now the Eurovision. It is written: all competitions which name begins with “Euro” are won by Portugal. We don’t give any chance.

In the recent edition of the Song Festival it seemed that we had returned to the 80’s. Half country stopped in front of the television (the other half was celebrating Benfica’s victory in the league), hoping for the victory of Salvador. And guess what? He really won! And not only he won, but also overwhelmed with a record of points, becoming instant and meteorically a phenomenon in social networks.

After the emotions of that night, and the apotheosis reception at the airport, we must meditate on the victory of Sobral’s brothers.

First of all, why did Salvador win so overwhelmingly? From my point of view, for two essential reasons.

For starters because there was the courage to be different. Very different from the other competitors. The contestants all bet on the formula “the more firecracker the better”, in addition to the majority singing in English. Salvador “just” sang very well a great song, and in his mother tongue.

Next, because he didn’t stop at the difference. He stood out through quality. He was better than all the others, both for his emotional and disconcerting interpretation, and his own song, a brilliant composition by Luísa Sobral.

What lessons can we draw from Salvador’s victory for our companies’ management?

The first is that the bet on quality is worth it. It is my belief that if the competition is “clean”, whoever is the best wins. It is so, too, in the business world. Customers are looking for the best product or the best service, and if the market works without bias, the best products and the best services are the consumers’ favourites.

The second points to the confirmation that innovating bears fruit. You will ask me: did Salvador’s song innovate? It seems obvious to me that it did. The Portuguese participation clearly innovated by following a completely different path. Innovating is not just synonymous with technological advancement. Innovating is much more than that. It is to see what the rest don’t. It is identifying the opportunities and taking advantage of them, even before others have realised that there is an opportunity there. Innovating truly combines talent with genius. Arthur Schopenhauer, a nineteenth-century German philosopher, has a brilliant phrase in this regard: “The talented achieves a target that no one can attain. The genius hits a target that no one can see.” The challenge in our companies is to create an internal and dynamics environment conducive to talent and genius, which naturally lead to innovation, since only this way will we be able to develop value propositions appropriate to the needs of our clients.

The third stresses that work and preparation reward. As often said, “luck gives a lot of work”. Sobral brothers and their team put all their commitment in this challenge, and reaped the fruits in the end. The competition between companies is, today more than ever, intense and global. Winning in the market is only possible with a clear and unremitting commitment to the continuous improvement of the products / services. Being better takes work, a lot of work, and every day. We just have to look at some cases of international success of Portuguese companies, and we easily come to this common denominator.

The fourth alerts us to the fact that authenticity attracts. The interpretation of Salvador revealed authenticity like no other in dispute. It was visible that Salvador felt every word of what he sang, which moved everyone, especially since the majority of the audience did not understand what he said. Moving this issue to the business world, let us consider the example of Tourism, an activity of strategic importance for the country. What do most of the tourists who visit us want, if not the authenticity of our culture, our customs, our people? Let us know how to take advantage of this, by offering a tourism product based on these premises, and not mass.

To conclude, a reflection and a confession. Reflection: probably Salvador saved the own concept of Eurovision, such was the impact of his disruptive approach. Confession: I have to confess that I was moved by Salvador’s victory. The song is indeed very beautiful, the interpretation outstanding, and winning was the “icing on the cake”. What about you? Where you capable of avoiding a little tear? Come on, admit it…

Till next post!

Marco Libório

UWU Solutions CEO / Consultant / Lecturer


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