Ability With Agility

Social Media Pack Leader Lessons from Jeremy Lin and Moneyball


moneyball_jonah_hill_board"People are overlooked for a variety of biased reasons and perceived flaws. Everyone else undervalues them. An island of Misfit Toys." 

If you haven't yet seen Moneyball, grab a 6-pack and marinade on the couch for a bit. Aside from quite a few Oscar nods and visceral triad of Pitt, Seymour Hoffman and Jonah Hill; 

Leadership and business lessons from the statistical alchemy of the 2002 Oakland A's provided compelling and practical insights into digital and marketing free agency. 

The same goes for the muzzle velocity of a former NY Knicks benchwarmer, Jeremy Lin.

Never underestimate the underdog. That David and Goliath allegory continues to lend itself to the identity of players in the world of sports -- and the startup world of small business agencies. As Guy Kawasaki said last year at IMS, "nobodies are the new Somebody." 

When asked in a recent interview about the mercurial rise of the phenomenon dubbed Linsanity, Kobe Bryant's blank expression said it all: He had no clue. 

Then, the now infamous "chink in the armor" headline cost an ESPN editor his job. Said moron cited the offense as "unintentional" and with "No pun on Lin’s ethnicity."


By all human, editorial and journalistic standards, intent and negligence at that level is unacceptable and unconscionable. It's that "icky" litmus that just doesn't add up.

Even in good faith, that guy lost his job because he sucked at it. Plain and simple.

Lin's story resonates because he's an anomaly: an Asian-American that can dribble, shoot, score; Harvard grad, a devout, Tebow-ish faith ... and stoic smile as Lin continues to demolish all expectations beyond the scoreboard. 

Perhaps it's only natural, then, that Lin elicits such swift and substantial vitriol from jealous trolls, media fodderers. But the onslaught of stereotypes is disquieting merely because it reveals that entrenched bias and bigotry continues to pervade collective society.   

Let them jeer. 

Lin's stats say it all. I am not a sportswriter, so I can't give due diligence, and it would be an equal insult to Asian persuasion if I were to attempt it. Hence the link: Lin's Game Still Has its Flaws, but Stats Show Rise to Stardom is No Fluke

  • In free agency - be it sports or business, (just ask our partner, HubSpot) numbers speak louder than words
  • Haters are just confused admirers, who can't understand why e'rybody loves you. (Wish I made that up). Cred goes to a grill -- er, guy named Lil' Wayne. 
  • When hard work bestows power and influence, it is a responsibility, not a right. If you do not perform, do not produce, do not close in those clutch moments, you Lose. 
  • At any summit, in sports, business and life: Feelings are secondary to results. Hill's character, Peter Brand's first lesson in trading players at whim particularly poignant: 
[Brand] "Here's (your contact's) information, your travel expenses have been arranged"
[Player]: 'That's it?"
[Brand]: That's it.  
  • If you shirk expectations and accountability, don't add insult to injury by feigning ignorance. Own your mistakes, and move on.
  • Be in it to Win it If you can't stand the Heat, get out of the Kitchen. Game. Or agency.


New York Daily News - ESPN 'Chink' Headline No Laughing Matter

Fast Company - The Unexpected Way to Use your Social Network

BBC News - Jim Muir Pays Tribute to Marie Colvin

*Photo courtesy of Martin Lieberman


Topics: Social Media

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Modgility is a leader in digital innovation. Helping companies establish growth by leveraging digital technology and the internet.

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