When we got married, one of my husband’s friends told me –
“Air Force men make great housewives.”

He was absolutely correct. And this is important, but probably not for the reason you think.

My husband John is one of the neatest, cleanest people I have ever lived with.

To the point that it kind of made me crazy at first.

When we first met, I had teenage boys and big dogs and chaos and mayhem all over the house all the time.

But I quickly found that there is a lot to be said for imposing a little bit of order and some good habits.

As it turned out, that teenage boy is now a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Reserves and is ALMOST as neat as his stepdad.

Why is this important? Because the brilliance is in the basics.

Brilliance in the basics

You may also remember Admiral McRaven’s viral video about making your bed.

“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed”

I recently heard Master Gunnery Sergeant Kevin Frasier on NPR’s LifeKit. Sergeant Frazier is in charge of teaching young Marines to clean their rooms.

We teach brilliance in the basics, he said. If your room is clean, you’re ready for anything. You start everything from a point of confidence. You know you’re not going to be sidelined by something small. A hole in your sock isn’t going to ruin your day.

Vince Lombardi used to kick off training camp for the Green Bay Packers every single year whether his team was all Rookies or all Super Bowl champions with the same syllabus.

“Gentlemen, this is a football.”

Followed by, what I imagine were COMPLETELY mind-numbing basics of how to put on socks.

A blister could ruin a practice. A ruined practice could cause a ruined game.

There is brilliance in the basics.

Basics are not as sexy as the latest shiny object or “gee whiz” marketing technique, but I will tell you that with every new client, we start out with a checklist of the basics.

It doesn’t make any difference if we run the most brilliant ad campaign in the world if customers call you to be met with a full voicemail box.

It makes no difference if we bring a ton of traffic to your website’s contact form is broken.

So, we start every January with a checklist of the basics. Whether you’ve been a client for 15 years or it’s our first day,

This is our first opportunity to be brilliant.