Oh, Have It Your Way

August 30, 2013

Upon hearing the blog starter, “Have it your way.” two things came to mind. First was the Burger King commercial jingle that came out while I was a kid.

“Have it your way at Burger King… ” Nice. Now it won’t go away. Thank you very much.

The second, more pleasant item comes from one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride. If you haven’t watched it, do so.

The Princess Bride, 1987

Given that the character Inigo Montoya played by Mandy Patinkin was a swordsman that killed people for a living he might not be a great character for polite company. Nevertheless his “way” was pretty interesting. He had dedicated his life to the study of fencing. He had even worked with all the masters to learn various fencing styles. This must have taken him all over the world.

Here is the interaction between Inigo and his boss Vinzini. (from IMDB):

Vizzini: We’ll head straight for the Gilder frontier. You catch up with us there. If he falls, fine. If not, the sword.

Inigo Montoya: I’m going to duel him left-handed.

Vizzini: You know what a hurry we’re in!

Inigo Montoya: Well, is only way I can be satisfied. If I use my right… over too quickly.

Vizzini: [exasperated] Oh, have it your way.

Inigo employed an unusual trick to keep the work challenging. He was so good with his right hand he began dueling people with his left. I had to do this with ping-pong in college after breaking my hand but that didn’t involve life and death with sharp objects. Inigo was dedicated and focused.

Besides getting a chance to highlight a great, underrated movie what is the point?

Inigo wanted to be the best. He had a terrible life balance that we don’t want to emulate but we can learn from him.

If we had the dedication to our careers that Inigo had, where would be willing to go? What would we be willing to learn? What would we be willing to risk or defer?

As an organization what has SEP been willing to do? What will SEP be called on to do going forward?

All very good questions.