Friday 17 May 2013

DAVID MOYES and ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT: A Blueprint For Genuine Achievement

"Once you decide on your occupation, you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That's the secret of success, and is the key to being regarded honourably."
Jiro Uno, in the documentary 'Jiro Dreams Of Sushi'

David Moyes just landed the best role in British football. He's the new manager of Manchester United, taking over from quite possibly the greatest manager of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson. Ferguson has won every top trophy and accolade you can win within the game. And he didn't just win them once, but time and time again. 

'Arrested Development' is returning. A much-loved but short lived sitcom that ran in the mid-2000's, but was cancelled-- because no-one was watching. 

What has happened at Manchester United, and with 'Arrested Development', has a lot to teach us about what we do, and how we do it. 

'Arrested Development' never once courted the easy laugh, the marketable strategy. It excelled at being excellent, complex, and hilarious. It is a show I have watched over and over and over and over again; and the laughs still come. The network never supported AD, and the viewers, in the end, never showed up. The question with TV is always, 'how do we market it?', 'how do we profit?' 

At least, that's how it used to be. That's what they thought the game was about. It's like football:

Jose Mourinho is a much-loved, often controversial manager, who has always had an eye on the Manchester United job. Why wouldn't he? League titles in England, Spain, and Italy; he's a masterful tactician and motivator, with bundles of ideas, talent and charisma. 

There have been many big name managers coming to the UK in recent years, such as Roberto Mancini, André Villas-Boas, Carlo Ancelotti, not to mention the many top British managers, Harry Redknapp, Sam Allardyce, Brendan Rogers. Each of those coaches have promised much, often delivered success, other times not. 

But David Moyes got the Man Utd job. He has been the manager of Everton FC for eleven years. He never won a trophy. Never achieved what so many see as success. 

But Everton never had money to spend on players. Their budget is minimal. And time and again, the best players would leave. Mikel Arteta, Wayne Rooney, Tim Cahill; and so many more. Yet under Moyes, the club went from being a team fighting for Premier League survival every year, to not only surviving, but pushing the top ten, and often the top four. 

Gradually, year by year, people within the game, and true fans of the sport; began to realise what a fantastic job he was doing. Season after season, Everton were playing some of the best football in the league, and no team would want to visit Goodison Park. 

So you might think that true accomplishment is high viewer numbers, or becoming the Chelsea FC manager with an unlimited budget to buy players from around the world. But there is something beautiful and fulfilling about the route of David Moyes, and the return of 'Arrested Development'. 

They're truly earned. 

"These days the first thing people want is an easy job. Then, they want lots of free time. And then, they want lots of money. But they aren't thinking of building their skills. When you work at a place like Jiro's, you are committing to a trade for life."
-Shrimp Dealer, in 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi'

It's like Jiro Uno, in the must-watch documentary 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi'; his mentality and work ethic is alien to most British and American people. Here we work long hours, constantly pushing for the better job, the bigger payslip. We forget to become excellent. 

Jiro managed to earn the bigger pay packet, merely through achieving true excellence. If you go to his restaurant in Tokyo now, you have to pay the equivalent of £200 per meal, just for a few bits of sushi. Yet people do it, because it's the best sushi in the world. £200 is great value. 

'Arrested Development' lives in the hearts of its fans. They know every line, they feel a sense of crazy joyous excitement any time anyone mentions a banana stand or hop-on. The show has a depth to it that is extremely rare. It has excellence. 

"I did stand-up comedy for 18 years. Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four years were spent in wild success. I was seeking comic originality, and fame fell on me as a byproduct."
-Steve Martin

People get fame mixed up with success. If being on the red carpet is what you really want, you can just buy a ticket, or win a competition on the radio. David Moyes quietly got on with the job he had, in the best possible way. He rarely got linked to the big jobs in football, but then the biggest one in the game came along, and it was his - and deservedly so. 

That's why we're all so excited about the return of 'Arrested Development'. It's the best there is, it means more than the other shows. 

Whether you're writing scripts, coaching the football team, making sushi or running a banana stand, you have to focus on your craft. 

"The one thing you have to do is definitely sacrifice and persevere - it's not always a golden path of riches."
-Sir Alex Ferguson 

Care to share?

1 comment:

  1. reading your blog after a loong time , i don't watch football or watch arrested development but you still make sense to me and inspire me xD