"Now pull it up in the back, pull it up real good, real strong. Now run your hand around the little toe area ... make sure there are no wrinkles and then pull it back up. Check the heel area. We don't want any sign of a wrinkle about it ..." source
Imagine you're a hotshot high school basketball star about to begin your freshman year in the most successful college program in the nation. Now you're sitting on the bench listening to Coach Wooden tell you how to put your socks on. It's an amusing thought.
So why do we tell this story? Because it serves as a reminder that excellence is built on a solid foundation of sound fundamentals. Success in basketball cannot be achieved if your feet have blisters or you lose a shoe at a critical point in the game. You simply cannot shortcut the learning process and expect to be successful. It's as true in business as it is in basketball.
That's why we tell this story. But why do we know this story. It's because John Wooden was incredibly successful. He coached UCLA to 10 NCAA titles in 12 years, including 7 championships in a row from 1967 to 1973. With that kind of success we tend to ascribe almost divine wisdom to everything he said and did. There have probably been hundreds of college basketball coaches throughout history who have had unique or quirky coaching methods. Many of these may have been quite effective in their own ways. But since none of them ever approached the level of success of John Wooden they're lost to history.
The point is that results matter. It's fine to be a zealot and passionate about fundamentals, but if you can't show real results (and significant ones) you're not likely to find a lot of converts. It's a miserable Catch-22 but an inescapable fact nonetheless. You cannot get people to follow you until you've demonstrated success, and it's hard to demonstrate success before you get people on-board.
The trick is to find the successes, clearly draw the link to your message, and then make sure they're well publicized. It's hard work and probably not particularly fulfilling for most of us. But the time spent sitting on the bench making sure you get all the wrinkles out of your socks will ultimately pay off.