Know who you are. Be comfortable with it. Don't follow the crowd blindly.
Sound words by which to live. And they apply to Honda Motor Co. as it decides to resist the temptation to build V-8 engines and offer rear-wheel-drive vehicles.
Honda says it doesn't need either, even though the industry's wisdom du jour is that both are essential, absolutely essential, to success.
Neither fits into Honda's unshakable vision of what it stands for: a provider of dependable mobility in a framework of environmental awareness. For now, that means staying with clean and highly efficient, high output four- and six-cylinder engines mated to front-wheel drive.
Honda's refusal to join in me-too games comes from the supreme self-confidence of knowing for what it stands. Honda knows that real progress comes in making the most of what it is, not in reinventing itself.
At a time when other automakers have strayed far from their ship only to swim desperately back to "the basics," Honda stays on course.
It's called the Honda Way, and it pays off in steadily rising sales, market share, customer loyalty and profits.
Honda, smartly, has kept it simple.
Lincoln, on the other hand, has not.
The sudden, although not unexpected, demise of the Lincoln Blackwood is a perfect example of how not following a principle can bring about a collision course onto the rocks.
The Lincoln Blackwood was a hasty attempt to cash in on a niche craze. It lacked the right product features, was plagued with poor manufacturing quality and received little or no marketing support.
It's a bitter but obvious lesson.