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Adland is full of fools, chancers and egotists.
I should know because I’m probably all 3 rolled into 1.
Of course it’s not just full of those – there’s also the smart, clever & creative types – but for the purpose of this post, I only want to focus on the former group.
Before I begin, I need you to watch this video – especially from 6″ 18 seconds.
Yes, I know it’s long, but it is worth it, trust me.
How good is that?
OK, so Jeremy Paxman is famous for drilling politicians, but the point is he  was fully prepared and  kept the conversation focused on the point he needed answering.
Quite frankly, too many people in adland go into meetings with the attitude of ‘I’ll wing it’.
A lot of this happens because there’s too many conversations that are for the sake of conversation – ramblings designed more for timesheet justification than answering specific issues, objectives or points that can powerfully and fundamentally move things forward.
But the point is, you can never have these sorts of meaningful conversation if you don’t have all the facts and a clear understanding of the situation and it’s context – which is why I love Paxman, because he takes his job seriously … he won’t be fobbed off with fancy words or corporate talk and that means [most] people who come up against him don’t approach things sloppily, they raise their game in a bid to ‘beat him’, which creates a tension that can push bigger opportunities or issues to the forefront.
The reason I posted this is because I’m off to be a mentor/judge at Mediaworks … so while I’m no Jeremy Paxman [hell, I'm not even as good as the arcade character, Pacman!] I do want the attendees of the workshop to know they’re going to get properly grilled by me on whatever they present – not because I’m a bastard – but because feeling under pressure to know your stuff is one of the greatest lessons anyone can be taught.
So next time you have a meeting, make sure you invest enough time getting familiar with the situation, because when others start realising you’re not going to subscribe to the bland and the meaningless, ideas start dumbing up, not down.
And yes, this does mean there will be no more blog posts for the week … so the Mediaworks attendees pain is most definitely going to be your gain.
See you next week.
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