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OK, let’s get a couple of the issues out of the way right from the off …
1. When I say “I’m in love”, I don’t mean the cupid type of love.
2. Amazingly, I’m not talking about the Freddie who fronted my beloved Queen.
The person I’m talking about is Mr Freddie Sarnblad.
I worked with Freddie for a few years in Singapore and can honestly say, it was one of the best times of my career.
He’s smart, gracious, funny, kind, collaborative, genuine and basically a whole lot of other attributes that will never be assigned to me.
However the greatest compliment I can give him is that while he’s a great, great planner, he’s actually an even greater person and friend.
[Even though he might not say the same given I have done things like this to him]
Last week we managed to catch up and enjoyed a ridiculously long and large dinner.
It was awesome.
Talking … bitching … discussing … it was chicken soup for the evil bastard soul.
Oh yes, please don’t think Freddie is Mr Perfect, underneath that carefully sculptured, calm exterior lies a heart of mischievous menace.
But after we got all that out the way, we chatted about life.
Not superficial shit like the TV ads like to pretend represents blokedom, but really important and meaningful stuff – like family and legacy and values and beliefs.
I can open up to Freddie.
I can tell him my hopes and dreams, fears and insecurities.
I don’t feel nervous, I don’t feel judged, I just feel I can talk freely to him and hear his perspective, advice, views and wisdom.
Of course there are a few other people I can be this open to – my wife for one – but it’s different with them.
That doesn’t mean it’s wrong or bad or less meaningful or involves secrets I don’t want them to hear … it’s just different.
That could be because of circumstance, relationship, situation or background – who knows – but when Freddie and I get together, I always feel ‘purged’.
Purged of doubt.
Purged of concern.
Purged of worry.
It’s an emotional detox.
And what he puts in its place is a lovely dollop of positivity, excitement, possibilities and curiosity.
Yes, I know this sounds all very dodgy, but it’s not, it’s a compliment to his skill, intelligence and empathy … no wonder every client wants him to work exclusively on their business.
The reality is everyone needs someone like Freddie in their life – maybe everyone already does – but at a time where we are told we’re more connected than ever, I would say my few hours in Freddie’s company reaffirmed what I have long known, being connected and being close are very different things.
Digital and media planners should take note.
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