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One of the things that drives me insane is when a footballer kisses the badge of his club – indicating his love for the team he is playing for – only to move to another club within months and start kissing that badge like a lust-ridden teenager at the school disco.
Of course, when they are kissing the badge of your team, you love them.
You are united in your passion for your club.
Determined to be there through thick and thin.
Committed to the cause.
Sure there may be tough times, but with unity and belief, you can achieve anything.
And then the fucker demands a move to get more money and you feel like the hardworking wife who has been left by your bastard husband for the younger, hotter bitch from the accounts department.
Which is why I was warmed to see this article on German footballer, Marcell Jansen, who at 29 has said he’d rather retire than play for another club.
Yes, I know he probably has enough cash in the bank already to be able to do that and yes, I know that when a club doesn’t renew your contract – especially at that age – it tends to mean they’re not very good … but in an industry that makes adland’s money-grabbing ways look almost gentile, I think that’s a very impressive gesture, especially given he was offered well paying contracts at other clubs.
When I was younger, I used to think footballers who complained about not playing were idiots.
There they were, sitting on the bench, earning thousands of pounds a week and yet they were complaining.
But as I have got older, I have learnt the importance of fulfilment.
Admittedly, this is something that was drilled into me by my parents, but I only really understood what it meant in the last 10 years or so which is why I now totally understand why someone would want to move clubs so they could play or even stop playing altogether so that they could ensure their most precious moments aren’t damaged.
Without going into too many details, I was recently offered a very big job and I turned it down.
Not because I didn’t think I could do it … not because I don’t like the idea of earning amazing amounts of money … not even because I had recently become a Dad and I was concerned this may impact how much time I would get to spend with my family … I turned it down because it meant I would be removed from creating.
I know everyone thinks I do no work and I appreciate ‘creating advertising’ is hardly the sort of work 99% of the planet have to do … but for me, I am at my most happy when I’m working with talented individuals creating something that will change something.
I love it.
It makes me insanely happy.
I find the whole journey of creativity infectious.
Part of the reason I love Wieden is that even though I am in a supposed ‘senior position’, I have to ‘do stuff’.
Yes, part of that is managing … people, departments, clients, the agency as a whole … but part of it is actually making stuff happen and the thought of not doing that anymore – being an observer rather than a contributor – is something I couldn’t let happen because the implications on my personal fulfilment are not worth any of the supposed additional benefits.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want to lead.
That doesn’t mean I don’t still have a bunch of incredible ambitions.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want to help my colleagues grow and develop.
But there is also something very magical for me in the development of ideas … working with people who open doors of possibility and opportunity you hadn’t previously seen and vice versa … which is why as I move forward in my life, the guiding principals in making my decisions will never be purely about how much money I will earn or how much power I can wield, but whether I will feel fulfilled.
It’s this principal that pushed me to take – and pass – my teacher qualifications, because I wanted to ensure I can always be involved in the creation and development of ideas [and people] and it is why I look at the decision of Marcell Jansen with respect rather than derision.
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