The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

As Arnie Threatened …
October 8, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

… I’m back.

I know … I know … sorry.

If it’s any consolation, you only have 3 days to deal with me till the weekend.

Why the hell am I writing like this?

To be honest, I have no idea so I’ll just get on with writing my rubbish so we can all get on with our day and pretend none of this ever happened.

So recently I heard a quote that I love.

“The World is divided into 2 sorts of people. Those who do the work and those who do the credit. If you can, try and be a member of the first group, there’s far less competition”.

I cannot tell you how much I adore this quote.

I know you might think that is quite ironic coming from the man that is allegedly continually on holiday, but it’s true.

There was a time in my career where I worked with one guy who seemed to always get the credit and attention despite the fact all the good stuff was being done by those around him or under him.

Despite supposedly being the ‘head of the department’, he had no involvement in anything that was being created – he was far too busy hanging out with his mates and attending industry events – but when it came to the accolades, he was there quicker than Usain Bolt.


What’s even worse is that he never shared the credit … well, unless he thought it made him look good in front of his peers, but he was so incapable of doing it without looking a contrived dick, it never worked.

It used to bug me a huge amount.

Part of it was because I wanted a boss who would take me to somewhere I couldn’t see, let alone reach and part of it was because I – along with my colleagues – were some of the people doing so much of the work he was taking the credit for.

Now before I go on, I know that it’s human nature to think you’re generally putting in more effort than those around you – but in this case, there were 4 of us that absolutely were. At least compared to our boss.

But despite bitching, scheming, planning and complaining, we just got on with shit … pushing and trying and just doing all we could to bring something interesting to the table.

Then one day, we were invited to a client meeting.

This was no ordinary client meeting, this was one where the global CEO of our biggest global client was going to be present.

Now while it would be a great story to say this was the meeting where our boss revealed his shortcomings, the reality is that didn’t happen. He still acted like he was the King and people still treated him like he was the King.

But there was one thing that happened and that was that the global CEO asked me and my colleagues a bunch of questions and seemed to not just like what he heard, but the energy and the ideas of what went with it.

Maybe he was just being kind, but he seemed to find the ‘youthful energy’ exciting and he asked if we would like to join the agency dinner we were going to have for him.

I – stupidly – said no.

I think I had promised to watch The Bill on TV with a mate or something.

But it didn’t actually matter, because that conversation had opened the eyes of some of the people around us.

Sure, they still thought our boss was a legend – in some ways, even more so because they thought he was the one that had trained and inspired us – but the fact is, they looked at us differently.

We weren’t just process-fodder, we had ideas … we did things … we made stuff happen.

And because adland is always looking for people that can either do the stuff they can’t be arsed to do or help develop the ideas that makes them look better, we started getting invited to stuff … the sort of meetings we had rarely been allowed to be a part of previously.

And from that moment, a different sort of reputation of us started to be formed.

People started to ask to have us in their meetings.

People wanted to hear and discuss their ideas with us as well as see what we were up to … and it felt good.

As I said, none of this changed the ways of our boss – he carried on being an advertising rockstar – but by that stage, it didn’t really matter to us because we were gaining a reputation of our own.

OK, we still didn’t get invited to the cool parties or the award shows and our social network still pretty much consisted of entry level colleagues, but other companies started to hear about us and started seeing if ‘we wanted a chat’.

You see for all the ego that exists in adland, every company knows the best investment is when you hire people who can do stuff rather than just take the credit for it and that is why I love Wieden … because despite being the so called head of planning, I still have to do stuff and that not only keeps me busy [despite what you may think] it keeps me excited.

So even though I say the best advice you can have is to never listen to someones advice … if you’re going to follow anything, I would suggest you listen to the words of Dwight Morrow – the US Diplomat who was behind the above quote – because the chances of a long, fruitful and rewarding career in adland is dramatically improved when you have a reputation for doing great things rather than just associating with them.

PS: Just to warn you, tomorrows post doesn’t get any better. Sorry.

27 Comments so far
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Too long. Planning focused. Hypocritical. Yes, you’re back.

Comment by DH

Just when I had recovered. What a bastard.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Thanks for the warm welcome back, it makes me feel so good inside to know I’m loved.

Comment by Rob

Is the rockstar exboss still around or was he found out? Let me believe karma pays back in the end.

Comment by DH

You’ll be shocked to learn I’m not referring to you Rob. Or any cynicites.

Comment by DH

cynicites? when the fuck did you become a disney channel presenter? twat.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s been so long since there was a post I forgot how I am supposed to respond. It won’t happen again.

Comment by DH

I thought the secret was not to respond and save what’s left of your credibility.

Comment by Rob

If he was any kind of a rockstar at all, he’d be dead at 27 …

Comment by Ian Gee

I wish I’d of thought of saying that at the time. Damnit.

Comment by Rob

well look who the fuck decided to come back to town with all his bland boring guns blazing. i bet youre colleagues are over the fucking moon with excitement. if they havent slit their wrists yet.

Comment by andy@cynic

Lots of planning suicides being reported in China today. Or they will be.

Comment by Billy Whizz

I won a Clio.

Comment by Jerry Seinfeld

Given is not the same as winning, but funny all the same.

Comment by Pete

Pete channels Doddsy. #armageddon

Comment by DH

Thank you Pete. I know who “Jerry” is, but your response was far better than mine would have been. As usual.

Comment by Rob

You’re back and with a great post.

Good story with some great advice. Love the quote. It’s sadly very accurate though I feel that is starting to change, at least in industries beyond advertising.

Comment by Pete

That’s because Rob doesn’t work in other industries. Well he doesn’t really work in advertising either but you get what I mean.

Comment by DH

But does he have a Clio, the award for people that do the work?

Comment by Jerry Seinfeld

Welcome back Robert. Big, big post today and very good it is too. Are you referring to the infamous Mr B by any chance?

Comment by George

Who else.

Comment by Rob

fucking parasite. him, not you campbell. for once.

Comment by andy@cynic

You described him very well in this post.

Comment by George

I trust you are not referring to my Mr B, gentlemen?

Comment by Lee Hill

when did too become so parafuckingnoid lee?

Comment by andy@cynic

A question does not automatically indicate paranoia, Andrew.

Comment by Lee Hill

An excellent post to signal your return Robert. May it be the first of many rather than an exception that proves the rule.

Comment by Lee Hill

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