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

Losing Friends And Alienating People …

Many years ago, Toby Young wrote a book by the name of this post.

It was a journey through his bad decisions, bad timing and bad acts.

And while there was a lot of genuinely funny moments in it, you couldn’t help think he was a bit of a twat – which was confirmed with many of his later actions, decisions and behaviour.

I say this because recently I had a dalliance with someone who could best be described as Toby Young, without the humour.

Look, I work in advertising so I’m used to working with twats.

There’s actually a lot less of them than people like to think, but the ones who are there are generally stupendous at twatdom.

But this interaction was not someone I work with … it was someone on Linkedin.

Yes … Linkedin. The platform that is to community what Boris Johnson is to leadership.

Now even though this person and I are not ‘connected’, I do kind-of know him.

He was in Asia when I was there and had a reputation for grandiose statements that rarely could be backed up.

Anyway, I hadn’t heard about him or seen him for literally years, so I was surprised when a few weeks ago, he suddenly came into my life.

He did this by writing a comment under a Linkedin post I’d put up about one of the biggest mistakes a planner can make.

He asked:

What’s the difference between thinking and planning according to you? And is there a difference? And how do you see modern day account planning influencing business and corporate strategy which is really what CEO’s want to see – they’re not interested in ads or creativity unless its making them money?

I answered as best I could … saying I felt he was implying some planners didn’t care about the impact creativity had on the clients business, just their ego and if that’s the case, maybe he’s spending time with the wrong planners, clients and creatives.

In the blink of an eye, he responded with these 2 gems:

First this …

“I’m not implying anything- I’m asking a question. I be;lieve that’s valid on a social media platform. What I’ve foudn theough Experience s that sometimes it’s better to just answer instead of reading too much into it.”

[Spelling mistakes were his, not mine]

And then this …

“You really don’t get social, do you? You can’t be focused and social at the same time. I’ve been studying clinical psychology and the mind for 7 years. It’s two ends of the same frequency . Planners are focused (head) creatives are social (HEART). Open your heart my friend before a surgeon does the job for you. Good luck. You’re mucking around with someone with a lot of medical knowledge and experience.”

That second comment was bizarre.

Judgemental. Condescending. Patronising. Almost threatening.

I have to be honest, I was quite impressed. It’s been a long time since I’ve come across such a prick who can get so personal and so insulting so quickly.

But then it got weirder, because he then sent this:

Seriously, what the fuck?

From slagging me off to interrogating the most stupid shit [like my bloody camouflage background????] to then asking me to give him free information and advice so he can win a client and charge them money for his ‘help’.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised because Linkedin is full of people who think they can just ask or say whatever they want as long as it benefits them. I’m sure we’ve all had headhunters contact us for names of people they should talk to – when they’re literally being paid by clients to know people who they should talk to.

But there’s something about this persons manner that pisses me off.

Maybe it’s the contradiction between acting superior but still wanting stuff.

I can’t help but feel he is someone who read Neil Strauss’, ‘The Game‘ [who also wrote Motley Crue’s, admittedly great, The Dirt … which tells you a lot] and saw it as a philosophy for how to live rather than the exploitative, manipulative and destructive book it actually was.

Part of me really wants to name and shame him.

If he’s doing that to me, what is he like to others.

Women. Or juniors. Or anyone to be honest.

But I won’t because who knows what he’s going through however – as I mentioned in my final response to him – for all his alleged expertise in clinical psychology and social platforms, he sure hasn’t got the faintest idea how to communicate with people.

So I’ll leave him be but if he does comes back [again] I’ll simply point him to this post and hope he understands the responsibility for clarity of communication is with the communicator, not the recipient. Something tells me, he wouldn’t.

But what all this shows is a mistake that companies, platforms and agencies continually make with the idea of community.

I get why it’s so interesting to them, but the problem is – what they think is a community, isn’t.

A community isn’t where you go to continually satisfy your own needs.

In essence, that’s the total opposite of a community.

What a real community is something built on shared beliefs and values … where you want to work together to help push or achieve a common goal. It absolutely isn’t about personal benefit at others expense, it’s about something much, much bigger.

And while it’s power and influence can be enormous …

Linkedin doesn’t get this.

Agencies flogging membership and community doesn’t get this.

And this ‘competitive strategist’ doesn’t get this.

Because the key rule for a real community is about adding to it, not just taking.

26 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I like him.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Is that because you are him? The only reason I doubt it is because you didn’t ask for someone to buy you food and drink.

Comment by Bazza

This is troll goal isn’t it Billy.

Comment by Pete

Linkedin is simply a higher class of troll.
Imagine having to work with him. It certainly makes me think of our times working together in a much more positive light. ; )

Comment by George

George is a troll. George is a troll. George is a troll.

Comment by Bazza

Suddenly everyone is a comedian.

Comment by Rob

And your community point is excellent.

Comment by George

Most companies talk about community like it works like a ponzi scheme.

Comment by Bazza

That’s exactly the way a bunch of them look at it.

Comment by Rob

He sounds like that planner we interviewed who said “You play in a lower league than I’m used to but we can talk if you can match my pay”. Do you remember we talked about hiring him so we could fire him and say it was because his performance levels were suited to a lower league than we were used to. Still wish we did it.

Comment by Bazza

He does. For the life of me I can’t work out why we went with Pete.

Comment by George

Gee thanks guys.

Comment by Pete

I preferred the other candidate.

Comment by Bazza

How had I forgotten about him. He was a prized twat. And you’re right Baz, we absolutely should have done that. I wonder where he is now? Must be the president of an international conglomerate. At least in his own mind.

Comment by Rob

He contacted me a few years ago. I did not reply.

Comment by George

Did he want a job?

Comment by Rob

I can’t remember. Maybe he wanted to give me the chance to offer him a job.

Comment by George

i hated that prick before he even opened his fucking mouth. as usual i was right.

Comment by andy@cynic

We all did Andrew.

Comment by George

yeah. but one of you fuckers will have got him a drink when id thrown it over him.

Comment by andy@cynic

He sounds perfectly qualified as a Trump supporting politician.

Comment by Pete

Given that he thinks you can’t be focused and social at the same time, I assume he’s single.

Comment by John

what a fucking prick. im not saying to defend your honour campbell, i like he was a twat to you but hes still a fucking prick

Comment by andy@cynic

Obviously a planner.

Comment by DH

I think I can speak for the entire planning community when i say that Rob’s blog is the perfect example: adding a wonderful amount of richness, thoughtfulness and weirdness to all of us. Cheers dude!

Comment by Rich

I don’t know who you are Rich, but I am very grateful for your comment, despite being slightly concerned for your health.

Comment by Rob

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