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

The Music Industry Lifts Me Up By Putting Me Down …

A few weeks ago – thanks to Metallica’s managers – I was asked to give a presentation to another of the bands in their roster.

They’re not as big or as successful as their management mates, but they are definitely a name and had a lot of ideas about the future.

I was asked to give my perspective on what they were thinking so wrote a presentation called, ‘How to stop you becoming twats’.

To be honest, it wasn’t going to be called that, it was just an internal working title – designed to scare their management team more than anything – so you can imagine my surprise when they just laughed and said I should keep it.

I must admit, I was very, very suspicious about why they were OK with it but decided to go with it because at the very least, I could blame them, haha.

Anyway, despite the very curious faces on zoom as I presented to them at 4am New Zealand time, it seemed to have gone down well … which is why I was somewhat surprised when the day after I received this email from one of the team.

Putting aside the worry they may have actually told me to present that title because they thought I would get murdered for it, it’s quite nice to have delivered a presentation of blunt truth [albeit, well intentioned] and been thanked for it.

It’s not as good as the insult I got from Lars – which was part of this preso – but it’s still good.

Now you may wonder how I got away with it?

Well I don’t really know …

However I do have a long career of being able to be very blunt with clients in a way where they continually invite me back.

I don’t think it’s because they’re masochists.

And I certainly don’t do it because I am a prick.

It’s purely because my sole focus is to help them win better.

It’s amazing what you can get away with when the person knows your ambition is for them, not for you.

Or as one of my best ever clients said to me – the NIKE CMO, Simon Pestridge – “middle management want to be right, senior management want to know how to be better”.

I may not suggest doing it in the way I do it, but truth should never be hidden or sugarcoated to the point where no one can actually taste anything you’re saying.

And if anyone pushes back on you for wanting to do this, just point them to this post … because if senior figures in global brands and members of global rockbands can take it, anyone can.


It’s a long weekend here for the Queen’s birthday, so enjoy the weekend and the exert day off free from my rubbish next week.

17 Comments so far
Leave a comment

working with you is the equivalent of throwing a tv out of a window and into a fucking swimming pool.

Comment by andy@cynic

Fun mixed with chaos.

Comment by Pete


Comment by andy@cynic

have you thought the real reason they work with you is so whatever the fuck they do next doesnt seem so bad or so fucking hard?

Comment by andy@cynic

You didn’t mention he’s getting a long weekend Andy. You’re slipping.

Comment by DH

fuck off.

Comment by andy@cynic

No one can bring famous people down to earth like you. I don’t mean that as a compliment.

Comment by DH

This made me laugh out loud.

Comment by Pete

This post perfectly explains one of the key reasons you are so successful. It also asks many questions of the people who let you get away with putting them so firmly on the spot. It is a super power.

Comment by George

I’ve never met anyone like Rob who does this so well and so often. I’m not sure if he’s brave, shameless or slightly insane. Did you see his instagram from yesterday? He was at it again with Noel Edmonds, Jacinda Ardern and James Cameron. That’s not the beginning to a surreal joke.

Comment by Pete

What the hell?

Comment by DH

It may not be the introduction to a surreal joke, but that is very surreal.

Comment by George

its all fucking 3. not in equal measure.

Comment by andy@cynic

This is surprising but not entirely surprising.

Comment by Lee Hill

And you’ve done it again Lee.

Comment by Bazza

Winning friends by alienating people. A very unique approach.

Comment by Lee Hill

Congratulations, you’ve just captured the essence of Rob.

Comment by Bazza

Leave a Reply