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

Lost In The Wilderness …

For 16+ years, I would wake up and generally find a world of insults, banter and builds on whatever post I’d set to be published while I slept.

I have to be honest, I liked it.

A lot.

Part of this was because of the childishness … part of this was because of the way it pushed my thinking and part of it was because it was nice to feel part of some twisted social club.

And then, a few months ago, I decided to stop it.

It was the right thing to do and this post written by the brilliant Armando, reinforces that.

And while I still wake up to insults, banter and builds – albeit on individual emails, rather than on group blog comments – they’re not the same as when there was a group pile on.

I know … how picky can I get???

Now this doesn’t mean I’m going to open up the comments – at least not yet – but it does highlight how great it is to be surrounded by people you like and respect.

Yes, I guess I’m saying I liked and respected many of the people who commented on here. Which is probably as much as a surprise to you as it is to me.

The thing is, I’ve generally been very lucky in my career and ended up with lots of people I’ve felt that way about. People who added to the culture and the creativity rather than sucked the life out of it for their own gain/god complex.

But there have also been times that’s not been the case.

There was one person in particular who was beyond toxic.

They were manipulative, destructive, undermining and bullying. They thought they were always right and yet produced the same thing over and over again – trying to squeeze claims of uber-intelligence out of micro thinking. So many people were hurt by their behaviour but because they made money for the agency, they weren’t just tolerated but revered.

What makes it worse is they knew they were burning people and yet rather than feel any sense of shame or embarrassment for it, they felt invincible. They’d publicly label the people they’d forced out as weak or inferior and yet the company he worked for – one who talks a lot about humanity – just turned a blind eye.

As so many do.

Which is why when you find people on your frequency, it’s something special.

Of course it can also be dangerous because it’s not a big leap to ending up thinking you’re special and everyone else is wrong … but with the right combination, you can enjoy working together while pushing each other to be better.

And it’s here that the specialness really reveals itself.

Because whether through banter or arguments, it never becomes personal. You all know the opinions expressed are only at making the work better. And it’s that feeling – that ability to be truly honest to each other without hurting each other – is something truly special.

You may not realise it at the time.

You may only realise it once it’s gone.

But it’s the difference between work being hard and work being exciting.

Not all the time, but a lot of the time.

And even if someone does fuck up and crosses the line, the energy in the environment allows you to call it out and everyone deals with it, with grace and objectivity.

Because the respect for each other trumps any need to win by destroying each other.

I’ve had it a few times.

I had it on this blog.

And maybe I just realised that.

So thank you.

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