A Conversation Between A Winner, A Leader and A Bully.

I believe that our society is being run by three Archetypes: Winners, Leaders, and Bullies. What follows next is a discussion the three Archetypes (I imagine, obviously) would have together, given each one sticks to their traits.

The Story-

The annual meeting for the three powerhouses has finally arrived. Each one has been quite busy. Surely, 2010 was quite the year, and 2011 is shaping up to be even more hectic.

Still, the mighty three meet. Naturally, there is plenty of pomp and circumstance.

The Leader arrives first, 15 minutes early. It gives them enough time to finish checking email and voicemail, and to double-check the person they left in charge to make sure they have everything they need in order to be successful. Of course, the Leader didn’t tell their successor everything, professional development needs wiggle room for the successor to grow into their own. Besides, failure is a learning tool.

Next is the Winner, beaten by the Leader by five minutes. No worries, the winner heartily welcomes the triumphant Leader with a strong handshake and half-embrace. “I almost had you!” exclaimed the Winner. “I even tried a different way to get here. Not going to lie, I drove the different way last night too, to make sure it was faster than my usual way.”

The Leader laughs, “I’ve been coming here for years. You’ll catch me one of these days.”

Now the two wait for the third.

As the Leader scoots their chair away from the table, both Leader and the Winner hear a string snap.

“That can’t be good.” Says the Leader. Right after that was exclaimed, a wall of confetti shoots up from behind the seemingly empty podium, a stereo blasts on with Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” and through the door struts in the Bully, laughing their head off from the fright of its two partners.

Finally. The might three are here.

The entire conversation would take entirely too long to document, and even more arduous to read. We’ll now just dive in and out of the important topics and ideals discussed.

Of  “To the Victor go the Spoils

The Bully leads off, of course, “Of course it does. You won, they lost, so why should you share anything. This is what our society is about. Take what you can get, and try to get everything. That’s the dream. That’s independence. Why the heck am I going to share anything that I worked hard for?”

The Winner shakes their head. “It’s great to come out victorious in any situation. But why take more than you need? You already won the game, don’t rub it in their face. There are such things as poor winners.”

The Bully scoffs.

“I too think that winning is quite enough,” says the Leader. “You may not always win everything. And the very moment you don’t, everyone else will take that opportunity to take everything back from you. Plus, you want to encourage them to get better. And you must put in the work to stay on top. Then the quality of competition increases, and in a way, everyone can win.”

Of Being Politically Correct

The Leader starts off saying “Now in my line of work, sometimes not saying anything is better than saying something. I have to be able to create goals and initiatives that everyone can implement. That however doesn’t mean that they must agree. It means that they know why certain activities must get done, and regardless what they believe, that getting those activities done are best for the team. It’s difficult for me to say exactly what I want at times, so I have to ‘play the game’ from time to time.”

The Winner says, ” But-”

“That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard from you in a while!” says the Bully as they cut off the Winner’s remark. “I can’t stand being politically correct. If you’re not going to say what you really feel, who else is going to say it for you? To hell with it! I say what I want, when I want. Am I going to offend some people? You damn right I am. But I’ll tell you this, there will be just as many people who are in the shadows, keeping their mouths shut, while agreeing with every single word I say.”

The Winner, who visibly looks torn, says “I agree with both. Leader, I think it’s important to get everyone to buy-in, but like Bully says, if you can’t say what you want, you might consider thinking about building a winning team that believes in you AND the goal. I know that if I have a coach who is completely honest with me, I’ll try to win harder for them because they trusted me.”

“Perhaps,” says the Leader.

Of Competition

“Competition is what we thrive on,” says Winner. “It’s in our nature. Competition is how we display our strengths and expose our weaknesses. Competition is healthy because it helps us grow and improve.”

Leader asks, “so then, what are your thoughts about Everyone being a winner?”

“Bogus,” Winner replies. “Like there are poor winners, like I said earlier, there can be good losers. Let’s face it, it is almost impossible to win everything. That’s okay. It’s important though, to go into everything with a winning attitude. If you fall short, then try again. That’s the essence of competition. And if you keep playing a game you never win, try a different game. The bottom line is that in competition, there will always be a winner. And when there’s a winner, there’s a loser.”

Bully jumps in “And what after you win? Leader and Winner, surely you wipe them out, to solidify your stance?”

Leader says “therein lies the problem. Its that mentality that has gotten society here in the first place. There seem to be more Bullies than Winners and Leaders out there. Too many people want to squash competition instead of nurture it. People now are afraid of challenge. Somewhere along the lines we lost our ability to foster healthy competition. And backtracking by rebuilding that foundation is proving to be difficult.”

As a impish smile grows on the Bully’s face, they reply “I don’t see the problem.”

Of Building a Legacy

“So once you win, how do you carry on the tradition?” Winner asks Leader.

“It is quite simple,” Leader says, excited that the three will be ending their conversation on their favorite topic. “One word: Mentorship. Only by sharing your best practices and ‘secrets’ will your tradition be remembered. I believe that you can only be great if you are able to teach others to be better than you. Your thoughts, Winner?”

Winner says “I think its instilling intentional practice and ambition. I’m not done until my best is beaten by someone else. So, I guess I agree.”

They both turn to Bully, who is busy doodling.

“Oh, my turn?” Bully replies. ” I have no plans in that kind of ‘training’. I get what I can, when I can. When I’m done and gone, someone else can have it. I don’t particularly care who.”

And with that, The Leader, Winner and Bully part ways. The Leader, back to their team. The Winner, back to the practice field, and the Bully, back to Wallstreet.



10 Reasons Watson Will Never Be Better Than a Human

10. The Art of Sarcasm

Ah yes, the wicked joy of sarcasm. Too bad Watson doesn’t seem to have the mental capacity to comprehend the different tone of voice and gestures to enjoy it. Aw don’t worry Watson, no one really uses sarcasm anyway. Why would anyone use such a means?

9. Louisville Slugger

Sorry Watson. Though for a human, taking a Louisville Slugger to the gut would hurt, it wouldn’t damage any panels or mainframes. Point again, to the human race.

8. Battle of the Sexes

Always a fun part of our society. I know computer cords can be deemed “male” or “female” depending on its outlets, but if you can take both..what’s the call? Anyway, pick a side.

7. Sports and Games

Sure, I’m going to assume that IBM’s Watson can rock out in some Chess. But Connect Four? Tennis? Golf? Major doubt.

6. Dancing

I don’t see a fox trot, or even the Cupid Shuffle in your future.

5. Creativity

Plain and simple, Watson can read anything that has the foundation of 1s and Os. Anything deviating from that will be lost. In a world of black and white, there’s no room for red.

4. Free Will

Similar to above, free will is obsolete when it comes to Watson. It’s not self- aware (yet). And when or if it can become that, it is still programmed to operate under a protocol. Nothing it comes up with will be unmappable.

3. Laws of Attraction

No Watson, that LCD projector isn’t winking at you. The bulb is bad.

2. Occupation

Watson is stuck with being a Jeopardy contestant, or becoming the latest ChaCha answer consultant.

1. The Uber Geek

Just the fact ma’m. No jokes, and Watson definitely doesn’t ask the questions. Only answers them. Watson, no one likes a know-it-all.

Where Creativity Went in Advertising- A Modest Proposal

Sometimes the same tools and technology we herald as frickin’ awesome can become  thorns in our sides, pains in our backs, or the cause of many headaches.

Don’t get me wrong, innovative technology and the ability to communicate in a moment’s notice is awesome. And in this fast-paced business environment, that kind of ability is needed. But as an industry, marketing and advertising has not tackled the by-product of the rapid advancement of communications.

For background: let’s take the golden age of advertising, circa 1950-1985. The barriers of entry for the advertising world seemed to be almost insurmountable. To get into the big agencies, to do good work, and to have your good work be noticed, you had to be really, really good. Businesses looked for creativity and awarded those with it handsomely.

Let’s skip and go to the present. There are little to no barriers to enter the marketing and advertising world. Everyone is a “writer.” Anybody can blog. People, after work, can go home, open Publisher and voila! they can call themselves copywriters, designers, and the like. Businesses, small and large, no longer look to pay top dollar for the best talent. Now, unless I’m wrong, businesses today, small and large, are looking to get the best talent available for the most cost-efficient price- which is a very different approach. Because of the surplus of resources and people who claim they can use it-and use it well- businesses sacrifice the need of creativity for the comfort of doing marketing and advertising campaigns on a budget that they deem sufficient.

So what happens? Those creatives who good work and charge a price that matches, get pushed out by those who aren’t as creative and strategic, but fit the price tag.

What I’m saying is,  new and social media has started to turn creativity into a commodity. And this, friends and colleagues, is not good.

How do we fix this? I’m not sure. The “O’s and Ah’s” of advertising and marketing seemed to have left the building. With DVRs people would rather skip them, and with devices like the Flip, businesses rather do their own (albeit shoddy) video instead letting a Pro handle it.

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned the “creative exodus” that an Adage contributor talked about. It’s an important conversation to have. Our industry depends on creativity based on strategy and research, and once we lose that advantage, we being to compete solely on price…like butter.

How will this tale end? Will us creative pros leverage social media, traditional media, and other tools in a way that can weed out the “convenience  creatives”? Or is the advertising industry bound to end up competing not on ideas and implementation, but on Benjamins?