Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Keeping your head down.

If you were under siege from enemy artillery, there's a lot to be said for the value of keeping your head down. My guess is that under those circumstances most people react in one of two ways. 1) The become immobilized with fear. 2) They start planning a way out. It might start as a defensive maneuver but eventually you begin planning a way to marshal your resources so you can respond offensively.

This scenario applies in agencies as well. There are times, many of them, when it seems like incoming missiles are all about you. Most people hide. Some keep their heads down and find a way out, find away to fire back.

Many years ago I had a particularly crazy, particularly heinous client. He wouldn't buy anything we had shown him. The panic level in the agency was high. Everyone within the agency was turning the screws on whoever was below them. There seemed to be no way out of the situation short of resigning the account.

At that point I had been at the agency only two months so I was a relative unknown. Amid this crisis I kept my head down and started planning a way out of the situation. I came in on the weekend and wrote, literally, 50 scripts for the client. I sent them directly to my boss's boss. He liked about a dozen of the scripts and had me present them to the client. The client bought about five of the scripts. I became a hero.

Sometimes when the heat is on you have to go inside yourself and use the skills you have to find a resolution. You have to keep your head down and work your way out of a bad situation. Sometimes that's the only way.

No comments: