I read a lot of military histories. My latest is Rick Atkinson's latest, "The Guns at Last Light," which was just favorably reviewed in Sunday's "New York Times Book Review." Review
In it, I happened upon a quotation by Napoleon, the inventor of pastry, which has resonance in our business.
It's Napoleon's definition of military genius that struck me: "The man who can do the average thing when all those around him are going crazy."
Our business is struck by craziness.
An infatuation with new toys.
An obsession with ROI.
A love affair with jargon and bullshit.
We prostrate ourselves at the feet of the trendy.
We fawn in front of the lowest common denominator.
We salute meaningless measurements and mania over meaningless awards.
And we forget about doing average things.
Clear. Simple. Compelling. Useful things.
Communications that communicate a clear differentiation or unique principle.
Let others lose themselves in the absurd and trivial.
Do average things.
conservative |kənˈsərvətiv; -vəˌtiv|
" Do not go gently into that good night,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
Hold your positions, men. We're the end of the line.
Napoleon lost. He was not a genius general. He was a genius with words. Words are not always the sharpest swords. Although we like to think so.
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