Thursday, May 16, 2013


Going into a pitch can teach you a lot about people. I suppose it's as close as we in advertising get to sharing a fox-hole during an artillery attack.

A pitch leaves you vulnerable, exposed. If you accept the challenge of the pitch, there's no place to hide. You have to step up and do the work.

But, back to fox-holes.

My guess would be there are basically three types of behaviors--maybe four--when the shelling starts. Three or four types of behaviors when it comes to pitches.

First, there are those who are driving crazy by the nearness of death, by the noise and concussion. In short, there are the panickers.

Second, there are those who are shut down and immobilized by the terror they feel. They are the catatonics.

Third, and I guess the rarest, there are those who understand the dangers around them, and accept them. They use the tension and fear around them to rally their personal resources and fight back.

Finally, there are those who are miles away from the fox-hole. They're up in Company HQ, plotting grand strategies and moves and counter-moves. They usually have no real grasp of what's happening on the ground.

Years ago I had a brilliant boss who didn't believe in the new-age bushwa concerning employee evaluations. 

He believed there was one way to assess the value of someone in an ad agency. Do you want them in a pitch, or not? When it's Friday and the work is due on Monday, do you want them in the room?

This might be harsh. But it makes sense to me.


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