Welcome to Episode 42 of Navigating the Fustercluck—a podcast full of snackable insights to help you navigate the gloriously insane world of creativity & marketing.
My name is Wegs, like eggs with a W, joining you from Deaf Mule Studios in Dallas, where we’re
Thanks again for helping our launch year be such a success. Not only were we an iTunes New & Noteworthy selection, but you gave us over 100 5-star reviews. And we appreciate it. If you’ve found Navigating the Fustercluck to be helpful, please share it.
Now I have something to share with you. Some personal thoughts. See, this may not be the first episode released this year, but it was recorded on December 30th. Therefore, I think it can be grandfathered into a New Year’s resolution edition.
Enough of this pre-ramble, let’s get going before February catches us.
New Years-ish Resolution #1
Don’t Call People Younger than Yourself “Kids”
Entering the business, one thing I never appreciated was being called a kid. To some it was just a term of endearment. But too often it seemed dismissive. As if somehow my age or experience automatically made my ideas less worthy of serious discussion than any other ideas on the table. Yet, a few times last year, I found myself using that term myself. Now that I’m 55, maybe that’s natural. Maybe I’m stating my willingness to mentor. But as I think about it, that doesn’t cut it. It just doesn’t feel right. I’m not their parent or big brother. “Kid” could even be taken as ageism. And ageism of any kind is wrong & unproductive. So, let’s put an end to calling anyone a kid. Oh, and while we’re at it, can we put an end to OK Boomer as well? Or any other generational putdowns?
Ageism. Sexism. And every other kind of -ism off the top of my head are divisive. In a time where we need more collaboration, breaking down generational silos is important. Realizing that generational diversity has a lot to offer is the start of an important collaboration of experience and fresh perspectives. You may want to go back to the Episode 19 on mentoring, when I talked about not only mentoring but reverse mentoring. People assisting others older themselves with things like the latest technology and pop culture. Everyone on your team sharing what they know best.
#2 is something Tom Hansen used to say:
Don’t Let Stoopid People Waste Your Time
First and foremost, while I’ve massively cut back on responding to online ogres and trolls, I resolve to completely eliminate any interaction with them this year. Liars and the illogical are damn near impossible to converse with honestly and openly. And I’m afraid that I’ll have to reclassify myself as s-t-double o-p-i-d, stupid, if I keep engaging them.
Offline, whether personally or professionally, I vow to do the same.
For example, sometimes even intelligent leaders wind up getting attached to strays- incompetent and/or annoying office pets and favorites. I have seen this virtually everywhere I’ve ever worked and have never been able to explain it. However, I’ve come to the conclusion that until these office pets self-select or self-implode, the odds of you dramatically changing the situation are slim to none. Just avoid those people and don’t talk about them. When normally rational people double-down on their pets, it only makes matters worse.
None of that was easy to say, by the way. It goes against my nature to concede that some problems can’t be fixed. We’re in the problem/solution business, after all. But as the Japanese say, No Solution, No Problem. You just have to deal with it and not fritter away any goodwill or influence you may have.
That’s my stand, unless you can convince me otherwise. If you think you can, please reach out to me personally at email@example.com.
Don’t Take Self-Deprecating to Self-Defecating
I’ve always found it charming how the British use self-deprecating humor. I like to use it myself. Maybe too much. At least that’s the opinion of two people who know me well.
One thinks I’m not giving myself enough credit. That I’m selling myself short. In fact she says that sometimes I take it too far-way too far. That I take self-deprecating to self-defecating. Pardon my French, but I shit on myself. Put myself down.
My other friend says just the opposite. That my humor can come off as smarmy. False modesty. I don’t see it that way, but he’s a bright, bright guy. So, if he sees it, perhaps others do, too. Will the opinions of 2 people make me completely shut off the spigot on self-deprecating humor? No. It will, however, have me cutting back a bit and paying attention to it. Check yourself, or you’ll wreck yourself.
Do the Work You Love with the People You Love
Another Tom Hansenism. While it’s not always possible, from here on out this is going to be more of a priority. In trying to give people the benefit of the doubt, sometimes I’ve messed up. Worked with colleagues and clients who ended up being duds and thugs. Office politicians and power grabbers. It’s time to trust my instincts again. To balance the way I assess people and opportunities. Again, it’s in my nature to think I can be a change agent in any situation. People are another matter. You can’t fix people. You can only help them better themselves. Ultimately, they’re the ones in charge of whom they decide to be. Hopefully, the change you help usher in to create better processes and culture will help bring out the best in people. Unfortunately, sometimes their best is not good enough.
On the other hand, this does not mean that you should only hire friends. Or people who remind you of yourself. Or people you worked with in the past.
In the end, keep an open-mind. And perhaps follow this piece of advice:
Hire Slowly, Fire Quickly.
Take time getting to know people before you let them in, but if they don’t prove to be who they represented themselves to be, don’t drag your feet in helping a bad fit move on. Or extracting yourself from a bait and switch situation. Told things would be one way, only to find out that they had made false promises.
Become an Early Riser
Whoooo! Whoooo! Sometimes, I think that if I took a DNA test that I might discover that I’m part owl. I am that much of a night owl. Love the solitude of it. The old movies that are on. It just seems innate to me.
It may also explain why I’m often tired. Sometimes groggy. Crabby. And seemingly working night and day. Here’s to going to bed and waking up early enough to workout before work. Maybe this next one should be #5B, but let’s call it…
Feed & Water Myself
For a guy who has so much to live for, my diet & exercise habits the last 2 years have been suicidal. A look at my latest blood work shows that I’ve literally been killing myself.
With a plan based on the fundamentals of the one & only Laura Mosier, I’m now in beast mode to feed and water myself with the respect life deserves.
Too much to do, too many to serve not to make a change for the better.
When I’m at my healthiest, I think better. Last longer. Gain a second wind. Enjoy vacations more. Adventure out more. Can’t wait to getting back to my peak performance levels.
That said, please, please don’t send me ideas or diets, my plan is set. Do, however, do me this favor, if you would. If you see me overindulging, smack me in the head and tell me that you were really looking forward to growing old together. That will set me straight, again. Thanks! And please, please, please…feed & water yourself as well. It’s awfully hard to make a difference without a pulse.
Make the Ask, Moron
What’s the #1 reason someone didn’t make a sale? They didn’t ask. Honestly.
Sometimes I find myself not asking for more, when I perfectly well deserve it.
Nipping that in the bud. Whomever negotiates with me this year, good luck!!!!
Personally and professionally, we’ve got to respect ourselves. And that’s that!
Stop Saying I’m Sorry
I pride myself on being collaborative and courteous. Sometimes I may take this too far. Interestingly, I’ve read the same from a lot of women and Canadians! So, not only will I check myself, I’m here to help women with this as well. Canadians? You’re on your own. Kidding! I hate to see anyone be overaccommodating. I think it weakens one’s position. And because the intent comes from a good place.
Time to Take a Short Breather… (EXHALE.)
…We’re here at Deaf Mule Studios to remind everyone that this is Navigating the Fustercluck. And I’m your host, Wegs. And this is my list of New Years-ish resolutions to myself. Ha! Now you get to hold me to them!
And finally, last but not least keep in mind what Ricky Gervais said…
#9 No One Else Knows What They’re Doing, Either!
It’s easy to be hard on ourselves. Sometimes too hard. I still regret a lackluster pitch performance from 17 years ago! We’ve just got to keep on keeping on. Learning and burning. Getting better every day to help our teams get better each and every day. And remembering to laugh when all we’re guilty of is being human.
Well, that about wraps up our 42th episode of Navigating the Fustercluck.
Here from Deaf Mule Studios, I’m your host, Wegs, like eggs with a W, and thanks again for listening in and supporting us. Please feel free to reach out to me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org or NavigatingTheFustercluck.com, where you can find transcripts to this episode and every other of our 41 efforts. Finally, remember, we’re all in this together. So thanks for hanging in there. Here’s to you. Here’s to the future. And a fantastic new year.