51. 8 Brow-Raising Things I’ve Heard a Lot Lately

I Can’t Recommend This Business Anymore…

The Holding Companies Won’t Allow Me to Lead…

There Are No Advertising Heroes These Days…

I’m Really Hoping NOT to Get Promoted…


These are just some of the brow-raising things that I’ve been hearing lately.


Some of which I’m hearing for the very first time.


Perhaps each of these are a signal that creativity & management are indeed in the middle of a great upheaval.


The again, when isn’t it?


Welcome to Episode 51 of Navigating the Fustercluck—a podcast full of snackable insights to help you navigate the evolving world of creativity & marketing.


My name is Wegs, like eggs with a W, joining you from Deaf Mule Studios in Dallas, where we’re exploring all the talk out there. 


As we move past our first 50 episodes, thanks again for helping our launch year be such a success. We truly appreciate it. And hope that you’ll keep enjoying and sharing Navigating the Fustercluck.


OK, let’s get back to the buzz all about creativity & management… 



  • I Can’t Recommend This Business Anymore



This is one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard.


And I’m hearing it more & more.


From grizzled vets to those who should be the next group of leaders and cheerleaders for the business.


People are down. They feel forlorn. (Sad sounding word, isn’t it?)


Some feel that in their pursuit for economic efficiencies, clients haven’t noticed or don’t care about the struggle of agency people to maintain some degree of work/life balance.


They feel that their companies barely care more than their clients. 


It’s been going on so long this way that people are finally exhausted. Losing faith and optimism in their industry. And their leaders. So much so that many no longer want to see anyone else suffer the same fate. They’re actually mentoring younger people to get out while they can.


All I can say is that the rank-and-file need some hope. 


Leaders, you still owe your team 3 basic things:


  1. A vision to march behind
  2. Input to the vision
  3. The tools & environment to fulfill the vision


And you owe them this whether or not those above you in the org chart aren’t supplying the same to you.


No wonder I’m also hearing people say…



  • I’m Really Hoping NOT to Get Promoted



It’s not that people aren’t ambitious, it’s just that leadership isn’t always worth aspiring to. Why? 


People are looking for safe-havens. A balance between making money and free-time. And they’re afraid to be at such a level where they’ll be exposed when layoffs come. You can actually become the victim of your own success. Seeking security over new challenges. Especially when cuts are being made by accountants at the home office who have never met you.


Some of these problems are perceived to come from the same source- 

holding companies. 


I even have C-suite leaders, including CEO’s saying…



  • The Holding Companies Won’t Allow Me to Lead



According to them, they have to manage to the numbers. Keep the status quo. Unable to investment spend in tools or people unless a current client requests it. 

No risk. No gain. Just the same agency offering from before. Incremental improvements over dynamic change. At the same time, these leaders seem a whole lot safer than those they serve. The average stay of an agency CEO stay is pretty stable it seems, just as long as they don’t try too hard to innovate. That may be one reason why people are saying…



  • There Are No Advertising Heroes Anymore



Was Alex Bogusky the last advertising hero? Because he’s gone now. Again.

David Droga may have held that mantle, but that’s before many dubbed him a sell-out when he sold to Accenture. (The jury is still out on that one.)


So who else? Dan Weiden is basically out of the picture. Jeff Goodby? Perhaps.


Anyway, on the more personal level, with so many vets opting out voluntarily or forcibly, are we left with many potential heroes? Or is the idea of heroes old and trite? A thing of the past. I hope not.


But perhaps others might say…



  • OK Boomer.



I hate that phrase. Nope, I’m not technically a boomer, still  I really hate that phrase.


And it just won’t die. As ageist as it is, it’s still with us. Maybe Boomers asked for it, because so many kept disparaging Millennials. But any tag that targets a whole group should die a quick & sudden death. Sex/gender/race, etc., etc.


Which leads us to something I just read on good ‘ol Fishbowl. 



  • Being Pro-Anything, Means You’re Anti-Something.



Anytime race and diversity pop up on Fishbowl, I’m ready to cringe. Lots of enlightened viewpoints up against a strong force of backwards belligerence.


One favorite tome is that we have to watch-out for “reverse-racism”.

Not going to go into the semantics of that, but the idea that after all these years of discrimination, that we can just end all of this now and there will be a level playing field from here on out is either naïve or flat-out bullshit.


We won’t solve this here, but please explore the notion of reverse-racism and the idea that we don’t need programs to recruit and train for a more diverse and productive workforce.



  • The Coronavirus will cause a great spike in working remotely



As of this recording, the whole world is watching to see how the Coronavirus will play out. First & foremost, the concern for life and good health comes first. Then much further down the line, some of the possible implications for the future of working.


Working remotely is one of them. 


More & more people are staying home to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Many are liking it. Some employers are wondering if they can keep their people home and eliminate some real estate costs.


Maybe we’ll all follow the lead of Invision and everyone will work remotely. They have nearly a thousand folks working that way and apparently, they love it.


And it’s causing quite a buzz online. We’ll see. In the meantime, let’s hope people survive and this virus flames out for good.


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 we’ve been talking about what we’re hearing about the world of creativity & management.


If what you’re hearing is as troubling as what I’m hearing, here’s a piece of advice. Do something about it! Doing nothing but waiting for this industry to shake out its problems on it own, will only make you feel anxious. Do something that either helps yourself or others to lead more productive lives. Using creativity to refresh & renew the business of creativity.


One last thing: I’ve been told that our 1-year anniversary is next week! It’s Gratifying. And humbling. Thanks again for your support, and please share this podcast with anyone you think would like or needs it. And if you’d like to have me come in and talk to your agency, I’m available.


Well, that about wraps up our 51st 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 for the last year. Please feel free to reach out to me personally at wegs24x7@gmail.com or NavigatingTheFustercluck.com, where you can find transcripts to this episode and every other of our 50 efforts. And join us next week for our 1-year anniversary. Finally, remember, we’re all in this together. Let’s all talk our issues through. Here’s to you. Here’s to the future.