This video is a sample of some of my thought and directly below the video is a a fairly detailed description on how it was developed. I'm sharing to illustrate one methodology I use to develop a message, and also to practice what this particular message is all about - create and share free from fear in an effort to help
Icarus and Godin: In fall of 2013 I saw Seth Godin deliver a keynote address about his most recent book, the Icarus Deception. It inspired me to begin to look at every aspect of marketing from a creative perspective. (sidebar: Godin’s address was very good the book was just ok). The idea of the talk and book is simple – Icarus wasn’t told only not to fly too high because the sun would melt the wax on his wings but also not to fly too low because the ocean’s salt water would also produce a damaging effect. Godin basically posits that we’ve been sold on not flying too high without getting the warning of not flying too low. Therefore, he says, we have been conditioned not to take risks. The antidote, set aside fear and create.
Rocky and Art: Shortly after receiving this newfound inspiration I was driving past the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Lying at the foot of the museum’s famous steps, just to the right actually, is the dubiously famous “Rocky Statue”. The statue is really a movie prop appearing in the 1982 2nd sequel to the 1976 best picture Rocky, and there was a group of about 50 tourists waiting in line to take their picture with the statue. At the time I was driving this route regularly and this scene was not unique, no matter the day, hour, or season there were always tourists waiting to take their photo with the movie prop.
I found it ironic that this icon of American popular culture was a must see stop for visitors to Philadelphia while the building that it stood in front of was most likely not.
Personal Development: In addition to fearlessness Godin also spoke about embracing a level of generosity when we do creating. His idea was to offer our creativity with no ulterior motive other than the value that it will hopefully have for those who consume what we have created. This was timely for me as well because I read quite a bit of personal and professional development books, and what I have found is that the best books in this category all have one theme in common – selflessness. Ordering our success in a way that ensures we are working to sincerely help others and not merely to line our pockets or satisfy our egos.
Tedx Philly: These seeds of an idea were rambling around in my mind. I was using them as motivation for my blog posts (some of those posts can be found here, here, here, and here), and maturing exactly what the core of this idea was. At about this same time I became aware the upcoming Tedx Philly conference the following spring, and decided that it would be a perfect venue to introduce the thought to a broader audience. With the help of my good friend Greg Matusky who runs Gregory FCA, the largest Philly area PR firm, I filmed this video as my ‘audition’ for the event.
I wasn’t selected to speak at the event, a disappointment, but I was extremely glad that it was a catalyst to pull together the overall idea.
Foundational: Candidly I never did develop the entire talk. But while the thought in the video here may seem a little disconnected and incomplete, the concept is the foundation on which I build everything. It changed the way that I managed my team, the way I developed my content, the way I evaluated risk, and the manner in which I goal set and worked to achieve those goals.
This is why I have decided to share it more widely. It not only represents well the manner in which I develop an idea, more importantly I honestly believe there is value in the notion of selfless creativity that will benefit anyone who is willing to employ the tactic.
This is what I do, this is how I work, this is how I create, this is how I seek to give.