Apprentice
There's No "I" In Team

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Jacob Clifton: B | Grade It Now!
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Lesson Two: Leave It On The Playground

They're standing in the hallway outside the CEO's office, okay, and Markus is coming to him with this crap, and he wants to "share it with the group and her and just bounce it off" Chris or whatever. Chris bottom-lines it: "I don't want to be surprised. What is it? Just say it." He's doing a really good job of making an effort to elicit this worthless information from Markus, who's even more ass-kissy and hangdog than usual. "…Smooth as silk," Markus says, and waits for Chris's mind to come shooting out of his excellent pointy ears. Cut to Creepy Mark looking like he might throw up a little, or start crying, because Markus is painful to be around. Chris continues to be awesome: "I think that might be a little premature, let me just say I think it's great, I like that you have that, but it might not be the best idea to come up with a slogan before you meet with the client." Like I just fucking said. Markus isn't getting it and it's clear he thinks he's getting sidelined. Chris interviews that he was very wary of thinking in terms of clichés, and of course (his emphasis) "Markus immediately comes up with a slogan." A lame, generic one.

Quick Quiz! Your Project Manager makes a simple request: Don't come up with any pitches before the client tells us what they've got in mind. And even then, don't be lame, and please keep your mouth shut for once. Do you…

A. Secretly think of sixteen awesome slogans or pitches and hold onto them in your genius brain, hoping you'll get at least one opening from what the client says, and then jump in with it, making the team look great?
B. Think of a totally clichéd campaign that has nothing to do with anything except maybe Cigar Aficionado magazine, or possibly the manager's materials at the Godiva kiosk in the mall?
C. Take your PM aside in the hallway and tell him the awesome idea you just had even though he asked you not to, just to make sure that he knows you aren't listening to a damn word he says?
D. Spring it on the client while they're speaking, so that you make your PM look like an ass?
E. Imply that the entire team is on board with your idea, making them all look like idiots and giving the client the impression that they're wasting their time with weird walleyed amateurs with terrible, assy ideas, and thus pre-judge whatever eventual campaign the team actually comes up with?

If you answered anything but A., but especially if you answered B. through E., inclusive, stop reading here. I don't want you even reading this recap, Markus.

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Apprentice

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