I’m reading a book right now that challenges the effectiveness of the “follow your passion” career advice. The author suggest that this mentality creates career seekers that are looking for what a profession can give them vs what their talents can bring to that career. It’s suggested that this way of thinking leads to unsuccessful, unhappy people who become frustrated in a profession that they have never been able to show exceptional talent in. The book argues a better formula for career success starts with the “craftsman” mentality. This is a person that is really good at something and is continuously honing his/her craft. A “craftsman” mentality is driven to be exceptional at the profession he/she has chosen.
What excites this type of individual is seeing how his/her talents can change and/or improve the industry. A person with the “craftsman” mentality ends up doing the level of work that people simply can not ignore. It’s their dedication and talent (the more effective building blocks of passion) that leads to their success. Though I’m only part way through the book, the premise has inspired me. I’m on board with its rationale. And I see the need for this philosophy to be applied more in the advertising industry. I think about some of the RFQs and presentations I participated in while working at other agencies. We were motivated mainly by the potential revenue the prospect could bring to our bottom line. Our enthusiasm was misguided. We were excited about “What the prospect could do for us” vs “What we could do for their company.” Want a good reason behind why our industry average for client/agency relationships is 3 years? Evaluating the motivation driving the initial desire to partner is a good starting point.
I believe at EXIT, our success as a marketing partner comes from our team’s commitment to deliver a greater level of service and talent. Not because of what it brings us but because of the results it provides our clients. We are driven to improve our product in order to provide clients greater success. And we truly are never satisfied with our services. We know we can be better at what we do. And we want to be better. It’s the only way to continue to do the work that WOWs clients. I’m proud to say, at EXIT, we are a team of craftsmen. And it’s exciting to know that our best work for clients is to come.