Is being the hero leading your business really a solo role?
We do tend to think of heroes as solo champions who save the world.
But no hero (or business leader) is an island.
Even the iconic hero, Superman, relied on Lois and Jimmy to get him out of tight scrapes when the likes of Lex Luther weakened our superhero with Kryptonite.
In this episode, we reflect on what historical stories about heroes and leaders on the battlefield can realistically teach us about how to lead, relate to, and appreciate the people around us.
Plus, we urge you to celebrate your quirks!
Talking About Marketing podcast episode notes with timecodes
01:26 Person This segment focusses on you, the person, because we believe business is personal.
Celebrate Your Quirks
Stanley Kubrick was auditioning for the air steward for 2001 Space Odyssey, and the woman who got the part had arrived at the audition having just come from a dentist appointment.
She was disoriented by the drugs and couldn’t walk properly.
As history reveals, Kubrick loved her tentative walking; it evoked images of moving in weightlessness. She got the part.
The moral of the story is even if you're not you're 100% ready, do it anyway.
This is especially so when pitching for business because you never know if there’s something about your quirk or your flaw that is exactly what the other party is looking for.
07:31 Principles This segment focusses principles you can apply in your business today.
Belonging To The Brand
David is halfway through listening to Christian Cameron’s series, The Long War, which is centred around the exploits of Arimnestos of Plataea during the protracted conflict between the ancient Greeks and Persians.
The first three novels in the series already inspired him to think about leadership in a more integrated way than he had considered until now, as well as motivating him to comprehensively situate leadership within the broader contexts of the rule of law and what makes a good life.
"Over my years of lecturing and consulting, I have listened to more books about leadership, virtue ethics, and what makes a good life than I can remember. Even though I can remember quite a bit, and can tell you something useful about every book in my nineteen page recommended reading list, a lot of the pieces don’t fit together in a cohesive and immediately relatable way. After reading three of the six books in The Long War series, I recommend that you should listen to/read Christian Cameron’s novels next time you want to reflect on, and learn something new about, leadership."
Arimnestos is a complex, sometimes noble, and regularly flawed character, making his way through a brutal and beautiful world, which is simultaneously familiar and alien.
He very quickly becomes a dangerous man on the battlefield (a “killer” in the parlance of the series), and learns that a hero can change the course of a battle, but cannot win it on their own. This lesson is reinforced when Arimnestos becomes a leader in war.
Leaders/heroes can do things that their followers can’t, but without disciplined, well trained followers to fill the space they cut, and to walk the path they forge, heroic actions frequently only result in tragic stories of what might have been.
15:55 Problems This segment answers questions we've received from clients or listeners.
Steve is working with a lovely woman who is creating a social enterprise, so he's particularly conscious of helping her save money wherever possible.
During troublesheeting a premium plugin that is a key part of her new site, the tech support people needed some specifications from her webhosting.
Not rocket science level information, just information that would take a little time and chatting with the webhost to access.
Steve was able to arm Donna with the exact wording she needed to ask and she was able to get this information herself, and in the process she stretched her budget just that little bit further.
Depending on your interests and time and budget, it's always worth checking with contractors about any aspects of the "grunt work" they're doing for you could be done in house.
It is a balancing act because there's no enduring value in learning how to do something you'll only do once, but in some situations it might just be a smart way to stretch your budget further and even move things forward a little quicker.
17:54 Perspicacity This segment is designed to sharpen our thinking by reflecting on a case stude from the past.
Le Specs, Le Tough
Ever broken an expensive pair of sunglasses?
Steve has. Too often.
He made a decision years ago to stop wasting money and stick to good but practical glasses.
He's gone back to taking a chance with more premium sunglasses again, thanks to needing prescriptions, but there was a time in the 80s where a pair of Le Specs actually lived up to their promise and withstood his punishment.
David and Steve discuss the Le Specs, Le Tough campaign and ask, would it work today.
We think it would. Listen to the interview to find out why.