By Stephen Yeates
Reflection, as I’ve mentioned in Scabs gone by, is something I think I’ve embraced. I’m getting pretty good at it. I enjoy it. I’m 31, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, so I’ve had plenty of practice.
One thing I’ve definitely struggled with until recently, however, is balancing fear and fun. A kind of micro reflection-on-the-job, if you will. A way to keep my fear of failure just at the right gas mark without it charring all of the creative fuel that might lead the work somewhere truly liberated.
I’m getting there, and I’m still shitting myself at the prospect of this year not working out – it has to work out, or I’m fucked – but I’m letting myself go more than ever.
Actually, compared to the account man that walked through the door back in September, I’m unrecognisable.
During one of Marc’s typically refocusing Friday afternoon speeches, he questioned our levels of urgency, comparing our stress levels to the year before, asking if we wanted it enough.
I’ve no doubt we all do, and maybe the lack of explicit worry boils down to the fact that, as a room, we’re better at managing stress, or bottling it up, who knows. But – and this is just my opinion – to truly want ‘it’ hard enough, means defining what ‘it’ means, and I was lucky enough to have that defined over a number of frustrated years at agencies, not being able to turn my hand to the single most fascinating job in the building.
It’s hard, especially with a pulsating workload, to just stop what we’re doing to ask ourselves why we’re all here, but it’s even harder to push that question one step further and to try and define in our heads exactly what success means. And it’ll mean different things; different types of work, company ideologies and working cultures, to each team, but it’s worth starting that process now by leaving the safety of Brixton and seeing what the industry looks like on the outside.
It might even lead us to an ‘it’ we never knew we wanted.