By Drew Davies
Lessons from ex-military cop Jack Reacher
Every moment is a learning opportunity. Every experience can be a ‘dot’ depending on how you perceive it.
This week I started and finished reading Lee Child’s ‘Killing Floor.’
This is the first book in a series which has Jack Reacher, an ex-military cop, as the protagonist (think Jason Bourne meets Sherlock Holmes but more badass).
To the trained eye what appears to be a thriller book actually turns out to be a guide full of tips for those in advertising. Allow me to enlighten you…
- Coffee is your friend – Jack Reacher loves coffee. He can’t get enough of it. He grabs it and gulps in right down, by the pint. It delights his taste buds, warms his insides and keeps him on the ball. Thanks to coffee he operates five days with only few hours sleep, achieving seemingly impossible feats. Drink coffee.
- Stand together – Jack Reacher never had the best relationship with his brother but their military upbringing taught them no matter their feelings they always had each others back. While you’re together stand and fall with your partner.
- Keep calm – “I was screaming at myself to listen to what I’d learned through thirteen hard years. The shorter the time, the cooler you’ve got to be.” Words straight from the man himself. In advertising pressure is constant. Deadlines are tight. Its being able to try and stay relaxed and control your emotions that will yield the best results.
- Use your head – “The forehead is a perfect arch in all planes and very strong. It’s like getting hit in the face with a bowling ball. It’s always a surprise.” Reacher uses his head for devastating effect, who knows when it may come in handy for the ad layman/woman? It can also keep our hands safe so we can do pretty drawing and stuff.
- Don’t play fair – Reacher isn’t as glamorous as James Bond. He doesn’t do epic fight scenes or have a certain class. Honor doesn’t mean anything to him. He’s happy to wait hours in the dark for an ambush and simply walk up behind an enemy with lead pole and KABLAM! He also likes a good eye gauge. He’ll take any advantage he can – think Dave Trott – Predatory Thinking.
- Travel – After a lifetime in the army, Reacher enjoys his retirement travelling around the world anonymously, seeing new places and meeting new people. We can’t do this (or can we?) but getting a taste of other cultures is important. There’s your excuse to travel – I’ve already used it.
- Research – Jack cracks the investigation by reading through a load of books he finds on a shelf. He notices links and threads them together to find answers. Maybe advertising is the same…oh and the internet of course.
- Shoot to kill – aiming to absolutely murder every brief means even if our aim is slightly off we still may have a decent result.
- Shoot again – when bad guys you thought died come back again what do you do? Jack loads a big shiny 50 cal bullet into his beastly Desert Eagle and tears a new whole in the motherfuckers. At some point everyone will face a zombie brief that just won’t die. A brief that keeps coming back with changes looking worse for wear each time. Probably not is SCA but definitely after. Just load up and let loose again.
- Don’t get whipped – Although Jack gets intimate with a sexy police officer called Roscoe (like all heroes no matter how urgent the situation he manages to find time for pleasures) and dreams of living with her it never comes to be. Even though they have feelings for each other their goals and dreams are different. I would never sacrifice my life to be with someone, I don’ think anyone else should either.
So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, Jack Teacher.