Thirty under 30.
Twenty under 20.
Can we do something different now?
Before anyone gets their panties in a bundle, let me say, “Good for you and congratulations on your esteemed award, that is awesome, you deserve it, I have all sorts of respect for the organization that organized and sponsored it. I hope you run with that and milk it for all it’s worth — truly — or else you’re wasting a very, very good thing.”
There. Now, moving on.
Let’s move the spotlight a little higher.
Young, noteworthy talent is commendable and should be recognized. Creatives with staying power? That’s who I want to know. I’m not looking back. My eyes are on the here and now, the tomorrow and the 15-20 years from now. And I still want role models.
- Show me a 47-year old creative who’s gone from concepting on a draft table to knocking out killer copy for Google Adwords, takes in 6 figures a year and works 20 hours a week. I want to know THAT person.
- Show me a 50-year old woman running her own ad agency, who’s been KILLING it for 30 years and has the true respect of all her employees. I want to meet her.
- Show me a 60-year old woman who knew what she wanted in her 20s…. has a successful business today… and a lot of front-line experience. I’ll buy her dinner and wine just to get two minutes of her advice.
It’s one thing to be awesome. It’s quite another to be awesome year after year, by adapting and changing and constantly moving. By absorbing the blows, the scope changes, the devastating losses, the bloodbath creative pitch, the back-stabbing, the mistakes that were totally your fault, the barely-made-payroll weeks, and all the other pissy little surprises that would otherwise set people back or throw them completely off track.
I think it’s important to recognize and nurture the young talent around us.
What about recognizing and respecting the talent that endures?
There will always be another award, another certificate, another list of notables. That’s predictable. But I still have a lot to learn, and I still have some pretty big goals.
Show me the people with talent and drive that has endured:
- If there’s a list of ’em, by all means, share it in the comments.
- If you know someone who sounds like the role models I listed above, share her name.
Those are the people I want to watch and learn from, baby. Because I still have a very long way to go.