Have you ever tried branding yourself? Like, have you ever thought about how you try to present yourself to the world? I'm working on this hazy concept I have running through my head called "Professional Craziness". It's this nebulous notion (how's that for an alliteration, teach?) of mixing creativity-on-steroids with the ability to reel it in to make some semblance of sense to your bosses, company, and most importantly, your audience. Let me give you an example...
Back in university, I was entered in this really intense marketing competition called The Apprentice. It was similar to the TV show: we were split into two competing teams who would be challenged by a real world case each week by a sponsoring company (someone like Xerox, Frito Lay, Pepsi, etc.) and we had to create a unique marketing solution to the problem and present it in the next week's boardroom meeting in front of a panel of judges and often 70+ audience members including students, faculty members, media, and prospective employers. The big difference between the competition and the show was that our motto was "You're Hired", not:
Despite my enthusiasm my group members unsurprisingly didn't quite go for this. However, I took this kernel of an idea and shaped it into something a bit more palatable - a recreation of a high-level Xerox manager assigning us this task and then us presenting it to him "live via satellite" (i.e. rerecorded projection) complete with hilarious synchronicity improvisations and low-budget production values (this was before the advent of youtube, where everyone now knows how to shoot a Hollywood level film). It had the crowd in stitches and firmly in our corner. Now that's "Professional Craziness".
Anyway, it was really intense and both groups would pull out all the stops. Leading into our third week of competition, I felt like we needed to hit a new level in our presentation for the next challenge. Xerox had laid down the gauntlet by asking us to develop, write and design a new sales collateral piece for their SMB sales agents. So we went to work on what we thought would be a unique idea on collateral design. Meanwhile, as we began prep for our presentation, I proposed an absolutely bat-shit crazy idea. The presentation would take the form of some pseudo trip along the yellow brick road à la Wizard of Oz where we would encounter strange travelers who would give us advice on how to build the best sales collateral possible and we would finally meet the Wizard himself to whom we would sell this new-fangled sales collateral. My favourite (favorite for my American readers) part of this was that the wizard bit would be prerecorded and projected up on the screen - eschewing powerpoint altogether and forcing us to time our "lines" to match up with the recorded wiz. This hair-brained scheme all sprung from my love of the movie quote:
Do I have this illusive attribute? I would say I'm a Pro Crazy young padwan aspiring to be a full blown Jedi of Professional Craziness. And I'm looking for my yoda.