Reaching for the Stars

There’s s a Leo Burnett Alumni Reunion November 13 in Chicago. At the Planetarium. (“Reach for the Stars” was our old motto, as in “if you reach for the stars, you might not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.”) I’m flying in for the event.

I’m sure that it will be a bit weird seeing how much everyone else has changed in the 20 years since I’ve seen them. And I’ve been reflecting a lot about how much has changed in the ad business since I left the agency side in 1994. Indeed, how much has changed in life.

Tangent – but kinda related: Check out this article about how the way we pay for things is changing. Our very concept of currency is being revolutionized. How cool is that?

As I reflect on change and all that’s new, my thoughts keep returning to what’s enduring. How the more things change, and the more the pace of change increases, the more we need to stay grounded in the power of insight, and in the skills and discipline of utilizing insight to uncover and nurture a great idea.

When I was ‘schooled’ at Leo Burnett, the search for the big idea, the inherent drama in a product, was the thing. There were an amazing number of really smart, even brilliant people who worked at Leo Burnett when I did, who found insight, who developed big ideas, who never stopped thinking and pushing until they got to that big idea.

I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again. I believe that insight and the big idea are still the thing that I and we should be reaching for, and not settling until we get. I may stop using cash and credit cards in favor of Apple Pay and bitcoin, but insight and big, enduring ideas will always be currency.

Thank you, star reachers of Leo Burnett, for teaching and inspiring me. I am still trying to reach for the stars. (And thanks, Joe, for giving me the idea for this post!)


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