I wrote this parable about the lack of “success” that choosing to be right often brings. Since it seemed to give a different spin on what separates agencies who make ads from those who make great ads I’ve joined it with the others in a way I hope is helpful to you, dear graduates, as you enter the ad agency business:
Two knights are given a task by the king:
“Bring me a stone to make soup from.”
The first knight goes away but returns in only a few minutes with a ham bone.
He says, “This will make good soup.”
The king says, “That is not a stone.”
“Well of course it’s not a stone,” the knight argues, “Who makes soup out of a stone when they can have soup made out of a ham bone?”
The king says, “Put him in the dungeon.”
The second knight also goes away.
After many days of eating and drinking and traveling at the king’s expense, he returns with a thousand drawings of a thousand different stones.
“Which of these beautiful stones do you wish me to bring you to make soup from?” the knight asks.
There is delighted murmuring from the king and from his court.
“Give this knight a chest of gold” says the king, “and take the drawings to the Queen that she may choose which stone suits.”
Moral of the story:
Doing what you know to be right is always right. But so is following orders.
Welcome to the conundrum. It’s a simple dance, complicated by people. You’ll love it.