For an industry we love, there’s an awful lot of hate out there, and it may be preventing us from doing our best work. Whether we’re deep in the trades, on social or simply chatting with industry peers, it’s not uncommon to hear people tearing others down. From agency to agency, no one is safe, writes VaynerMedia creative chief Rob Lenois.
This Valentine’s Day, I’m penning a love letter to the industry we all adore, asking you not only to show a little more love this year, but also to hopefully pull back the curtain on what can happen when you do.
Nothing excites me more than great work: to see it, to be a part of it, to celebrate it. So, I wonder why so many bulldoze others’ work. It doesn’t make us better, make the creative better or make our clients’ businesses better. In fact, it does the opposite. It creates roadblocks to facilitating the fearlessly open, collaborative industry we all want. It prevents the perhaps quieter, maybe progressive voice from speaking up. It can even be the very thing that silences the innovation and change this industry is known to champion.
However, it’s when we stop pushing away and start pulling everyone in to collaborate that we become more informed. There is real magic that can happen when we start to listen, grow and celebrate ideas from every direction. When we show love and empathy, we allow voices to truly be heard and real partnerships to develop. Mutual respect, care, collaboration — these are undeniable tenets that will make our industry not only stronger, but also more attractive to those looking to join it.
Watching last night’s Super Bowl, I was so impressed with the caliber of work that came out and it made me think — if we truly came together and celebrated each other’s brilliant spots, our industry’s heartbeat could grow just a little bit stronger. And it may just help both talent and clients alike restore their faith in an industry that so desperately needs it.
The moments of leaning in with an open mind pave the way for much bigger ideas. Love leads to partnerships that springboard us into new creative territories, helping us to make a greater cultural impact as a result.
By approaching every idea with love, we can hold space for everyone to discuss every idea, every thought and every comment. I get it — at first it’s not easy (read: super fucking hard). You may disagree with every word coming out of someone's mouth! But love and empathy remove creative blocks and allow for a better understanding of diverse ideas and meaningful creativity.
So, this Valentine’s Day, let’s shelve our egos. Let’s reach out to that agency to congratulate them on a recent win. Let’s share positive comments about something we saw that excited us. Let’s lean into something we don’t understand.
Let’s spread the love because it’s the right thing to do. Or, if that’s not your thing, do it for the industry you love. Because that’s everyone’s thing. What’s not to love?
Rob Lenois is chief creative officer of VaynerMedia.