Posts Tagged ‘Maya Angelou’

courtesy of oxandoak

What do Robert Plant, Maya Angelou, Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Diane Sawyer have in common…?…Aside from talent, what helps Snoop Dogg sell records and Andy Samberg sell his (sometimes off-kilter) ideas…?…why do we pay far too much money for a pair of jeans or (what may seem like) a simple hair cut…?




This is nothing new: Swagger has been a determining factor for a lot of things. Think back to your time on the playground: the one kiddo that was the captain of the kickball team…it wasn’t because he/she showed up with the ball…it’s because he/she had that little (at the time) indescribable quality that just brought everyone together. I can recall this one kid that just made things a little bit more fun on the playground – it’s like he knew what to say, how to play fair, when to break out the Big League Chew…he just got it.


It’s like he walked to a ‘Billy Bad A**’ song that only he heard…



Don’t underestimate the power of Swagger – it can help move the needle for a company in the right direction. It can bring teams together and unite them for a worthy cause.  It can help create some excitement for a team when the chips are down.  It can help you identify with a product or service. Swagger can help you sell.


The great thing about Swagger is that everyone has it.  Some people come by it like their distributors, while some may not even realize they have it.


But it’s there.


All you have to do is just tap into that a little and you’ll find that extra bit of courage to pitch that story…present that idea to the board…sell that product…write that great American novel…start that business…ask that girl out.


But, how, you may ask, does one ‘tap into’ that Swagger?  Look, I’m no doctor, nor an expert on how the human brain works.  But I can tell you what works for me: (big surprise) music. We’re all emotional people, and the best way to tap into that place of Swagger is to find a song that makes you sway with confidence. A good tune goes a long way.


I recall a time when @ArikHanson, @StoryAssistant, @DMullen and myself were talking over an idea and came to a particular song that could serve as opening music to our entrance. We each have our own strengths and talents (making us sound like Charlie’s Angels), but this song would’ve helped amp up our Swagger.


I’ve been using songs and poems to pump up the swagger for quite some time…



What do you think?  Am I overrating this whole thing?


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wild things posterYesterday, a film critic said something a little troubling about the ‘little boy’ character (Max) in Where the Wild Things Are – a film that “tells the story of a rambunctious & sensitive boy who feels misunderstood at home and escapes to where the Wild Things are.”  The critic (a fella that I greatly respect, by the way) said that “Max seems too old to behave in the tumultuous manner he does within the film.”


Hmm……while I can agree with him (to a point) in regards to how he may view it from a filmmaker’s standpoint……hmm……


One of the biggest reasons why I always loved the book is because the story celebrates the real freedom a child can have when he/she taps into his/her imagination.


Imagination is a powerful thing for a kid – you can be an astronaut, a bumble bee, a princess…or even a princess bumble bee that just became an astronaut.  One’s imagination is expansive, wonderous, safe and fun.  So when a grown up like a movie critic says that a kid is behaving too rambunctiously or causing too much of a ruckus when he/she goes to a ‘safe place’ where the Wild Things are, I have to take pause.  Not only because it goes against what being ‘a kid’ is all about; but also because I believe it has ruined the fun of being an adult.


When you were a kid, you couldn’t wait to be a grown up – drive your own car, go down the big slide at the water park, stay up late (on a SCHOOL NIGHT)…you get my meaning.  But when you grew up, something awful happened – you realized that you couldn’t be driving willy-nilly on sidewalks; you got impatient for having to wait in line for that big slide; and you turned in at a ‘respectable time’ because you had to be at work in the morning.


This business of being a grown up has also gotten in the way of real innovation and discovery.  Can you imagine what crazy-cool things were to come about if we were not only encouraged, but rewarded for being creative at work…?…taking folks to where your wild things are…?…no, not everyone can be a Tom Waits, Dr. Maya Angelou or Blue Man Group.  But you can have their energy and verve for pushing some boundaries, asking important questions and challenging the norm.


Be a Wild Thing.  Try being the person that demands more from your communications peers; creates out-of-the-box ways to deliver a message to your client’s target audiences; plays nice & fair with competitors; and pushes clients to step outside of their comfort zone (ever-so-carefully). 


You never know what you can accomplish when you observe the world through fresh-n-wild eyes.

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