Steve Henry started a debate carried by Campaignlive last week about who should run agencies – creatives or account people.
And that there is a disturbing trend towards banal unexciting work being produced in the UK.
And creatives should be the right people to lead us out of our problems.
And we need more creative leadership according to Claire Beale.
Which reminds me of the Lion King, where the character Scar tries to gain control of Pride Rock by killing his brother Mufasa the rightful king - and nephew Simba – the heir to the throne.
He enlists some hyenas to do his bidding for him in return for favours and the promise they will never go hungry again.
I am not saying all creatives are ‘Scar-like’.
Far from it.
There have been plenty of account people that fit that profile.
But I am saying that there are a lot of ‘hyenas’ around.
Folks devoid of the ability or inspiration to do anything but moan.
Going with the latest thought and squealing about the current situation.
Of course in the film things in the valley start to go wrong.
Droughts hit, food and water becomes scarce, and many animals die while others try to move on away from the Pride Lands, causing the kingdom to become a barren wasteland.
The Herd simply moved on. Familiar?
Scar becomes paranoid. Blaming everyone else but himself.
We’ve all seen that in our time in agencies I’m sure.
These are tough times.
Who knows – it could get tougher right?
And most people that are decrying the end of the agency – or the end of creativity haven’t grasped the meaning of what it is like to run an agency in these sorts of times.
Scarcity makes you hungry.
But clever hunters find new ways to snare prey.
And really good leaders inspire people to do things they wouldn’t normally do.
By selling client’s products & services through communication.
And creating lasting intangible value.
And if you win a few awards – that’s a bonus.
But, you have to inspire your staff to endure hardship and go the extra mile.
To do whatever is necessary.
Not to sit back and moan.
But most people running agencies don’t do that.
And if you only have one type of trap and method of hunting - you and your ‘pride’ will starve.
So, it really doesn’t matter who runs the agency – just as long as they can inspire and lead by having a vision and then finding ways to deliver it.
That is a human trait not a job title.
Sometimes you have to change the model.
Or try things you haven’t tried before.
It doesn’t matter whether that is a creative or an account person.
And when this is over and the Herd comes back to the Pride Lands we will judge who had the nuts to do the right thing.
Right now - it’s time for Kings not hyenas.