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The Midweek Motivator – It’s Not How Good You Are. It’s How Good You Want to Be.

Paul Arden will long be referred to as a “creative genius.” I was extremely lucky to meet Paul at a conference; we were on a program in New York. Often and correctly referred to as a “creative guru” (a reference Paul disdained) Arden was a wayward guy. He finally found is “alma mater” at London’s Saatchi & Saatchi where he became head of that celebrated firm’s creative model.

It was there as Executive Creative Director, Paul cooked-up some of Britain’s most astonishingly successful Ad campaigns for clients such as British Airways, Fuji, Toyota, and Silk Cut to name a few. He took the traditional creative mold, ripped it up and tossed it out the window. To Paul Arden there was no set-piece formula for a great Ad…only great creativity.

Brilliant, bad, charming, irascible, and completely off the wall, Arden broke a lot of moss-backed creative rules, fueled by uncommon energy and extraordinary drive. He was endowed with many gifts; not the least of which was common sense. In America those of us who began our media careers in New York, LA, or Topeka, probably didn’t get a fair sense for Arden’s contribution to creativity (if we knew of him at all). Yet millions remember his campaigns.

Fast forward to 2021; radio and aspiring creative people are forever searching for creativity. The most popular misconception of “creativity” is that it is somehow connected with the Arts. Nonsense! C.G. Jung quipped, “Show me a sane man, and I will cure him for you.”

If you’re a top copywriter (they do still exist), a winning morning show or a leading sales executive, you’ll likely admit “creativity” is imagination, and “imagination” is for everyone! Sadly, too many among us have never been encouraged nor shown the winding paths to being highly creative, so we may believe we “aren’t.”

The truth is we’re all selling all the time. We sell on the air, we sell a promotion and we sell an annual Ad campaign showing clients how exceed their wildest aims. And very often as programming consultants, we’re challenged with reversing a new client’s ratings frustration. In fact, every bit of these challenges can be directly connected to “selling”!

Give away what you know. Don’t covet your ideas to the degree they never see the light of day. Here, we believe if we share everything we know, even more will come back to us! The problem with hording one’s knowledge is that we end up living off our reserves. Eventually we become stale.

Don’t be afraid of “goofy ideas.” We all get mental blocks! One way to break through starts with shedding the “do’s” and “don’ts” approach to creativity: don’t give a speech, put on a show! How many lectures have you heard? How many of them can you remember? And, if you happen to do a morning show, instead of your cast just “talking with each other” try seeing yourselves pivoting to talk with your listeners, one person at a time!

The more strikingly visual an air talent becomes, the more listeners will remember them.