No, let's not take a step back
A view from Ted Royer

No, let's not take a step back

Hey, "Big Picture Guy," your timing stinks.

Hey thanks for stopping by. As you can see we're all in here working away for tomorrow. Glad you could check where we were. And thanks especially for commenting on the work.

But no, right now, we're not going to take a step back.

We get it. You're a "big picture" guy. You want to show us you see further. Devil's advocate, that's you. But really, now is not the time to ask us to take a step back. 

You see, the meeting is tomorrow. First thing in the morning. And we're working on a specific problem that needs a specific solution, and making lots of progress on it. Yes, we are all aware of larger issues on Planet Earth, but this particular task is being addressed head on, right here and now.

So we don't need to "consider the bigger picture." Big picture talks were the other eight meetings you were invited to and didn't attend. And you can come to the many more meetings we'll have after this one and provide your awesome big picture view then. Just not now, thanks. 

Yes, we all saw that Steve Jobs book conspicuously placed on your desk. You're convinced you're the one with vision. It's a heavy burden you've put on yourself. But don't put it on us, 12 hours before a specific presentation with a specific goal.

What you call "providing perspective" others call "the swoop and poop." Because coming in here and laying down truth is actually shitting all over a lot of hard work and thought.

Every company, every problem needs vision. Thank god you've declared yourself Vision Guy. You know what goes great with vision? Timing. How about timing your vision turd drops to when they are welcome and needed and constructive, and not to a time when they make you feel smart, as you jump into your Audi and leave us all confused.

Taking a step back is often necessary. You know what's also often necessary? Taking a step forward. That's what all these people have been doing for days. That's why you see all these full white boards and empty Thai food boxes. 

But at least we have accomplished one thing: Your ass is now covered if things don't go well. "Oh, they said something different and the work died? Well, I did ask if you had taken a step back and really considered every angle." Consider your parachute fully functional, your escape pod working perfectly as you jet away from responsibility.

Our faces? They look this way for a reason. These aren't the faces of people who have just been exposed to enlightened perspective. No, these are the faces of people who are figuring out how to absorb some 11th hour posturing by someone who needs to seem like the smartest person in the room.

I can see from you twirling your keys that you gotta run. You must be tired, having spent a full eight minutes working on this. We're all a bit baffled because we thought we had the agreed-on way forward, but your verbal shit grenades have shaken that up quite nicely. Okay. Cool. Thanks. Bye.

Ted Royer is the chief creative officer at Droga5.