Ego is the Enemy (#13)

“True Tales” Series – Volume 13

This dramatized story is inspired by the experience of an advertising agency executive. A book on a collection of ‘True Tales” is forthcoming.

It was a crazy idea – making peace by inducing war, but it worked. George is the new creative director of a prestigious advertising agency. Before him, four others resigned in less than three months. None could handle the ‘wars’ in the Creative Department. He is meeting his four copywriters for the first time – Janice, Jeffrey, Liz, and Leo.

eastwind journals – Updated March 20, 2023 (archives – tr97)

By Bernie V. Lopez,

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GEORGE – Hi. I am your new boss, George. Let me break the ice by showing you a slide. Please read carefully.

p428 – the ego versus the “I”

This slide summarizes the problem in this creative department. There are two sides to all of us, the ego that destroys and the true self, the “I”, which builds. Whichever is dominant forms who you really are and forges your destiny. If we have to work together, I have to break your egos and imbue humility. The reason why the last four creative directors resigned in less than three months is they failed to correct this. Raymond, our big boss, says you guys are a bunch of egotists clawing at each other. This Creative Department is a snake pit, his exact words.

LEO – Sure, but we’re very good.

GEORGE – I heard that too. It’s unfortunate you can’t work together. I am asking you to withdraw your fangs. What is the use of being good if you can’t produce good copies because you outwit one another.

LEO – What’s your plan?

LIZ – I get it. All copies are OUR ideas. There is no MY. It’s all OUR ideas.

GEORGE – Ego is the enemy, Leo. Get rid of the ego and you will perform. Break the ego. From now on, all your outputs are credited to the TEAM, not to the creator of the idea.

JANICE – But what if it was my idea?

GEORGE – Now you’re thinking, Liz. I have here all the ad copies you’ve done in the last six months. I read it last night up to 2 a.m. Your creative instincts, all four of you, are fantastic … but, but, but …

JEFFREY – But they suck. Something is lacking.

GEORGE – So you know, Jeffrey. What’s lacking, anyone?

LEO – We’re not so original?

GEORGE – Nope. You don’t have to be original to make good copy. You can get an old idea, crunch it and make a ‘new’ idea. So, what’s lacking guys?

JANICE – You tell us, boss.

GEORGE – The name’s George. Ok Janice. Are you ready? Your ideas are too raw.

LIZ – Raw?

GEORGE – Raw. Not refined. Needs further polishing. From now on, all products and brands are the responsibility of all, with the creator of the idea as facilitator. I’m tearing down your cubicles.

JANICE – What? I talk to my boy friend while eating lunch. I need privacy.

GEORGE – Sorry, Janice. No cubicles. I’ve allotted two small rooms with phones for privacy for anyone’s use. All creative activities pass through the round table. It’s being constructed right now – a huge twelve-foot-diameter knights-of-the-round-table table made of two-inch-thick glass.

LEO – But we’re only four. That’s too big.

GEORGE – No, five. Count me in.

LIZ – Wow, fantastic. Sir, I mean George. I like you already.

GEORGE – It’s gonna be a high-tech table. No intruding monitors. All monitors are beneath the glass in front of you. Only a remote mouse and documents on the table. Everyone can see everyone eyeball to eyeball. No cellphones allowed.

JEFFREY – You will be inducing war.

GEORGE – Exactly, precisely. Wars refine ideas. War is the essence of good ideas. The rule is – humility, no egos, the ability to accept criticism.

LEO – Hmm. I’m not sure about this.

LIZ – Yes, yes, I can see your point. He’s right guys. We trample on each other’s ideas without trampling on each other. That’s what he wants us to do.

GEORGE – Liz, I like you already.

LIZ – Guys, hey guys, he wants a team. We were never a team. Oh gosh, how I have been waiting for this. I was beginning to hate my cubicle.

GEORGE – I want to destroy all your hardened egos. Accept your idea to be crunched to a pulp by the team. The team is our god which works for the ideas of each member.

JEFFREY – Right, I agree. Better than letting the client crunch my idea.

GEORGE – Our idea, Jeffrey, not yours. We will have a big lazy-susan at the center of the table so we can pass things to each other, hard copies, even peanuts. Then we wage war. We crunch ideas. We refine them. Nothing personal, just ideas.

RAYMOND – (Barging in.) Congratulations, George. I can see you have broken the ice pretty well. I have never seen these guys so happy. What’s your secret?

JANICE – No secret, Raymond. It’s easy. I just persuaded them that their egos are the enemy. We simply have to destroy them, or I resign.

RAYMOND – Wow. Great. I have an announcement. Our target this year is to win the national advertising contest. I will give the details later to George.

It took a while to break egos and to shift from my-idea-your-idea to our-idea. In the round table wars, raw ideas were spurned into creative hurricanes. In the end, they won the advertising contest. Everyone went up the stage. They passed the two-foot glass trophy around until it reached George.

Nemesis Trilogy

fear is the enemy
you must seek danger
as danger will save you from danger
and teach you the virtue of bravery

ego is the enemy
you must seek the other
the other will save you from yourself
and teach you the virtue of humility

time is the enemy
you must escape time
time will break your spirit
and then it is too late

Excerpt from the book Wings and Wanderlust.

Author’s book – Wings and Wanderlust. At age 26, the author (eastwind) drifted through Europe, hitchhiking 25,000 kilometers for three straight years. He wrote a book on his adventures, Wings and Wanderlust. He learned deep insights that radically changed his view of life, which he wants to share with readers looking for themselves or wanting to catch the wind. More about the book =

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FOR THOSE WHO NEED HEALING, spiritual or physical (depression, anxiety, loneliness, terminal cancer, covid, diabetes, etc.) – say an online healing prayer with one or both healers below. Terminal patients have been healed in cyberspace. All you need is to have faith –

1) Father Fernando

2) Sr. Raquel Reodica, RVM –

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Author’s Credentials. Blogger – ex-Columnist (Inquirer) – Healing Ministry – ex-Professor (Ateneo University) – Documentary Producer-Director (freelance, ex-ABS-CBN, ex-TVS Tokyo) – ex-Broadcaster (Radio Veritas) – Facebook “Bernie V. Lopez Eastwind” / Pages “Eastwind Journeys and Journals” and “Mary Queen of Peace”.


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