Pick Your Punishment and Giddyap!

There is an old story of a fella named Sisyphus. He cheated death. Then a pretty important figure, Zeus, required Sisyphus to roll a boulder up a mountain for all of eternity. 

Over and over and over. Up the steep hill. No end in sight. Forever … Zoinks.      

As we sit in the reality of a pandemic. And, the world seems to be waking up and trying to be what it was against that raging force. It can, if we let it, feel like that. Neverending.

Those of us in marketing and communications are in quite a pickle: the learning curve to understand consumer behavior has taken on a faster, newer, steeper, more complicated arc.

When approaching the problems we are attempting to solve, unless we continue learning, practicing and accepting the reality of what we are dealing with – it’s going to feel steep, useless, hopeless, scary. Like ole’ Sisyphus and that boulder.

What we used to be able to study, learn from and attempt to understand has decided to change, buck, modify itself and evolve even faster than it did pre-pandemic.  

The pace of learning, the fragmentation of media, the barriers that spring up are presenting themselves more intensely and more often than friggin’ ever.

As employees, we have new expectations. 

As managers, our communication styles and clarity has to be at an all-time high. 

As those that own or are managing a business, rules: they are changing faster than ever. 

Actually, maybe the rules are just gone. 

Murky, Wicked Problems. Complicated, Sticky Wickets. 

So, as we are invited to the table again. To solve the problem that has just presented itself. To distill and convey a strategy using the art and science of marketing. 

We are going to need to be stronger, more committed and more adept at accepting current reality. And, figuring out what works. 

I know. That’s what we always have done. 

But, today it seems more intense. Like climbing up on a Wild Stallion. The stakes are higher. The profession of communication is more difficult. The problems are more complicated. 

Is it an evolution or a devolution? Who knows.

Consider this: what fun this could be if we decide to go all in. If we agree to learn. If we refuse to go negative. If we embrace what is and work that sticky, wicked, murky problem.

Really, work it.

Like before getting up on that horse. Understanding what we can control and what we cannot. Working with that strength, that challenge, that power and accepting it’s gonna be a rough ride. 

Instead, say today – we ‘get to ride.’

What if before we get up there? We prepare. 

Prepare. Practice. Then, jump up. Hold on. Give that steed a little kick and say, ‘Giddyap!’ 

Instead of choosing to push the boulder. What if we choose to ride the chaos? Use its strength against itself. Be resilient. Start new each day. Wear it out. Choose to outlast it.  

Do the best we can with what we have. And, work the problem. Each day. 

We can figure it out. I’m confident we can.

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