What I learned from a little lion in France
I just got back from an incredible trip to Cannes and Sardinia. My wife was in Cannes for the Cannes Lions 2022 Advertising Awards, where her ad agency, Berlin Cameron United, was up for awards in multiple categories. Before I even landed, they had won a Bronze and Silver - their first awards in over 20 years.
Going in, I thought these types of awards festivals were basically boondoggles where industry people got together to drink and pat themselves on the back. However, once I was there and I started meeting people and catching up with her colleagues that I knew for many years, I began to appreciate what this was really about. It was (perhaps) a once in a lifetime opportunity to see your colleagues in a different light and atmosphere. A time to see former co-workers and clients and catch up. A time to close deals even. After these awful 2 years, everyone needs events like these to see and interact with each other in real life.
On the day I got to Cannes, her agency was up for an award for their work on the Steph Curry x UnderArmor NFT sneaker campaign and one of Jen's colleagues gave her a small stuffed lion, saying "It's not gold...yet" and Jen just lit up at the small, thoughtful gesture and it hit me - these awards are for celebrating each other's hard work after a long, hard year.
Of course, they later won Gold for their work and the celebration continued. It was cool to experience this with all of them firsthand and everyone at her agency and the other agencies in the WPP network celebrated the win like it was their own.
Jen + Gold Lion
I came away from this experience thinking everyone should:
Celebrate your wins, no matter how small or inconsequential you might think they are
Celebrate your friends and family
Celebrate your colleagues
A wise man (Ferris Bueller) once said:
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it
I have always believed this and it really hit home with all that is happening in the world as well as my own life. My wife and I have been extremely blessed with our children, careers, opportunities to travel to wonderful places and supportive friends and relationships. We took the opportunity to travel to Sardinia afterward and eat our body weight in cheese, cured meats and gourmet dinners while drinking wonderful wines in idyllic settings. We celebrated our hard work by splurging on a full day boat trip. Just us. Enjoying the moment together.
Sardinia aka Heaven
So get that gift for a co-worker or family member or friend.
It doesn't matter how big or small the celebration is. Just do it. You will not miss the money or time spent. You will look back at the memories created with intense and lasting satisfaction.