in Business, Creativity, Marketing, Motivation, Philosophy, Psychology

Credentials & Accountability – Two Boring Words That Make A Difference

Heroes need monsters to establish their heroic credentials. You need something scary to overcome.

– Margaret Atwood

You know when you’re not exactly a n00b at something but you’ve still got a long way to go before you can rely on your reputation for leverage?

The big question is always: “Well, what are your credentials?


I mean, you could tell them about the fact that you’ve worked with people involved with big movies, songs, shows etc. But if your name isn’t on the credits, you might as well be a bullshitter for all they know.

This is when the trouble starts brewing. We try and convince them of our worthiness. “Please, please, please approve of me!”

Now they’re in a position to dictate whether or not you’re of any use to them.

We try so hard to fit in to the things we expect that other people expect of us. If we start thinking about everyone’s expectations it gets very “Inception”-esque. “What do they want me to be? What do they want me to want to be?”

Cat PrayingPlz, tell me!

Whenever I get this question I take a second to realize that they’re basically asking “What can you do for me?” when what we both should be asking is “What can I do for you?”

There needs to be mutual exchange here. Sometimes we can give without wanting anything much in return simply because we feel good about doing it. But if the relationship (and it is very much a relationship) is skewed then the bad stuff is going to happen. “Why don’t you call me anymore?”, “Jeez, stop suffocating me Tiffany!”.

Stand your ground peeps. If you get this question then serve up precisely why you’re the person for the gig and then flip the script. Ask them the same question.

Some will naturally balk at the idea of having to do something like that. But if you ask it with genuine curiousity they’ll have to come up with some kind of reason, in that way they’ve effectively justified why they feel a collaboration is in place.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed a good outcome. There are times when it won’t work, perhaps it’s for the better then. There are plenty more people and companies with whom you’re a better fit.

MC Escher BirdsLike a glove!

I was watchng a TED-talk given by a 17 year old girl. During her talk I felt mixed emotions, I understood precisely where she was coming from while at the same time I understood what she was lacking. I’ve provided the video at the bottom for you to watch.

I totally get that people regardless of age can and must contribute if we’re to function as a society. I also get that we desire to set certain bars as to who gets to contribute what. There are certain credentials we want people to have if they’re to, let’s say, perform brain surgery.

DiplomaThis piece of paper allows you to crack them skulls wide open, kid!

Then she said something that made me smile, she said that she wanted to be held accountable. It’s so much easier to just place blame on somebody else when things go sour. Perhaps that’s one of the problems for those who are older. We don’t want our young to be held accountable because we remember what morons we were at that age ourselves.

But when it comes to ideas I feel that it’s kind of good to have a free-for-all. Let’s get that gumbo going!

Us aged ones need to understand that young people do have valuable ideas that are worth pursuing. Also, the young ones need to understand that even though they have all these great ideas simply by virtue of being young they lack something that only comes with time. We often choose to call it “experience”.

However, you can be young and experienced. So it doesn’t seem like the right word for it. I’m still trying to pinpoint exactly what that is.

I’ll have to get back to you on that.

What do you think it is?

Let me know in the comments & hit me up on Twitter.

Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!

Write a Comment


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.