Career MacGuffin.

The first time I'd heard the term "MacGuffin" was in a Media Arts (one of my two majors) class circa 1997.  It was a class on Film Noir, and we were in the discussing a film we'd watched - The Maltese Falcon. We discussed how the falcon statue itself was the MacGuffin... The thing that moved the story's plot forward, even though it wasn't important. 

It could have been anything. It was the journey to find it/seek it that brought all of the adventure and action into the story. But it could have easily been replaced with something else.

Other more known "MacGuffins" in movies:

  • The White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland
  • The briefcase in Pulp Fiction.
  • Rosebud in Citizen Kane.
  • The ark in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • The mother fuckin' plans for the mother fuckin' Death Star in A New Hope.

A search for something. A journey.

My mind lately has been having many "Whoa!" moments lately, all in relation to my current life path. I'll likely write about them each at some point. But one that came to me last week when I heard someone describe themselves in a meeting as...

"I AM ONE OF THE BEST SEOs IN THE WORLD!"

After laughing in my head - because while they were very good at SEO, they weren't one of the best I've seen... It made me think about life moves I've made and how I came to be sitting in that same room as them ,never having had to feel so undervalued that I felt the need to justify my position like that.

My mind called out with an incredibly mature and sophisticated response of...

"Duh."

I was thinking about the past 15-ish years of my career, working my way up and across the digital marketing world. A world that I've never been outwardly or inwardly passionate about in and of itself. Yet, my career in it has been great. 

"This is largely innate stuff," I will tell people. 

In fact, on my last flight from Boston to San Diego, I was telling a gentleman exactly that.

"The core foundation has always been the same - create relevant content that will want to be read," I told him. "People and search engine crawlers. Ultimately, to be successful, you just have to make it easy for search engines to crawl and index, and about something people will want."

"If you keep those two things in mind, you can apply them to SEO and social strategies."

Far more passionate SEO and Social strategists will flip out on me with that. The SEOs will argue about all of the small elements and technical pieces that need to be in place - which I have lumped in with "make it easy to crawl and index." And Social strategists will talk about audience engagement and building relevant content.

Yes. Yes. All of that matters. But I am never going to speak about it the way they do.

I can. 

I have.

But that's never been my jam... Geeking out 24/7/52 on digital marketing strategies. It's just my day job. And my goal has never been to be the best digital marketer/SEO/strategist in the Universe.

"So what have my goals been?" I wondered.

  • To help brands be the most effective with what they have? Yes.
  • To help co-workers/teammates be effective in their interactions with others? Yes.
  • To nurture/assist others on their path to helping grow the business? Yes.
  • To recognize strong talent and get the fuck out of their way? Yes.
  • To give everyone a voice, but be vocal myself about what needs changing/people who need coaching? Yes.
  • To give lackluster talent an ultimatum to be productive or manage themselves out? Yes.
  • To jump in and execute, with no complaints, to help an over-scheduled team? Yes.

In short... A leader. 

Digital marketing has just been the MacGuffin. My goal has always been to activate and get stuff done. 

Being a leader.

Not a boss. Not the best at something.

A leader.

That's what I am passionate about most.

Sweet Baby Jesus on Christmas Morning knows that if I was the boss, we'd all have gone mad and be in Wonderland.