“Hell is other people.”
~ Existentialist French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre in his 1944 play “No Exit”
This could be a rallying cry for misanthropes everywhere. But it’s really a recognition that most of the aggravation you suffer is the result of other people: Misinterpreting you. Sticking their foot in your mouth. Plying schemes to your detriment. It’s a very long list.
Everyone deals with it their own way. Drugs and alcohol. Television (another kind of addiction). Keeping busy (so you don’t have to think about it). Denial (hoping it will go away if you pretend it’s not real).
Some of us don’t have that luxury. Our job is fixing problems clients have caused for themselves, as well as those that have been created for them by others. Lawyers are at the top of that list. And business advisers who turn around distressed companies. So, too, are those who do Crisis & Reputation Management.
Why would they put themselves through that? A lot of reasons.
- They’re fixers and thrive on being the hero.
- They’re adrenaline junkies. The intensity. The brinkmanship. The bet-the-farm stakes.
- It’s what they’re trained for. They gotta put bread on the table, and it’s often a bit late in the game to undertake a new trade.
- They’re good at what they do. That translates into value — value that they provide for clients and for which they are paid well.
Some find the pressure too much and bow out, or at least seek quieter corners of their profession. This isn’t what they bargained for. The winnowing is unrelenting, and only the strongest remain standing.
You don’t need to like other people to do this kind of work. You just need to love the game.
“Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset”
Gillott Communications is a Los Angeles-based public relations firm that specializes in high-stakes Crisis & Reputation Management. If you don’t already subscribe, please sign up for our blog Insights on High-Stakes PR. You can reach Roger Gillott directly at 310-826-8696.