Archives for posts with tag: teacher


In 5th grade,my history teacher was a relic with a red book and pencil. At the end of each lesson, he gave us homework: “Memorize page 23-25.” At the next lesson, he would open his red book, close his eyes, drop the pencil on one student’s name. The remainder of the hour, that student was questioned for 1 hour. The outcome of that questioning determined the the grade for the remainder of the semester. When your name was called early in the year, you never opened the book again. When your name was called late, your short memory was on fire for 6 months. None of us really learned anything during that year. None of us liked history.

In 6h grade, a new history teacher was introduced. In the first hour, he recreated in vivid details life in ancient Rome: How the upper class lived, how the slaves suffered, what it was like to walk the streets of Rome. On that day, history became my favorite subject.

There are teachers who teach subjects. And teachers who teach students.

The same division can be found in advertising. Most brands teach subjects. They have an agenda, a curriculum. They need you to know about the torque of their cars, the silkiness of the product, their fat percentage. They look at the world like the relic teacher: You listen to what I have to say and you will learn.

The second category of brands are concerned with what their audience wants and needs. They develop a narrative, they are involving and entertaining. They care to educate their audience in ways that suits them best.

What’s mind-boggling about our business is that we all encountered terrible and great teachers, representing the most basic rules of communication and salesmanship. Still, the majority of us act like relics.


I had the worst history teacher in 5th and 6th grade.

For 2 years we were supposed to learn everything about the Greek and Roman history.

Every week, he asked us to read 5 pages of dry facts.

He picked one student per week and questioned that person for 35 minutes.

Whatever you did in those 35 minutes determined the grade for the semester.

When you were picked early in the year, you were done for the rest of the semester.

I was picked early each semester.

Because of my above average short-term memory, I scored an A each time.

And I learned nothing about Greek or Roman history.



I hated history.

Until I met Mr. Buckmann.

He became our history teacher in 7th grade.

Within 5 minutes he transformed the whole classroom from history haters into history lovers.

He brought history to life.

Suddenly, I could see life through the eyes of a farmer in the 13th century.

I understood how decisions by the monarchy changed their lives.

Suddenly, facts turned into real-life experiences.

Ever since that day, I never lost my love for history.

The power of one

It’s easy to underestimate the power of one person’s influence.

We think: “What can I do?”

“I’m just one person.”

Even when you’re high up in the food chain, you often feel this way.

The truth is that each of us has much more power than we could possibly imagine.

I reconnected with an old friend on Facebook a few weeks ago.

He wrote: “I’m glad to share with you how you changed my life. That advice you gave me changed my life forever.”

I remember that conversation.

For me, it was just another conversation.

For my friend, it had a powerful impact.

Each of us has the power to change the world.

You may think you’re powerless, but you are not..

You may think you don’t have the resources, but you do.

Resources are never the issue.

As long as you have a voice (amplified by all these amazing tools), you have enough resources.

I can think of quite a few people that changed my life for the better.

The intimate talk with a friend.

The mentorship of an executive.

The passion of a teacher.

You were put in this world to make it a better place.

You have amazing tools at your hand to amplify your voice.

You have a lot of power.

Use it wisely.