We were setting up the quarterly trade show, where hundreds of buyers would come and review the newest sneakers and apparel.
We rented a convention centre, littered the rooms with life size posters of Marion Jones and Roger Federer running, swinging. Sneakers were displayed on beige panels. Mannequins that had 6 pack abs wore tight DRI-Fit bras and shorts.
And the whole place looked like an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting inside a poorly lit ball room of a Motel 6.
But no one told me anything. I only started to realize the show might have been the shittiest thing the company had ever done when others started murmuring around me, but not at me.
Then, the Marketing Director walked up to me, grabbed my arm, pulled me out of the room, in front of everyone.
I don’t remember a single word of what she said. Yea. PTSD.
But I remember how I felt.
I remember feeling “she believed I could make it if I wanted it bad enough.”
I remember feeling “I could go to her, the marketing director, as long as I brought my best work.”
I remember feeling adept because she taught me how to position the sports bra on those ripped mannequins so we could focus people on the swoosh instead.
I remember feeling lucky because she gave me, a lowly temp, the secrets to having fun at Nike.
👍🏼 Have expectations, for f’s sake!
That’s how we articulate “culture.”
That’s how culture goes from fluff ☁️ to actual actionable stuff.