As a kid I did something ‘bad’. Or really stupid. Depends on how you look at it.
There was a large black shiny electricity cable running up the side of our house. It was the telephone cable. Before mobiles obviously. It fascinated me. Could I climb up it? Nope – tried that. Could I rig up an elaborate abseiling rig for my Action Man. Not entirely unsuccessful – but rather unsatisfying nonetheless.
But there were some blue metal secateurs in the shed. And some big leather gardening gloves. And me and my imagination.
I would cut the wire and then mend it with some black tape – to see if I could fix it. Like a real electrician would.
The first part was easy. The second not so much. The explanation to my mother was that I had tried to climb up but it had come apart. She demonstrated the powers of intellect that only an adult can. Which was humbling.
But I learned some important lessons. That electricity is extremely dangerous and I was lucky to be alive. And telephones are more important than I ever knew. Especially to grown-ups.
We still laugh about it today. I wear it like a badge of pride at family gatherings. I did something stupid. And lived. I have taken lots of risks over time – with my own business, my own life occasionally and with strategy and insights.
To see if they worked. Despite sort of knowing they might be wrong.
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. If the Brits did badly at Cannes perhaps its a good time to try taking a few risks. After all this is only advertising and no-one is going to die.