Back from vacation! What a trip. Two weeks in Los Angeles, a week longer than usual – last year it took me until the day before my flight home to locate Kanye, by which time we hardly had any time to spend together. I was also keen to get a definitive answer from him re: the work summer social.
I say Los Angeles; my hotel was actually the Best Western in Brawley, about a 3 hour drive from the centre of the city, but it’s a nice route and I had my Theo Paphitis audio books to listen to for the journey.
Kanye proved very difficult to track down – understandably, who knows to what lengths some of these obsessive fans will go! – but but after 3 nights outside his agent’s offices in my car (a Nissan Sunny, comfortable enough) I caught a glimpse of him leaving the foyer and being whisked away in a limousine. I shouted after him but I’m not sure he heard me. He was wearing his distinctive cream coloured chinos and some tan leather sandals whose brand I couldn’t quite make out – possibly from the M&S Blue Harbour range. What a thrill!
By Fridayof the first week, I had spent most of my holiday money on petrol for the journey to and from L.A., so I had to base myself in the Brawley Best Western and remain in contact with Kanye via email (wi-fi is complimentary). I did suggest it was only fair that he make the trip to Brawley one day, given the number of times I had made the journey to him, and felt slightly aggravated that he seemed to dismiss this out of hand.
Still, there was plenty to do around the hotel and the town – I had time to take part in the City of Brawley and Allied Annual Waste 2011 Clean-Up and the Law Enforcement Expo and Youth Safety Day (although I was too late to get my free helmet).
All in all, a great trip. Relationships need to be built over time – anyone with management and leadership responsibilities knows this – and I think the moment Kanye and I shared outside his office was a significant step forward for both of us.
Somebody lost a thumb trying to fix a paper jam in one of the MFDs today, so there was unfortunately quite a bit of downtime in the office. On a more positive note, though, the time was not wasted and with a bit of help from the sales team Kanye’s Wikipedia page is now fully up to date.
Going forward, all staff must now wear gloves and protective goggles if they want to do any scanning or photocopying.
Summer is finally here, which means it’s nearly time for our annual work summer social. It’s a great opportunity to recognise outstanding individual and team performances within the company, and it means that HR can get the bulk of their paperwork done face-to-face with the employees on the night. Last year’s clerical error with the Appletize order left a fairly large dent in our Q2 profits, so I thought it best if I dealt with the organisational side of things this year.
In keeping with tradition I have been in contact with Kanye’s agents to see if might be able to perform at the social and hand out some awards. I have sent them a rough sketch of the venue and set design for the evening – I think in past years he has been reluctant to perform because of he hasn’t had a clear idea of the scale of the event, which is perfectly understandable.
Fingers crossed, third time lucky!
I can’t recommend this man highly enough. I met Mark once at Strategize ’08 at Earl’s Court, and despite his posture I found him really inspiring.
Thanks to all of you who came to the get-together at my place on Saturday! Some of you commented that the house smelled faintly damp – I’m having someone round to look at the immersion heater on Thursday.
The party was a real success – I opened three tubes of Pringles and spent an hour and a half arranging them alternately by flavour, so you didn’t know what you were going to get. It was great to see Mark and Christian from IT support, although it was a shame that you didn’t wear the Kanye masks I made for everybody.
I sometimes forget how great it is to let off steam with colleagues in a non-work environment. I think everyone really appreciated it this week, especially after they found that child’s body in the warehouse on Friday.
I have spent a fair amount of time over the last few months developing some ideas for projects that Kanye might like to be involved in. I am hoping to finalise a couple of them soon and fax them to his agent – but which ones! I would be grateful for any feedback on one or all of the following ideas:
East Meets West (TV)
Kanye travels to some of the poorest areas of India in a tuk tuk, handing out CDs, trainers, knowledge etc. to local children. Each episode ends with a live show performed on a shoestring for the villagers – who can’t believe what’s happening – and Kanye almost always ends up crying.
Reshoot all the Jaws films with Kanye replacing Roy Scheider.
Kanye Believe It? (TV)
Something either like QI or like Record Breakers, showcasing amazing facts from around the world (or possibly just about Kanye). Kanye West hosts (possibly get Konnie Huq involved?)
Kanye, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (Music)
Concept album that re-imagines Kanye as the son of a folk musician growing up in North Yorkshire. I think this would really give Kanye the opportunity to showcase a diverse range of musical styles, and he could wear a turtle-neck sweater.
Yesterday afternoon I attended a brilliant team-building seminar led by Mike Sullivan – one of the most influential teamwork and leadership trainers in Leatherhead. We learnt a whole host of new team-building techniques, including personality hot-wiring, effective mouth and torso micro-management, and removing clocks from the office. Can’t wait to try some of them on Monday!
But as well as making me think about co-operation in the workplace, the seminar also made me realise how central team-building has been in Kanye’s career, and how positive a role model he is for effective collaboration. Would a song like “Extra Terrestrial” have been possible without team-building, negotiation skills and a positive Agreement Frame? In this way I think Kanye and I share some common values.
When I got home I struck up a conversation with man in the comments section of YouTube, and he asked me who I would like to see Kanye collaborate with in future. There are so many, but I think my top three are:
If you have any ideas, let me know!