A few weeks ago, Micky Denehy and Nicole Yershon arranged a GGT reunion.
They contacted everyone who ever worked at GGT, and invited them to chip in for a drink-up in a private room in a pub in Piccadilly.
Over a hundred people turned up and we just had the best time.
What I loved was the whole thing was organised by people who had worked at GGT.
The founders had nothing to do with it.
Everyone was so knocked out to see each other, it was like a family reunion.
Cindy Gallop flew in from New York, John Truscott flew in from Los Angeles.
And it hit me, we had created an agency full of people who left much bigger and better than they arrived.
They all went on to senior positions, or opened their own agencies.
They came in as juniors and left as powerful leaders.
On the night, the two Mikes and I each made speeches, then left everyone to get on with drinking.
But no, Micky Denehy also wanted to make a speech, then Cindy gallop wanted to make a speech, then Stevie Spring wanted to make a speech.
All talking about what GGT meant to them and how much they’d grown there.
Then, when everyone was finished, Craig Karpel (catering) got up to make a speech.
Then when we thought it was definitely over, Terry Redpath (maintenance) said he wanted to make a speech.
Terry was nervous, he doesn’t do speeches, but he began by talking about a client party at the agency for Holsten.
They’d invited Neil Innes, the star of the ads, to entertain everyone.
Just before the party, Neil Innes said “I need a piano, I can’t sing without a piano”.
Without a pause, Terry said “I’ll get one”.
Then, at 6.30pm in Soho, Terry started ringing round the Yellow Pages (this was in the days before the Internet).
Everywhere Terry called was shut.
But eventually he found a place that hadn’t quite close yet.
He asked if they had a piano for rent, they said they did but they couldn’t deliver it.
Terry said never mind, he was coming right over.
And he ran straight over to the only place that had a piano for rent and was still open.
Then Terry had to somehow get it back to the GGT offices, across Soho.
And he began pushing it through the streets, through the traffic, in the rush hour.
With all the locals and commuters and tourists pointing and wondering what he was up to.
But Terry got the piano to GGT’s offices, he got it set up, and the party was a success.
And what I love is that Terry so badly wanted to tell that story.
Because, at the time, we never knew Terry had done that.
And that story, for me, is the soul of what we had at GGT.
Everybody did their job like Terry, nobody and nothing stood in the way.
Absolutely everybody played at the top of their game, and that made everyone else play at the top of their game.
We had an agency full of people who were proud to be unstoppable, whatever their job.
They were unreasonable.
Because reasons are what people use as excuses for not doing something difficult.
GGT was full of people who went beyond what was reasonable.
People who were proud to do the difficult things other people couldn’t or wouldn’t do.
And that made us all proud to be part of a group like that.
It made us feel special and that’s why we were as good as we were.
We had a saying “You can have what you want, or you can have your reasons for not having it”.
At GGT, we had people who got what they wanted, so they didn’t have their reasons for not having it.
As George Bernard Shaw wrote:
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world.
The unreasonable man adapts the world to himself.
All progress depends on the unreasonable man.”