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Grabbing Attention

Today, I watched the famous musical, Chicago, starring Renee Zellweger as Roxie. I'm not a big fan of musicals unless they are live performances, but I recommend Chicago and Nine.

[Spoiler Alert] Roxie is on death row for killing a man and the plot is about how she gets herself acquitted in court. A lot of it is done by creating a certain image of hers in the press that would make people like her and once the hearing is under way, this image will help swing the jury's verdict in her favour.

She gets so used to the publicity that once the verdict is out that she is innocent, the press photographers run out after the next big story leaving her in the court room and she runs after them yelling 'But why isn't anyone taking my pictures?' And when her lawyer, Richard Gere, congratulates her saying she's now free, she responds "You get your five thousand dollars out of this. What do I get? Nothing. I was counting on this publicity to launch my career as a dancer."

A lot of us are like Roxie, both as professionals and as individuals. Come to think of it, our companies and products are quite similar too. There is a craving for the spotlight, to be associated with the right brands and activities, to turn into something that gets picked - by an employer, by a customer, by an investor, by a significant other.

As Roxie finds out, and Kelly (Catherine Zeta Jones) before her, you can only be in the spotlight until the next big thing comes along. So, it is fruitless to base your core activities on what you think will grab the attention of the investor or the customer, because grabbing attention is only momentary. You need some substance to hold that attention before it fizzles out in search of the next flashy thing.

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