Moments of Conception 198: The Quitting Scene from Jerry Maguire

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

Based on my books in The Prolific Series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today’s clip comes from the quitting scene in Jerry Maguire:

I can’t dance to your fidgety tune. Saying goodbye to people is hard. Not having anybody to say
goodbye to is harder. But having people to say goodbye to, and none of them
caring that you’re leaving, that’s the hardest. Because human beings need to believe
that they belong. That their contribution matters. That their voice is heard and that they would be missed when they’re
gone. I once worked for a company who, initially, was nothing but completely
supportive and encouraging and appreciative of my value. They made me part of
the team. They made my thinking a key part of their organizational process. And
I felt validated and believed in on a level that I’d never felt before. But
after about a year, the veil slowly lifted. I started to see the relationship
for what it really was. And I realized that the company didn’t need me, they
just need someone. They weren’t looking for a creative visionary, they just
needed another warm body to fill their hole of mediocrity. And so, despite my
efforts to create what I thought belonged there, despite my earnest attempts to
infect the team with some much needed enthusiasm, I finally understood that I
was working in the wrong environment. I didn’t belong there. I never did. I
just made the mistake of turning what I found into what I want. And the saddest
part is, when I announced to the team that I was moving on to other
opportunities, nobody cared. Nobody came running up to me with tears in their
eyes. Nobody even said goodbye or wished me good luck. I just walked out the
door in silence, feeling betrayed, sad and invisible. A sobering reminder of
just how cold the world can be sometimes.
When was the last time you felt like an outsider?

Fleas swatted
off the carcass of an immense beast.
Jerry’s state of advancing melancholy
is sad, but seeing him slowly come unhinged as the other agents try not to
watch him leaving, that’s simply devastating. It’s a human train wreck. Another cruel hoax dangled before the hungry hearts of
the naïve. And
yet, staring into the eyes of that goldfish, he finds power. Jerry promises
that this moment will be the ground floor of something real and fun and
inspiring and true in this godforsaken business, and they will do it together.
Then he asks the legendary question,who’s
coming with me?
Initially, he’s met with crickets. Nothing but the dull
buzz of phones and copy machines. In fact, there’s a powerful passage in the
originalscriptthat says, after a beat of silence,
the noise then returns to its normal
commercial roar as a couple of fleas have been swatted off the carcass of an
immense beast. Wow. You can’t invent that kind of cruelty. In fact, awkward
office moments just like this probably happen around the world every day.
Employees make their exits, only to discover that their coworkers aren’t genuinely
interested in their future plans, they’re just being polite. Coworkers make
nice, but secretly hate each other. It breaks my heart. Because I really do
believe there are organizations out there that serve as oases in the desert of
corporate mediocrity. It’s just a matter of finding them. Or them finding you. Where is the place that, when you walk through
the door, your soul just opens up?

A little belief goes a long way. Jerry’s mission
statement is the reason he got fired. Dorothy, on the other hand, locked in to
his philosophy. Earlier in the movie, she tells him that optimism like that is
a revolutionary act. That we should embrace what it is still virginal about our
enthusiasm and force open the tightly clenched fist of commerce to give a
little back for the greater good. That’s why she raises her hand and follows
him into the entrepreneurial sunset. Because his art helped her find something
worth believing in. That’s fundamental existential need art can satisfy for
people. The craving for a horizon to chase. The ability have something to get
out of bed and point to. It’s the perfect illustration of how we all need that first person to take us seriously. We all need
that number one fan, that person who has our back no matter what, and when
there’s no one beside us when our soul embarks, they will follow us into the
dark. To quote the greatest lovesongof all time. But what I love most is the last scene
of the movie. Jerry not onlyhasa
number one fan, but hebecomesa
number one fan for someone else. He pays the love forward. And a result, his
client secures an eleven million dollar deal to finish out his professional
career. Proving, that the chain of support flows both ways. And a little belief
can go a long way. Who was the first
person to believe in you?


What did you learn from this movie clip?


For a copy of the list called, “11 Ways to Out Market the Competition,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

Now booking for 2016-2017.

Email to inquire about fees and availability. Watch clips of The Nametag Guy in action here!


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