Zen and the Art of Celebrity Management

from Chennai
1 year ago
While yours truly has been away from blogs for quite some time, its just that the life has been preoccupied with building something very close to my heart. Its been a few months that I have taken up the cause of cricket coaching and along with it comes the perk of working alongside one of the Worlds greatest spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and his lovely wife Prithi Ashwin.So I have decided to call this article of mine Zen and the Art of Celebrity Management. Simple Reason. You need to practically be a Zen master when you are managing a celebrity, a Himalayan Monk who does not get carried away with all that fame around him but remains extremely focused on the task in hand. A comes into office, I am at my work station. Instant reaction is awe for all that A has achieved in a short span of time. but Zen in me reminds that there is work to be done.A calls for a meeting , there is more chatter around him with A wanting to listen and absorb everything around him, giving due importance to everyone's views and finally adding in his thoughts. That's what a true leader does. I remain in Zen mode not for a moment wanting to switch off. One thing to note and this is the most important point to be noted if you are interested in Celebrity Management whoever he or she is: A Celebrity has already generated enough value for himself and if he is an outstanding star he has that invincible aura around him, a shining star. It is very important for the Manager who takes care of the celebrities affairs and businesses to add value on his own effort.The Meaning of Zen: According to me Zen is a state of mind. As per Google Zen is defined as: a Japanese school of Mahayana Buddhism emphasizing the value of meditation and intuition rather than ritual worship or study of scriptures. Makes perfect sense to me. Lets take my own life experience. I have been all in all a Business Development Guy. All my life I have sold, marketed products and services. I have closed hundreds of Deals must have met thousands of customers. Celebrity Management is a totally different Ball Game. Something that I have never done before. Celebrity Management is closer to Zen. It calls for a calm mind, and at all times your each and every sense remains focused on the celebrity. Your life is not yours but every particle, every moment belongs to the Celebrity. If you are interested in making a career out of celebrity management you have to be a shadow of the celebrity whose life and business that you wish to manage.Points to Remember:1. Maintain a CalendarA Celebrities life is always about Dates. His/Her life will remain dedicated to the cause of his main profession. Thus it becomes imperative to know the dates round the year where he is professionally busy. The other dates which are vacant on the calendar is the time when the Managers work starts. These are the Dates when you know you can commit to brands for endorsements, product or appearances, or to the corporates for Leadership Talks. Always Handy to keep a Diary with you where you mark dates and make notes. One of the key resolutions for myself in 2020 is to keep a Diary with myself at all times.2. Make the Celebrities Life Easy:A Managers job is to make the Celebrities life as simple as possible. You need to get into the minutest details. Appointments, Deal Closures, Raising Invoices, Ensuring that payments are received on time, Hotel Room Bookings, Flight Bookings(Including print outs of the Boarding Pass & Tickets) Booking of the Cabs, ensuring that the Celeb does not have to wait at any place of visit. Ahead of an event it is always good to have a to do list and discuss it with the Celebrity. This will ensure that you do not miss anything that is there on the check list.3. Be in the Moment, Be a ZenIt is easy to get carried away amidst all the adulation and attention that a celebrity gets when he travels. It is imperative for the manager to remain in the moment and not get carried away. A single moment of distraction can cause lapses and serious mistakes. You have to concentrate every every second. In a way its just like a batsman's stay at the crease, a lapse in concentration can cost him his wicket. I have personally experienced this myself where a small moment of losing focus has led to a series of mistakes.4. Evaluate the Enquiries.You must note that a Celebrity gets a whole lot of requests some that are important, some not that important, some commercially viable while others could be free appearances. You would need to evaluate the pros and cons of each and every proposal that comes your way. For instance there might be a request to visit a reputed educational institution but of no commercial value. However might be a good idea to develop a good relationship with the institution. Take calls based on the weight of the proposal, by weight here I mean the value of the proposal(Commercial or Otherwise.5. Network Every DayIts important to stay in touch with important stakeholders and other celebrities. Keep yourself abreast with the latest happenings in and around you. Follow other celebrities on Social Media and understand the brands they endorse, the posts that they create. Attend Conferences/Seminars in your field of Profession. Get to know the CEO's CXO's of different organizations. Stay Formally dressed at all times. Remember that you are the flag bearer of the organization and a direct representative of the celebrity. Keep your visiting card on you at all times.6. Stay Transparent. Stay Honest Most Important point. A Celebrities life is always hectic.He needs to stay focused on his career and profession. As a result you would need to manage his commercial dealings. Anything that involves money has to be as transparent as crystal clear water. There will be deals and offers that come your way involving huge sums of money. Its very important for you as a manager to explain the commercial aspects of the deal to the celebrity. Stay Clear of any dubious deals and be ruthlessly honest.  7. You are His Shadow But....Yes his life becomes a part and parcel of your life but not for a moment should you allow your life to become his. Clearly draw a line between yourself and his personal space. Give him the freedom to operate and focus on his professional life. Take care of everything else. He should be in a space where he should feel that his commercial activities are being well looked after.Well lots of thoughts, I am still work in progress, learning a lot of new things that I have never done before, you can say I am that rough uncut stone in the hands of the master. Lots of polishing, cutting, thrashing, edges that look out of place but when you know that your Master is a Legend, the Highest Wicket Taker of the Decade, you don't mind being roughened up at times for my own good. Hopefully over time the Stone will change into a priceless invaluable Diamond.Till that time Folks I will be at it, trying to be calm and composed, A Zen Master, Learning all the while, being grounded at all times and trying myself to pick up the rudiments of Celebrity Management.



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