|Photo Credit: Ed Chambliss iMediaconnection|
Photo Credit: Joe Phelps The Phelps Group
The Big Question: Is college worth the trouble and expense with tuition hikes and the increase of “boomerangers”?
The Panelists’ Answer: College will be valuable to the focused individual who is willing to specialize in his or her career.
- “Employers Hire Specialists” An Interview with Ed Chambliss of Joe Phelps Group
1. Focus on a specialty rather than become a generalist.
2. Cultivate depth in your skill set.
3. Compete by demonstrating that you have direction.
|Photo Credit: Flickr Petty.Jen Hollywood Bowl|
Ed Chambliss introduces himself as the Team Leader of The Phelps Group. By every analogy he gives in the phone interview, I can tell he has a team mindset. He uses illustrations from individual band member to orchestra. First, he makes an argument for college education. He says that you can witness your own progression from squeaky player in elementary school band to junior higher. When you are a high schooler you play better than you did in junior high. Right? When you are in college, you are no longer trying out different instruments. You are focused. You have chosen a course of study and you become a specialist. In other words, you study a subject in depth to gain expertise.
My husband is a clarinetist so I follow this analogy. Ed Chambliss gives his second argument. He compares a marketing team to an orchestra. He says to imagine the Los Angeles Philharmonic or Boston Pops. Isn’t that a progression from elementary student musician to professional? Since each musician knows his or her instrument well, they can play the same sheet music at the right time to communicate the same message. This summer I went to the Hollywood Bowl to listen to John Williams conduct so this example resonated with me.
Ed Chambliss summarizes marketing as communicating a brand message. He differentiates brands by the feelings it gives people.
For example, I ask you to envision your favorite soda brand. Why not drink the soda of a competing brand?
If members of the marketing team were not coordinated, the message would not be clear. Do you agree?
Ed Chambliss focused on a specialty for his own career path. He identified teaching as one of his strengths. He started as a copywriter. Then he taught copywriting. He refined his skills further to include overseeing other teachers in creative strategy as department chair for a “creative finishing school”. He cultivated depth in his skill set. Currently, Ed Chambliss teaches integrated marketing communications. He demonstrated direction and progression along a deliberate path. I think if you follow his pattern the advice could be distilled as: pursue something that is your strength. Forget dabbling.