Sean Combs, aka. P Diddy; the man, the brand, the mogul. He’s got his way with touching things and turning them to gold. It was building Biggie, Bad Boy Records, Sean Jean, Ciroc and a bunch of other notable moves along the way that got him to be a name brand on the world stage. When you get into his world, it’s motivating. The man is a living legend and he’s not even 45 years old. Seeing him, meeting him, and being served Ciroc and pizza (directly imported from Brooklyn, no less) at 3am Cannes time definitely did not suck – even though I’m lactose intolerant.
I’m going to take you back a few months to when I was in Cannes for the famous Cannes Lions – which is dubbed the international festival of creativity – so that we can learn a thing or seven from Diddy. The last time I was in Cannes was for the Film Festival back in 2008. Heading across the pond five years later for a creative conference vs. a film festival lead me to have no idea of what to expect – minds vs. models, launches vs. screenings, creatives vs. celebs, etc. But when Diddy hosted a big talk on branding by day, and then hosted an epic – and I mean epic – party by night, the man got me thinking: There’s a lot we can learn from this man. Read on, ladies and gents…
Entertain a Crowd
By day Diddy came on stage at an auditorium full of ad execs who had been up early and out late for one week straight already. He brought material that made us laugh, made us say “wow, reeeeeeeeally?!” and left us wanting more.
When someone is speaking in public – in a room of 5 or 5,000 – that person needs to be ready to entertain with facts, jokes, insights, whatever… but be ready to tell that story.
Look Fresh to Death
Diddy’s khaki suit was balling. Enough said. Actually, let me add one thing: not everyone is being true to themselves in a khaki suit, so if it’s not you, don’t wear it. Whatever your look is, embrace it and own the look. Which leads to…
(Image courtesy of Elev8)
Not cocky. There’s a big difference between confidence and cockiness. Diddy is confident in his accomplishments and isn’t embarrassed to share them with explicit detail. Facts are facts. If your facts are top-notch, you’re not being cocky by sharing them; you’re telling the truth. Share your truth, people always respect it. Although it’s debatable in Rob Ford’s case…
(Image courtesy of Bauer Griffin)
At the same time, though, have humility. On stage, Diddy didn’t act like he was God’s gift to mankind. In fact, he thanked the crowd countless times for giving him our time. He also told us he is just a student trying to learn “this shit,” and that we, the media, advertising, and creative execs, are the real pros. Thanks, yes we are, but I’d say you’re up there, my man.
(Image courtesy of Dr.Jays)
It’s Okay to Ask for Help
When we walked into Diddy’s private party at Gotha club and he was on stage saying “I suggest ya’ll get on your phones and cancel your morning meeting, cuz ya’ll here with me for the rest of the night,” I knew we were in for a show. But Diddy knew there was more and that the show could have been even better, so what did he do? He brought out Nas. Yes, that’s right, I said Nas. No matter how good we are alone, we’re always better when we get the right help.
Greet Your Guests
Later on in Diddy’s VIP room, he didn’t just sit there and sip Ciroc. He worked that room. He went up to each guest and said hello, asked if anything was needed, he shook my hand and chilled for a moment. When entertaining, never just sit back and be reactive waiting for your guests to come to you. Be happy that they are there, that they came for you. The “cool guy” act is high school.
Offer Free Booze
Diddy had an open Ciroc bar for the 400 guests at his party… that didn’t suck. In the VIP he had a bottle of Ciroc on ice for every two people… that really didn’t suck. Want to warm up your guests? Offer them a drink. It’s a relatively inexpensive gesture that goes a long way.
(Image courtesy of Fab Empire)
Serve Pizza (Bonus)
Now this was a surprise! While Diddy was on stage he mentioned that he had flown in 250 pizzas from Brooklyn. I smiled and laughed it off, thinking as if. But I dismissed that comment too soon. In the VIP, which was set up with five rows of white leather couches all facing a BIG screen TV airing game 7 of the Heat vs. Spurs, Diddy was walking around while smoking on what resembled a La Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor or Alec Bradley Prensado, offering us 25 or so guests pizza, imported from Brooklyn, from the box. Now, being lactose intolerant, I tend to shy away from high cheese-content foods like pizza… actually I don’t think I’ve had a slice of pizza in well over three years, but wow, was that slice (or four) good. Was I really going to say “thanks, but no thanks” to Diddy?
Watch icons like Diddy and you’ll notice that they all share these attributes. All YPs can embrace these moves and tactics. They will definitely set you apart from the competition.
(Cover image courtesy of PA/Splash News Online)