QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: Joel Drucker

Oakland-based Joel Drucker is one of the few people in the profession who, during high school, was trained in ’self-actualization’ techniques.

Oakland-based Joel Drucker is one of the few people in the profession who, during high school, was trained in ’self-actualization’ techniques.

Oakland-based Joel Drucker is one of the few people in the

profession who, during high school, was trained in ’self-actualization’

techniques.



Add to that his Bobby Kennedy hair and a penchant for Pynchon, and

you’ve got an interesting guy.





Tell us something amusing about your line of work.



Most spokespersons blow it on easy questions (’What do you guys do?’)

rather than on hard ones. But a CEO once demanded that my colleague and

I ask tougher questions. As I started acting like a rude journalist, he

got genuinely mad and stormed out. We never trained him again.





What was your most embarrassing moment? While playing racquetball

against my first agency boss, he chased after one of my shots and broke

his toe. The family that ran the agency asked him about his injury for

months. That year I got the smallest raise of my career. Conspiracy? You

tell me.





How did you get where you are today? Ten years of Star Fleet training in

the agency business. After that, I had no desire to run a starship or

continue serving on the bridge. Now, I can beam in when appropriate and

tell my own stories.





What is your favorite book? Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49

Written in 1966, it satirically anticipates the impact of technology and

communications on American culture.





Who do you hate most? Spineless practitioners who opt for short-term

people-pleasing over genuine honesty. Kissing the senior dude’s butt

today can make an organization lose its ass tomorrow.





With which historical figure do you identify? Bobby Kennedy. Like him, I

was once duly loyal to an older brother. My desire to be accepted by him

compelled me to be both a temperamental outsider and extra tenacious -

good assets for a consultant. Plus, like Bobby, there are times when my

hair gets out of control.





Name one thing about your past that people would be surprised to

learn.



I attended an alternative high school in LA in the 1970s, and was

instructed in EST, Scientology and other self-actualization techniques.

Years later, I had both Lifespring and The Hunger Project as clients and

was the only person in my firm who fully understood what the client was

talking about.





How many hours a day do you spend on the Internet? Two to three, though

never more than 15 minutes at a time. Like they taught me at Burson,

time should be managed in quarter-hour increments.



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