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Cal McAllister

Part of our February theme of Rebel, Cal McAllister, Co-founder and CEO of Wexley School for Girls, speaks at our Seattle chapter on being pleasantly disruptive. A rebel in the advertising industry, Cal shares some of his thoughts of problems and solutions in the world of creative rebellion. Here are a few of them.

Disclaimer: The rebel almost always dies in a blaze of glory.

Of the ten most significant rebels of all time (as chosen by the internet), eight were either assassinated or burned at the stake. “The people that we paint with the rebel brush tend to get killed,” says Cal. The creative class, he tells the audience, are extremely self-destructive—but that’s for another talk.

“Advertising is a system, and you kind of need to work within it or you’ll end up without a job,” says Cal. Cal tells folks to zig when others zag, advice that might ruin your career. So heed fair warning. That being said..

People are motivated by the same three things.

  • The desire to look good.
  • The need to be right.
  • The necessity to win.

So, here’s the problem. Or the opportunity.

There has never been more clutter. Therefore, it has never been easier to stand out. In a world of clutter, thoughtfully rebellious messages resonate and take root.

There is an opportunity to be unexpected where people are not looking for it. This opportunity is where you can flex your creative muscles.

How to flex your creative muscles:

  • Worry about what you can control.
  • Try to solve the problem first.
  • Live in authenticity.
  • Be the best part of someone’s day.


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