Jerry Maguire is no ordinary agent. Uniquely, he has a conscience. Even less commonly, he tends to over-share his philosophy to such an extent that he gets fired. Only one star agrees to join Jerry in his new moral-conscience agency. Just about anyone in consulting or agency work has reached a point where they think they know better, and go it alone. It’s never as easy as it looks. But one truth just occurred to me, after many viewings of Jerry Maguire. If you have one client, and I do mean only one, you are an agent. If you have zero clients, you are not an agent. But, and here’s the kicker, an agent with one thousand clients is still only an agent. That is important.
Something else Jerry can teach us is that there are certain professions which value honesty and integrity above all else. Law. Accountancy. Agent work. PR. Advertising. Film. These are businesses which value the individual star, the big name. Nobody cares which firm you work for if you are Andrew Wylie, The Jackal. Andrew Wylie could work anywhere and he would still be Andrew Wylie. Aaron Sorkin. David Lynch. Do you know the names of their companies? Of course not. Maybe the superfans do.
The point of this piece, as I watch Jerry for the tenth time, or the ten thousandth time, is that nobody cares what Tom Cruise’s production company is called. Remember that.