Be nice! (Your Mum was right.)

You learn a lot in university.

How to craft a sales message. How to get it to market.

How to disrupt the consumer, figure out their patterns and ultimately win their hearts, minds and share of pocket.

But now that you have all that knowledge, it’s time to call on something I imagine your professors didn’t spend too much time on; developing your emotional intelligence.

The world revolves around your brand, not you.

The process of getting a product to market and enticing consumers to buy it is immensely complex.

One thing is for certain, to get there, you are going to have to work with other people.

A lot of other people.

And every step of the way, you are going to encounter someone who, in all likelihood, knows more about their particular field of expertise than you do and is equally as passionate as you are:

If you choose to join an agency, your client will know a lot more about their brand, and you can be certain they have a lot more personally invested in it than you do.

If you go client side, your agency professionals are going to be just that – Agency professionals who want nothing more than to do great work that is acknowledged by their peers.

It is against the laws of both physics and improbability that you will always be right.

The smartest thing you can do is understand this and work with it.

Embrace it.

Understand, you’re all moving towards the same goal and you will never get there if you’re pulling in different directions.

Learn to listen, respect others’ points of view, their perspectives and their understandable self-interest.

Stop. Listen. And Collaborate!

Always listen. Always evaluate.

Learn to contribute but also when to step aside and support them when necessary.

Don’t be a pushover. (And that’s a big DON’T).

Have a point of view and defend it.

But it is not a sign of weakness to appreciate someone else’s point of view or to share the credit for a great idea.

It’s a sign of strength.

You’re going to be judged by what you have achieved. And you’re going to achieve a lot more by shelving your ego and playing a team game.

So be like Ice – collaborate!

(Just don’t borrow his fashion sense or annoying habit of cultural appropriation)


About post author

Basil is a co-founder and creative partner at The Builders Arms Creative Partnership in London. I have spent much of my career living and working globally; mostly with Leo Burnett, with stops at TBWA and Lowe along the way. I’ve worked on P&G, Electrolux, AEG, Unilever, Cathay Pacific Airlines, Pilsner Urquell, Molson Canadian Lite, Reebok, Fruit of the Loom, McDonalds, Eurotel, SA Brewries, Regent International Hotels, Nashua, Coca-Cola and many, many more. No matter where in the world I’ve been, no matter what city, no matter what continent – I’ve found one thing to be true. You’ll never achieve great advertising unless you first find a great idea to feed it.
Posted in How I started