Skip to main content

Don’t order spaghetti for lunch and other pearls of wisdom from a career in marketing….

‘Be yourself as everyone else is taken’ Oscar Wild

Don’t try and copy anyone, you are an individual. Celebrate that and always be the best version of yourself. There is no need to mimic anyone, you should channel your energy to build your inherent strengths and qualities. We all need to cherish our individuality and avoid conforming to the norm. It is that individuality that is the platform for our success.

‘When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen’ Ernest Hemmingway

A question that was put to me early in my career and one that I have often used in interviews.

‘What is the difference between confidence and arrogance?’

I have heard many long-winded explanations. Arrogance is an overvalued self-worth. An exaggeration of an individual’s abilities, education and a desire to dominant others. Confidence is a genuine belief that you can do and achieve something without others helping.

The answer is much simpler ‘It is the ability to listen’.

The art of listening is active, it is listening with a view to learning rather than to simply respond.

‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication’ Leonardo Da Vinci

Why make things hard? Why over intellectualize? Nobody cares if you make things simple and easy to understand. However, they will if you make it too hard for them and they need to ask questions. This applies to communication, to presentations to you as an individual. I am not suggesting that you always take the easy route, rather that you make the route for others easier.

‘Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships’Michael Jordan

Who else but the greatest individual basketball player of all time has the best appreciation of the success of teamwork. Aside from sport, research has clearly demonstrated that collaborative problem solving provides for better outcomes. We as individuals can express ourselves and take calculated risks if we have the support of a team behind us. Working as part of a team encourages your own personal growth, your shared knowledge and your appreciation of others.

‘Success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts’ & ‘Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm’ Winston Churchill

It matters not if you are an CEO, entrepreneur, graduate or somewhere in between. You need to understand what failure looks like and learn from it. You need to take the positives from failing, to realise that it isn’t a negative more failure is a route to success. In your career often things will not go to plan, and it isn’t about the fallout from these individual tasks, rather the strength to accept it as part of your own personal journey, to dust yourself down and be prepared to fail again.

‘If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything’ Mark Twain

Honesty and integrity are vital in any workplace. These characteristics set the tone for the type of culture you want to create and work within. They build loyalty and trust in customers and team members alike. Unethical conduct may deliver a perceived short-term goal but it will not deliver a happy long term career.

And why not order spaghetti for lunch, that is simple.

As a mentor at Sky Media once told me ‘Don’t be daft and order that, you will get it all down you and look a mess’.