FT's Global Marketing Director (B2C), Fiona Spooner
A long time ago, in the middle of a particularly busy campaign launch, a friend left a post-it note with TTGLOAF on the window next to my desk = Try To Give Less Of A F@*k.
I’d say it’s the best advice because I still use it now and I find myself sharing it often. Being passionate about what you’re doing is so important but so is perspective and sometimes all we need is a gentle reminder to focus our energy on the things that make the biggest impact and try not to worry so much about the things that don’t or that you aren’t able to influence.
Benefit Cosmetic's UK and Ireland Marketing Director, Lou Bennett.
It’ll be alright in the end, otherwise it’s the end!
HomeServe’s Global CMO, Gareth Helm
One which has paid dividend many times is being generous with your times with others. It has an uncanny way of always coming back and rewarding you. Just like Tails, where I knew James Davidson from my time at Innocent and helping him informally at the concept stage meant I became a NED and three great years before culminating in the sale to Nestle.
Former Brand Director for AXA UK & Ireland, Karen Robson
You are the CEO of your life.
It’s about taking responsibility for your energy, your happiness, and your decisions. It’s also a helpful reminder that you consciously choose how to react to others or how you react to changing circumstances.
Pearl and Dean's CEO, Kathryn Jacob OBE
Every bit of advice is useful, ultimately - it may just be that the timing or delivery isn’t quite right. The one that I share the most is for people to change that needling, nagging voice in their head to the voice of a close friend because if you let your inner doubts rule you, you ultimately miss out on opportunities.
Direct Line Group’s Managing Director of Marketing and Digital, Mark Evans
On the night of my graduation a few of us were out celebrating in an unassuming curry house and my best friend’s father made a little speech that went as follows…
As I look before you, I’m jealous! Jealous because from this position you can achieve almost anything in the world. But also, I pity you. I pity you because for 20 years you will go in search of success but realise when your best years are behind you that it’s not about success – it’s about significance. But the really smart people figure out how to achieve success and significance simultaneously. These words have haunted me in a positive way ever since and hopefully have helped me to make more wholesome decisions along the way.
Marketing Week and the Festival of Marketing’s Editor-in-Chief, Russell Parsons
Professionally I would say:
A former editor of mine very early in my career said “nothing ever happens in a vacuum” – meaning nothing should be taken at face value.
And the second piece of advice is that you shouldn’t focus on what people say, but rather analyse what they mean. It enables you to offer genuine insight.
And personally, I would say:
Be kind. It’s nice to be nice.
WW’s Marketing Director, Tony Miller
Best piece of advice that I’ve ever received is to treat others with respect, to make sure everyone has a voice and is heard, to rise above all adversity, and everything is doable – there is always a solution to every problem or challenge.
Formula 1's Marketing Director of Communications, Ellie Norman
At Honda I had a President called Ken Keir, and the only question he would ever ask when presenting new creative campaigns was ‘does the work make you feel scared?’. This was brilliant advice as it gave us the permission to be bold, brave and uncomfortable with pushing the work, so it cut through in the marketplace and resonated with the audience.
Creative Review’s Editor, Eliza Williams
My dad gave me some good advice in a roundabout way when I was 18 that has stuck with me. I’d just done my A levels and not done well enough to get into the university places I’d been offered so had to reapply. I was pretty grumpy about this, especially when he pointed out that, with not amazing grades, I had to explain why I was interesting enough for them to take me on. I don’t think he used the phrase ‘sell yourself’, it was more along the lines of ‘they don’t know who you are, you have to tell them’.
This made me uncomfortable and therefore quite stroppy as a teenager but it’s something that I’ve thought about since: that stepping out of your comfort zone and approaching people is a useful thing to do. Certainly, virtually all the jobs I’ve had have come by me approaching people rather than applying for advertised posts. Be bold and stick your neck out: most people like it if you show you are interested in them. But try and be charming too, don’t be a pest.
For more concise advice, I’ve also found ‘everything in moderation’ and ‘don’t be a dick’ are helpful words to live by.