A career in advertising, media and marketing is an exercise in making strategic choices and adapting to a constantly changing universe of ideas and technology. Here are eleven fundamental attitudes and behaviors to help you to zig and zag to success.
Be Grateful. Don't grovel, or fall to your knees every time someone is kind to you. But do make a mental note to be grateful for things that go well. In doing so, you encourage and attract more of the same from coworkers, those you supervise, superiors, clients, people you network with, and others you meet along your journey.
Be an Optimist. Expect new things and anticipate that someone will always have a new and possibly better idea. Be on the lookout for these people and their ideas.
Anticipate Change. Change is constant. It’s true in chemistry and in careers. Expect to shift your thinking routinely. Expect ideas, technologies, processes and the culture to evolve over time. But invest time and energy to separate the hype from reality.
Be Curious. Pull the string and see where it leads. Force yourself to know how and why things work the way they do. Much of what evolved in the digital space is logical. One thing follows from the next in ways that you can anticipate even without deep technology knowledge.
Be a Skeptic. Develop a good reality/bullshit filter. Default to the practical. Focus on the nuts and bolts rather on the grand vision. Ask uncomfortable questions to reveal how well an idea has been thought through.
Be Open. Don’t lock yourself into any particular ideology or technology. Be willing to listen to crazy ideas. Hear out geeks and nudniks who frequently have interesting perspectives poorly articulated.
Cultivate Your Memory. Remember what you've done and where you've been and can connect the dots to new stuff that comes up.
Read Voraciously. Get eNewsletters, scan magazines and watch everything you can. Opt-in frequently and mine the flow of information and data that comes automatically everyday. Constantly troll for new bits of information. Collect reports, studies and white papers from all kinds of sources.
Collect People. Talk to everybody. Don’t be bashful about asking what they're doing or what they know or what they think. Generally friends, co-workers and strangers are happy to talk about themselves.
Network. Believe in karma. Help everyone you can. Connect people you know whenever possible. This will surface a few great relationships and several gigs.
Pay Attention. Watching the industry and watch the verticals to see what's happening and what's needed so you can evaluate new things in context and decide if its going to take root. Since so many others have their heads down and focus much more narrowly on immediate client needs or the specifics of a particular business, paying attention can give you a competitive advantage.
Danny Flamberg, EVP Managing Director of Digital Strategy and CRM at Publicis based in New York, has been building brands and building businesses for more than 30 years.Prior to joining Publicis, he led a successful global consulting group called Booster Rocket, as Managing Partner. Before becoming a consultant, he was Vice President of Global Marketing at SAP, SVP and Managing Director at Digitas in New York and Europe and President of Relationship Marketing at Amiratti Puris Lintas and Lowe Worldwide.