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The good thing about adland is that it’s full of people who like to listen.
The bad thing is that quite often, the thing they like to listen to the most, is their own voice.
And trust me, if anyone can say that, it’s me.
There was a scene in the movie 13 Days that had quite an effect on me.
It was when JFK had all his military advisors in a room, asking for their views and ideas of what to do regarding the build up of missiles in Cuba.
One by one, he heard representatives of the navy, army and air force express their opinion.
Then he listened to each of his Government advisors as they explained their point of view.
After all this – and only after all this – did he say what he thought and what they would do.
And what he decided they would do was not based on the recommendations of most of the people in the room.
He didn’t do this to cause offense.
He didn’t do this because he was weak.
He didn’t do this because he had no opinion of his own.
He did this because he valued the perspective of his colleagues in the room and appreciated that their background, expertise and unique viewpoint could change, impact or influence his decision.
Then he made his decision.
And explained why.
And that’s why it’s good to listen to your colleagues before you listen to your own voice – because at the end of the day, as long as you have good people working for you, you’ll be able to make better, more rounded and more effective decisions which will lead to better work, more acclaim, better job offers, more money and the delusion you’re even better than your already massive ego has deluded you into thinking you are.
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