Written by Sophie Hodgson. I’m not really one for resolutions. Quite simply, I lack the willpower. I don’t think I have ever kept to one. I know I should eat less, run more, be clear of mind etc. etc. etc., but, well, it’s all such hard work isn’t it?
That said, in the last few months I’ve learnt a lot of valuable lessons. And so I think rather than setting myself unattainable ‘things to do’, I am going to take note of these learnings and look to apply them in 2015.
First up, never be afraid to challenge and hustle. We’ve all been in a position where we’ve received a brief, developed a campaign in line with that and then been told actually the company was looking for just the opposite. Sigh. It happens time and time again.
So, in 2015 I am going to ask more questions and stop accepting things at face value. The most successful pitches and conversations I’ve had this year have been where, to a large extent, I’ve ignored the brief and instead looked to tap into the emotional driver behind the brief.
I hadn’t realised I was even doing this until I was at a talk by Kevin Allen, during which he discussed the powerful human emotion behind each business decision. Kevin’s point was that you need to understand it and let that frame your strategic thinking. And he’s not wrong. I don’t buy shoes because they are functional, but because they are pretty. OK so comms services and shoes are definitely not the same thing, but the emotional driver behind the purchasing decision arguably is.
Second, and this is a cliché, but I was reminded on more than one occasion this year that you should never judge a book by its cover. It is easy to make assumptions based on LinkedIn profiles, shared emails or the word of someone else. But when it comes down to it, you should always make your own judgements. Instinct is an intangible thing, but there is no denying it has important role to play in guiding the decisions we make.
Thirdly, accept that you won’t always be everyone’s cup of tea. And that is OK. Because we are not all the same and if we were then the world would be a very boring place. At Aspectus, we celebrate individual personalities and appreciate how they fuel our strength of thinking and creativity. That means we think differently and our clients reap the benefits of that on a daily basis.
And lastly, when things are going crazy around you, it can be hard not to get caught up in the madness. Earlier this year, a friend quoted the following words to me by Reinhold Niebuhr: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” When clarity and calm is needed, I feel these words will be crucial to retaining perspective of the bigger picture.
I think that’s it. Now, where did I put that form for the gym?