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Why I Want You To Play In The Traffic

454955837It’s the worst advice for children. But powerful counsel if you want to make your career a huge success, today and tomorrow. Do this and thrive. It’s as simple as that.

I caught up with Paul K this week, a hugely talented, inspiring and successful entrepreneur who specialises in leadership work. I’d seen him eight months ago, just after I quit my big job. We’d chatted about my plans. Now I updated him on progress – on all the ‘shoe leather’ I’d been burning to connect and lift profile- and how my Advisory practice was booming.

“It’s no surprise,” Paul commented. “You’re doing something well that so many forget to do at their peril in their careers. You are……”

Staying right in the middle of the traffic.

He was right. I had not realised it. But it all made sense.

In six months I had given several speeches to the communications and advertising industry, had MC’d the biggest annual conference for agency leaders, had volunteered to and trained five separate groups of agency up and comers, had been on the judging panels of two big CMO awards, had written 10 blog posts in which I’d weaved in what my new business offers, put my hand up to be a presenter at Mumbrella’s SAGE session, done several media interviews on industry topics, and so the list goes on. Oh- and I had connected for coffee with 100 senior digital and communications industry leaders.

I was staying front and centre in the rush hour traffic of my industry. Learning, sharpening, evolving, sharing, connecting. I was acting bigger than I am (hard to do given my expanding waistline), and talking myself up.

And powerful, kind people, like CMO Andy, CEO Stephen, Friend Don and Singapore Neil, put their arms around me, pumped my tyres and helped nudge me towards opportunity.

It has worked. No plan really. Just a deep instinct to get out there and be everywhere. And with the help of friends along the way.

It’s hardly surprising then, says Paul K, that a raft of brilliant communications businesses approached me to help them drive growth. No approaches by me. My phone rang. Tring tring. Again. And again.

I’m way ahead of my little plan, and can now put more effort behind building my CEO communications consulting practice, and the inspiring speeches and training sessions I so love giving. And at the same time being deeply engaged with talented, driven, entrepreneurial, ambitious communications agency leaders, all smart enough to know that the right savvy external counsel can help accelerate growth, and generous enough to give me a go at delivering that advice.

Here’s the point. Stay in the middle of the traffic of your business and industry.

It does not happen without effort. You have to show up. Often. To wear out shoe leather. To, as Harold Mitchell told me over breakfast a year ago, “Keep on schlepping around.”

Stay in the traffic. Always.

Are you in the traffic of your industry right now? Really?

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16 Responses to Why I Want You To Play In The Traffic

  1. Apryl October 21, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    Wonderful as ever, perfect inspiration for a Wednesday. Thanks Chris.

    • Michele October 21, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

      Chris just brilliant! Brilliant your business is being created and it is so true that businesses and leaders have blinkers on. By playing in the traffic ensures “your middle of the game”, you stay relevant, noticeable and current. Love it!

      • Chris Savage October 21, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

        Thanks Michele

    • Chris Savage October 21, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

      Thanks Apryl.

  2. Paul A October 21, 2015 at 10:49 am #

    nice one Chris, great to hear
    Paul A

    • Chris Savage October 21, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

      Thanks Paul

  3. Marc Cowper October 21, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    Love it Chris! Couldn’t agree more.

    We have also found that having as many discussions as possible with the intent of learning, connecting and helping people has always paid back far more commercial success than having the intent of selling.

    • Chris Savage October 21, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

      Well said Marc!

  4. Holly October 21, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

    A wonderful post. Marketing and careers (and most things in life) are about making a connection.

    • Chris Savage October 22, 2015 at 5:53 pm #

      Thanks Holly! Agree.

  5. Brooklyn Beckham October 22, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

    brilliant article Christopher

    • Chris Savage October 22, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

      Thanks Brooklyn.

  6. Maha Krishnapillai October 23, 2015 at 5:39 am #

    Sage advice as always Chris! I’ve decided to ‘play in the traffic’ and joined WorkSafe as Exec Director, External Affairs – marketing, media & Govt – challenging! but very ‘real’ role. Thanks for your help – it was very much appreciated – and wishing you every success and enjoyment in your adventures too. Maha

    • Chris Savage October 27, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

      Thanks Maha. Delighted to hear it. Well done!! Chris

  7. Donald October 26, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    Only with your amazing background and energy could you keep driving yourself forward Chris; let me share with you my PhD results on CEO communication when you have the time.

    • Chris Savage October 27, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

      Thanks Donald. I’d love to see that research! Will be in touch. Chris

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