Tag Archives | Ogilvy PR

The Secret To Living A Good Life: But Beware – You Won’t Like The Answer

A loved one was being conferred last week with a Master’s degree. I sat in the graduation ceremony audience filled with awe- proud, and content with life. Then the guest speaker provoked with this challenge: “What does it take to lead a good life?” And her answer shamed me. I did not like it. Will you?

I was thrilled to be in the Great Hall of the University of Sydney last week to watch the graduation of 150 or so students, for many their young lives stretching out in front of them, filled with possibilities; for those more ‘mature’, a new milestone of achievement, evolution and opportunity.

Then the guest speaker spoke about what it takes to live a ‘good life’, which she surmised was different from a happy life, and does not come from university degrees, big careers or ‘good works’. Rather, she inferred, ‘living a good life’ is built around one thing and one thing alone. I did not like what it said about me. How about you? This is it:

If You Want A Great Next Role Get Ill First

“It took me 130 coffees to land the ideal next role for me,” said my breakfast companion on Friday. 130 coffees, hey. Now that would make you pretty ill. And that’s the point of this story. You need to get ill if you want to secure the very best role you can. Here’s why.

I am a huge fan of making the grass greener on this side of the fence; to try to fix your current role so it is inspiring and great. But sometimes the reality is that we need to move on- and finding that outstanding, insanely perfect next role can be a daunting challenge.

As your career evolves and you get more senior, it becomes tougher for the perfect opportunity to ‘land’. And that’s where the ‘Get Ill First’ strategy comes into play. This is what it is and how it works.

The Happiest Four Hours of My Life – And I Was Fully Dressed

Work had been hectic. Then to the Cannes Creativity Festival. Packed days. Then holiday. Paris. Museums. Galleries. Sites. To Rome. Ditto. Rush. Rush. Then dashed across town to catch the train to Florence. And that is when it happened… the screw up that thrilled my very being. And a genuine lesson for a happier life. Here it is.

John Studdert is one of the world’s great guys. I worked with him for 12 years, during his time leading the company he founded- with David Sawicki- Impact Employee Communications, and then when he succeeded me as the Chief Executive of Ogilvy PR Australia.

In fact, John just retired from his Ogilvy career, and is taking time out before his next chapter. I tell you about him not because of his fine career and values, but because of a saying he told me, told to him by his grandmother. It summed up what happened to me in Rome. She told him this:

The Best Advice I Ever Received About Changing Jobs

I’d been CEO of Ogilvy PR for two years having sold my PR firm into the group. I was feeling stale and wanted a change. But I did not have the courage to quit, fearing a life of selling bananas on street corners if I left my current security for the great unknown. And then a wise man gave me some advice. I quit next day. This is what he told me.

I was reminded of this story while having breakfast recently with a dynamic software and gaming industry leader who recently decided to leave that career and start afresh.

He was frenetic in analyzing his recent career, and on what he thought he’d do next. I stopped him after the first coffee. “Focus entirely on the future, but don’t get fixated about having absolute clarity about what you want to do next. Rather, follow this critical piece of advice that was given to me once. It will ensure you make the right decision.”

I Am Ashamed Of My Greatest Failing-But At Last I Am Beating It

What do WD-40 ( a type of grease lubricant), an amazingly successful entrepreneur, and my greatest failing in life all have in common? Calm down! This is NOT an R rated story. It’s a story about fear. Maybe it will help you beat yours? Read right to the end – there’s a surprise there for you.

I had breakfast last week with an inspiring and highly successful young entrepreneur, Creel Price. He sold one of his businesses a few years ago for $100 million. (He paid for breakfast.) From his website www.creelprice.com :

“Creel developed his serial entrepreneurial nature from the age of 11 when he started a strawberry business that within two years was employing both his parents. … Creel recently established the Club Kidpreneur Foundation, a social enterprise committed to assisting youths start and grow their own micro-enterprises in order that one day they may choose entrepreneurship as a career.”

“What’s the point of Kidpreneur?” I asked him. And the first sentence of his answer summed up one of my greatest failings, and greatest fears.