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But his advice goes beyond that. Trust also enables you to leverage yourself, to delegate responsibility to people who can make you more effective or carry out your ideas. For example, when I ask my assistant to place an important call, I assume that it will get done – and quickly. This trust in others is now implicit in all of my interactions; I don’t run around doubting the people who work with me. Let me offer a very recent example. When we were preparing our October 41 TLFeBOOK Replies to emails, returns call to office and checks game score.

Gleaned in a particular context – his first day on the job, in the case of former Starwood Hotels CEO Barry Sternlicht, or while engaged in childhood chores, for Goldman Sachs head Henry Paulson – each grain of advice transcended the moment and affected how the executives later made decisions, evaluated people, or examined their own actions. As Ogilvy & Mather’s Shelly Lazarus notes, a casual comment can have a sustained effect on day-to-day management and leadership – although, as her first example shows, some wisdom does come in the traditional way.

It took 11 months, but we won that account back. David Ogilvy’s advice and Charlie Fredericks’s comment, while very different in tone and message, go to the same fundamental issue. Advertising is an ideas business: That’s all we are. Is anyone going to die as a result of our action or inaction? Will anyone lose a child? Because if that’s true, let me know, and I’ll get significantly more agitated. Shelly Lazarus january 2005 And ideas don’t come from the air; they come from human beings. If our firm doesn’t have people who can generate great ideas and keep their perspective and good judgment intact even in tough circumstances, so they can develop those ideas in compelling ways for our clients, then we don’t have anything.

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