Friday, October 16, 2009

Taking a break means really taking a break...

I'm back online after a few weeks in Australia including a short hiatus (to get married).

On the plane on the way back I had a lot of time (24 hours in fact) to reflect on my trip and what I'd learnt during my time back home.

The three things that stuck with me were:

1 When you go on holiday/vacation have a real break. That means no checking of emails, sneaky looks at your blackberry or the occasional check in phone call to the office.

It means complete and utter distancing of yourself from your work environment. Hard for many, some may say impossible. I used to think like that, but realize now that in order for me to be at my best, ooze passion and commitment when I am working, I need a real break. And even though this break was less than two weeks, I feel reenergized and craving my next challenge.

Linked to how well you can do this (have that 'real' break) is the next thing, which is...

2 Surround yourself with brilliant people.

Might sound bleedingly obvious but in order to switch off completely you want to have the confidence in your colleagues who take up the slack whilst you're away.

I went on vacation two weeks ago completely relaxed once I walked out the door as I knew my team around me would deliver what was needed (and more) whilst I was away. And they did.

3 Believe in yourself and what you do.

Again, hardly a revolutionary piece of advice, but I was reminded of how important this is whilst watching a documentary on the plane of David Ogilvy, known by many as 'the father of advertising' as we know it today.

His story is quite extraordinary, particularly when you consider that a former door to door salesman and a man who had just left living amongst an Amish community took on the big boys of the advertising world on Madison avenue, with no advertising experience. It really was David taking on Goliath at the time, but it's fair to say the Ogilvy Group is now the Goliath of the advertising world.

So what did David Ogilvy have that made him succeed? He had an ability to generate lots of big ideas for his clients, but fundamentally he could sell and believed in himself. If he didn't I'm certain he would have packed up his life and moved back to the UK, given that by his own admission he initially struggled to win clients.

Most remember David Ogilvy for his creative and advertising brilliance. I take my hat off to him for his entrepreneurial tenacity, drive and above all, belief.

The trip was a good reminder of the simple things that help keep me going on a daily basis, doing what I love.


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