As you can probably tell from some of my posts, I write a lot about the experiences I’ve had over a 25-year career in communications. The good, the bad and the ugly. This post is about the ugly. My goal in writing these posts is to simply share some experiences that might help others re-think their approach. I’m not going to always write about a new management technique, trending news on the biggest CPG companies or how to use Design Thinking to change the way your teams solve problems, though I will surely reference the former. What I hope to do is to share insights on dealing with people and situations.
When I first started out, not as a VP at a fashion/lifestyle New York PR agency, but when I launched a comms division of a branding agency and then my own agency, I lived under an enormous amount of stress.
If you want to run your own shop, you really need to make sure you can take the heat, because it gets very hot when the pressure is on.
There’s a lot to be said for calling all your own shots, but a good partner would certainly alleviate some of the daily worries – like cash flow, errant employees, tough clients. Being an executive in a company with all the perks and none of the liability is probably the best gig in town. Yes, you will still face enormous pressure the higher up you go, but at the end of the day you can still just walk out if you want.
Here’s the thing. I just got off the phone with our bookkeeper, and we were untangling a knotty problem with a client PO. I know my temper was on edge, not at her, she’s spectacular, but at the circumstances. I could have easily lost it, but I didn’t. Score one for age, experience and foreknowledge – don’t put your foot in it.
If I bum out someone I genuinely enjoy working with who’s the loser? Me.
If you’re starting out and feel the pressure, take a deep breath, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. People are your best assets. Treat them well. You’ll be better for it, all around. Oh, if you can’t take the pressure, do something new. There’s no reason to ruin a perfectly healthy life. Seriously.