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1. The business is going through so much change right now.

Yes, that’s what industries do. If they didn’t, we’d still have cranks on the front of our cars. Why can’t anyone in our business, just accept it, then deal with it? The only thing constant is change. I’ve been hearing this topic in Cannes for ten years now. Is it that hard to figure out? It is if you insist on continuing to be surprised by it.

2. He left to pursue other opportunities.

Okay I get why you can’t say what really happened, but maybe just drop that line altogether? Come to think of it, does an announcement that someone left your company REALLY need to happen?

3. We are a truly integrated model.

If you truly are it, do you have to keep saying it?

4. We want to take this to the next level.

Are you purposefully being vague, so that the next level can be wherever you get, and whatever you create? It’s not very inspiring, and the best people aren’t attracted by it. They’re attracted by, “We are going to be Cannes Agency of the Year.” And your plan to make it happen.

5. I want to take my career to the next level.

If you don’t know where you’re going, I guess anywhere you end up is fine. Is it? If it is – great, but if it’s not fine, fix it. No one gets into a car without knowing two things: Where they are going, and when they are going to be there. That’s how you get somewhere. Are you going somewhere, or just driving around?

6. We are going to turn this place into a creative hot shop.

Refer back to point 4. I have heard this so many times your head would spin. Just exactly what does that mean, and how do you measure it?

7. I’m so busy.

Busy is the default setting. It’s not going to get slow. So get organized. And make it work for you. You need a system and a process. So your mind isn’t bogged down with details like where you need to be and when. Free it up for the place where chaos does some real good. Your creativity. Make the other stuff rote.

8. We’ll get back to you within a week.

What the job hunting and people finding industry needs is more humanity. Never mind – what the whole industry needs is more humanity. For a predominantly Liberal group of people, the way you treat people that want to work for your company is almost Draconian. If you say you’re going to call on Tuesday, call on Tuesday. Now. Read Point 7 again and remember: there is a human on the other end of this conversation waiting for your call. Be a mensch.

9. We like to fly below the radar.

Said no agency that the best people want to work for ever. You sound like an idiot when you said it. Especially if you’re the President. You’re in the business of building brands and your own brand is invisible. Quite the testimonial for what you do. How about this instead? Show us what you got.

10. Awards don’t matter.

Really. Ask anyone what their career was like before and after winning a Cannes Lion. Three months before, and three months after. If they played it right, they made those three months count. Good for you. Well done.

11. What is #11? Tell me.

Please comment, and add #11 below.

~ heidi