Ten Things I’ve Learned Over The Past Thirty Years

Ten Things I’ve Learned Over The Past Thirty Years


May 5th was a big day. We celebrated Lawrence & Schiller’s 40th anniversary with an all-staff retreat focusing on the future of the agency. And I celebrated my 30th anniversary with the agency as well. I’m proud to be Paul and Craig’s 10th anniversary gift, and I’m so grateful that they took a chance on this long-haired goofball from Pierre all those years ago. It’s been a wild ride.
 
So, what have I learned over the past three decades? Plenty of things, but here are ten quick takeaways.

 
Time Flies When You’re Having Fun.

There’s no better job than one that keeps you fully engaged so you’re not watching the clock crawl along. What a blessing it’s been to have my days filled with doing exactly what I love to do.

 
There’s No Place Like Home.

Dorothy was right. Over the years, I’ve had several opportunities to leave the nest. And I’m so fortunate I didn’t. It’s tough to beat being happy and fulfilled, doing great work with your friends and living in one of the best cities anywhere.
 

Nothing Beats Doing Important Work.

One of the best benefits of working with L&S is the quality of the clients we work with and the opportunity to create so many notable campaigns. Nothing’s more satisfying than delivering success to the companies that invest their trust in us.

 
You Get What You Give.

Making a 5280 commitment and working to meet a higher standard is much, much harder than just punching the clock. But it’s a lot more fulfilling. The hard road always leads to the best destination.

 
Great Work Matters.

Nothing is better than working with clients and co-workers who have high expectations and understand the importance of doing great work. The magic of persuading people to take action is the direct result of doing great work that connects with the target.

 
Changes Are Good. And Necessary.

You’d think a 40-year-old shop would want to desperately cling to the past, but that’s never been the case here. One of the best parts about working at L&S has been the way the agency seeks to evolve, acts on great ideas from all corners and happily embraces change.

 
You Can Never Stop Learning.

The communications landscape is evolving rapidly before our eyes, and past success guarantees nothing moving forward. There has to be a company-wide commitment to learning and growth to stay ahead of the game, and that’s more important than ever as we hurtle into the future.
 

Advertising is a Young Person’s Business.

Paul Schiller told me this a million times when I was young, and now that I’m not, I know exactly what he meant. There’s no substitute for the youthful energy and idea generation that comes from having a young, smart, hard-charging staff. It keeps the agency vibrant and old guys current.

 
Mentors Matter.

I received the best education possible working with Craig Lawrence and Paul Schiller – hall of fame admen who took the time to make me better at my job. It’s inspired me to try to do the same for others and encourage mentorship at all levels and disciplines.
 
And finally…

 
They Feed You A Lot In This Business.

Extended road trips, client meetings, staff lunches and break room goodies are a serious occupational hazard to the advertising practitioner once your metabolism hits the wall. Taco John’s, Papa John’s and Jimmy John’s all ended up putting excess pounds on this John.
 
Over the past 30 years, I’ve been able to enjoy an amazing ride that’s brought me into contact with so many interesting and talented coworkers, clients and business associates – and I appreciate my time with every one. A special thanks goes to Scott Lawrence, Dan Edmonds and Mark Glissendorf – with whom I share a truckload of battle scars and fantastic memories. Great men and great partners.
 
My second 30 years begins today. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.


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