The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Tips From A Fraud …
July 18, 2011, 6:18 am
Filed under: Comment

I have a fancy job title.

Head of planning.

To be honest, just typing it makes me feel weird.

I’m not saying that to be humble, I mean it.

Part of that is because I still think I’m 25 … which is pathetic given I’m 41, but I really do … the other part is that all the heads of planning I know are super smart, unbelievably wise and pretty much all educated to within an inch of their life.

That doesn’t mean I think I’m thick and shit … I think I have some skills … however, compared to the people I look up to and learn from, I feel a total fraud.

But here’s the thing, I think that has helped me be a better planner … not because I’ve learnt to fake it, but because it’s made me think of ways to get around it.

1/ I don’t feel an inherent need to ‘have the answer’ to every question. I probably will have a point of view or a starting point for consideration, but I’m very happy to say “I don’t know, I’ll look into it and get back to you”.

2/ I choose to hear other people’s views before I give my own. Not because I am considerate, but because it helps me define my viewpoint before making a decision.

3/ I actively forge closer relationships with clients – and colleagues – because it helps me understand who they are, what they want and how best to work with them and get the best out of them.

4/ I love to learn from people with different backgrounds. Not because I want to try and look clever, but because I know it might help me in the future.

5/ I look for breadth of information – as well as depth – because I never take it for granted a client will accept my/our viewpoint just because we’re their agency planners.

6/ I read as many ad award books as I can. Not so I can say “that’s been done before”, but so I can use references to help express feelings or moods to my creative colleagues.

7/ I like to hire people who are smarter than me – or with experience, will be smarter than me – because they will teach me stuff and keep me fresh. Or at least fresher.

8/ I started a company. Not just because I needed a job [which I did] but because it helped me understand how to better understand the issues and concerns clients go through when making a decision.

9/ I talk very openly about my fucked-up feelings and thoughts because I know I can never truly capture what I want to say in the written word.

10/ I like to collaborate because – to sort-of quote Nigel Bogle – I know I’m not as good as all of us.

I have no idea if any of these tips will be of any use to you, probably because you’re one of the millions of planners – let alone heads of planning – who are miles better than I could ever hope to be, however if you’re one of those people who live in fear that you might be ‘found out’ for not being as good as you think you should be, then may I suggest you embrace your fears and weaknesses because it will do more for your career than pretending you don’t have them.

45 Comments so far
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I’m fine with you being the head of planning, you’re pretty good at that, it’s when your title was “founder” that I was scared. More so, “founder” of the company I worked at.

Comment by DH

thats fucking nothing dave, i went in business with the fucker. thats bravery. thats evel fucking knievel brave. what i did was death defuckingfying and the fact i survived means the us army should be coating their soldiers in my fucking skin for protection.

Comment by andy@cynic

You think you two were scared, how do you think I felt. It was bad enough working/dealing with you, but to think your livlihood was sort-of in my hand?

Why the hell do you think I put George in charge. That’s right, so I had someone to blame when it all went wrong.

Comment by Rob

They’re quite good tips Rob.

Reading all those tips together was strange. It was like the definition of you. I must have seen you say or do those things hundreds of times but I never cottoned on it was your personal approach until I saw them all grouped together like that. And I thought you rambled and occasionally some clever stuff would fall out your mouth from time to time.

Comment by DH

you fucking wet bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

What’s happened to you Dave? Has Rob put planning pills in your whisky?

Comment by Billy Whizz

I can only appear smart if [1] it’s been thought through before hand and [2] written up by someone else, ha!

Comment by Rob

which is code for “when andys fucking told me something”.

Comment by andy@cynic

You’re not my boss now so I can say this without looking a creep. I enjoyed every second of you as my boss. You got me thinking in ways I had not considered before and gave me the freedom to try things on my own. You led by doing stuff rather than talking about it and constantly pushed me to develop my own approaches and theories. I felt you had confidence in my abilities and had my back at the same time.

You are different from some other planning bosses I’ve had, but that’s what made my time with you so valuable and like Dave said, those tips articulate some of the things that make you so good.

Really good post.

Comment by Pete

Expect Pete’s application to W+K any day now Rob.

Comment by DH

not looking a creep? are you fucking kidding me. youll be offering to dust his fucking collection of overpriced electronic tat. in a french maids outfit next. sellout.

Comment by andy@cynic

That’s very kind Pete … but given you were already a planning god before we hired you, it wasn’t exactly hard to have faith in your confidence was it.

Thanks though, think you might be the only one to say that. Haha!

Comment by Rob

no fucking doubt about it.

Comment by andy@cynic

You do yourself a major disservice Robert, but I understand this is one of the ways you maintain your relentless energy and drive so it would not be prudent for me to say anything else for fear you start believing your talent and fall by the wayside.
Excellent tips for all, not just in planning or a senior position, but for all.

Comment by George

a major disservice? only if you mean hes more of a fucking nightmare than he lets on. have you forgotten what a pain he was to work with? all the other shit aside, this was the fuck who charged no fucking money on anything he thought would be “interesting” and then spent our fucking spending our money on doing the shit he thought was “interesting”. major disservice? a major fucking disservice to running a fucking business more like.

Comment by andy@cynic

Be fair Andy, I’ve written 3 presentations in my life now.

Comment by Rob

And they’re not all in impact. That’s progress.

Comment by DH

for all you little planning fucks out there that think campbell is florence fucking nightingale. youre wrong. he might look a semi nice guy on this pile of shit blog but when you work with him he is a bad tempered, stubborn fucker with the patience of a kid whose been fed e numbers and coffee all fucking day.

here is the truth behind his 10 “tips”.

1) he says he say i don’t know, ill look into it and get back to you” when he hasnt got the answer to something. hes right, he does, but what he doesnt say is how he bombards the poor fuck with 8 million fucking hunches he has before he leaves to get the real fucking answer.

2) he only waits till every other fucker has spoken so he has more people to pick a fucking argument with.

3) he gets close to clients to get free shit. see lee and baz for more fucking details.

4) he only does it so he feels less of a fuck up.

5) he only does this to make it look like hes done some new work because hes been pushing the same fucking powerpoint presentation for at least 20 years.

6) he likes books with pictures.

7) not hard when every fucker is smarter than him.

8) he did it to ruin my fucking life and steal my cash. and get free shit from clients. (see #3)

9) because he is 2 degrees of being a fucking chick.

10) if he didnt, hed have no fucking ideas, good work or intelligent thought.

on the positive, anyone that scheming is a fucking good strategy twat so there might be some shit you learn from him, but only if he stops trying to be nice because hes a vindictive and devious little shit.

you have been fucking warned.

Comment by andy@cynic

why the fucking fuck is there a fucking smiley with fucking sunglasses on there? what the fuck is that shit?

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH


Comment by andy@cynic

its some fucking software bollocks. you do 8 with ) next to it and you look a fucking twat. who is behind that shit? get me their name and afuckingdress and ill be making sure they wear sunfuckinglasses for the next 5 years. to cover their fucking bruises.

Comment by andy@cynic

no, this is the #bestcommentever.

Comment by Billy Whizz

you want a dress. pretty devious strategy to get those wordpress nerds to open the door 😆

Comment by peggy


Comment by Billy Whizz


Comment by DH

Whoever did the software thing to make “8)” appear as 8) , I love you. I was actually enjoying reading my character assassination but that weird icon in sunglasses lifted the whole experience 20 notches.


Thank you to whoever you are and Andy, for making it all possible.

Comment by Rob

you fucking wankers.

Comment by andy@cynic

Doesn’t take away the fact you look a smiley face using fool does it Andy?

Comment by Rob

no it fucking doesnt you smug bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s not all bad news, you made my girls smile.

Comment by Mary Bryant

That will make everything better Mary.

Comment by DH

These are really useful. Thanks Rob.

Comment by Jacob

thanks rob.

back to play SUDOKU


Comment by ji

FYI planning appears nowhere in the signature at the bottom of your email.

Comment by John

It’s in 0.0006 font.

Comment by Rob

that number was the probability of being in a plane crash wasnt it. statistics…

Comment by peggy

Honest to goodness tips from a fraud, especially #4 and #10

Comment by Carol L. Weinfeld

good tips for life. apropos number 1… did chaz get back to you?

Comment by peggy

No, good point – I’d forgotten about that. Will e him now.

Comment by Rob

Thought you’d answered this but I don’t care if you haven’t.

Comment by DH


Comment by peggy

From the way people talk, I get the impression that you aren’t a Head of Planning in the same way that Richard Branson isn’t a businessman.

Andy, feel free to say something insulting to make this seem less nice.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

[…] most of the time I don’t get anywhere near where I hoped it could be – but thanks to my personal “issues”, that desire is always […]

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