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

Actions Speak Louder Than Mission Statements …
March 11, 2013, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment


How are you?

As you can tell, your period of peace is now officially over as I’m back.


It goes without saying I had an amazing time with my Mum in Polar Bear territory … an amazing, special, wonderful time … but don’t worry, I won’t be boring you with it – instead I’ll be boring you with this:

In the last month, I’ve been exposed to the whole gamut of human emotions.









To be honest, it’s been quite amazing for both good and bad reasons … but through it all, I have seen how family and friendship helps you embrace, celebrate and overcome almost every situation in a way, nothing else can match.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “what’s new with that Rob?” and you’d be right, there’s nothing new to it at all – and yet life continually conspires to let us forget the value and importance of being surrounded by people who care … who share the same beliefs and values … who want the best for the common good, not just personal success.

While I was away, I watched a wonderfully amazing program on the famous London hotel, Claridge’s.

For all the talk of corporate culture and team building, this show demonstrated the difference between brands that spout ‘mission statements’ and brands that lead and live by example. It also served as a good reminder that to create strong and powerful brands, you have to maintain and execute your standards, values and beliefs rather than simply viewing your goal as ‘making cash’.

There were so many brilliant things in this show, but for me, there were 10 lessons all business could do with remembering and following:

1. Make sure everyone knows the role, goal and purpose of your company..

2. Hold yourself to the highest standards possible. Not the ‘best practice’ standards … but the standards others aspire to.

3. Train. Not in a lip-service kind-of-way, but done properly and with purpose.

4. Hire the right people.

5. Empower those people to do their job.

6. Keep your staff. In the case of Claridge’s, they had a huge amount of people who’d been there 20+ years.

7. Treat everyone with respect.

8. Be stubborn in your desire to maintain standards and traditions.

9. Embrace the new and the uncomfortable … it will be tomorrow’s standard & tradition. It will also keep you relevant and interesting.

10. Never underestimate the importance of strong – yet inclusive – management.

I know all of that sounds utterly obvious – and it is – but having watched the show, you realise how often companies fail to do these things … preferring to either execute a diluted version of these lessons or ignoring them altogether.

Now I appreciate some will claim there are valid reasons for avoidance – and maybe there are – however what I can say is that if more agencies and brands operated in the way Claridge’s acts, I’m pretty sure we would not only have an industry that was better positioned to grasp the future, but we’d have offices full of colleagues who were happier, more productive, more collaborative and imaginative than anything we have today.

Yes, the show was that good. Well, at least for me.

Anyway, have a look at the show and let me know what you think.

29 Comments so far
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Good to see that even after a month off, you’re still able to write your random and schizophrenic posts.

Happy you had a good time with your mum. Happier you’re not forcing every detail of it down our throats. That could be because you already did it with instagram and facebook.

Welcome back.

Comment by DH

From the special time you had with your Mum to the importance of family and friends to a BBC television show about a hotel to 10 tips for running a successful business. All in one post. Yes, Robert Campbell is back.

I’m off to watch that show. If it’s good enough for your “returning” blog post, it’s good enough for my Sunday evening.

Comment by Pete

Especially love rules #5, #6, #8 & #9.

It’s good to have you back Rob.

Comment by Pete

Yep, I’ve even written a post about point 8 for later in the week. Yep … I’m even back to pre-writing. The more things change, the more they stay the same eh!?

Comment by Rob

Whoever said dreams come true was talking shit.

Comment by Billy Whizz

All good things have got to come to an end sometime Billy.

Comment by DH

I’m waiting for them to start.

Rob’s writing posts no one understands. Pete’s writing crawly comments to those posts. The past month of quiet wasn’t good, it was designed to fool us into calm before the shitstorm.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Fair point.

Comment by DH

Great to have you back, about to watch that video now, thank you.

Comment by Ciaran MCCabe

It’s a TV series Rob. I haven’t got the time to waste watching a TV series. OK, I have. But I need to find it on youtube. That’s this weeks workload sorted.

Comment by DH

Good to have you back Robert. I’d personally like to know more about your holiday with your Mum but until then, this will do fine. Will check out that show. It sounds fascinating with or without the lessons it teaches.

Comment by George

so you’ve decide to grace us with your presence again campbell. how long till the next holiday, a week?

im not going to slag you off, im going to treat this as the start of 2013 because the one that started jan 1 was a complete fucking bastard.

trust ma campbell had a great time despite the cold and the company.

Comment by andy@cynic

Here, here matey. Great seeing you … even better seeing the little one doing so well.

Comment by Rob

looong ass planning post…ending with an Oprah esque paragraph about how adland can be and should be saved, from itself..

welcome back Rob..

Comment by niko

Hello everyone. It’s nice to be back and insulted. Warms the cockles of my heart.

Comment by Rob

#5 is so so important, yet so few don’t.

I forget who said it, but it was great: When HR or Finance ask why we should train people who will leave, remind them, what if we don’t train them, and they stay..?

You can see that the real values of the hotel run through everything they do. Sure it’s harder with smaller profit margins, but you don’t get Claridges’ kind of margins without being good in the first place.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Yet so few do it properly**

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Excellent point Rob. However the thing about Claridges for me [versus, say ‘The Hotel’ … the Channel 4 ‘fly-on-the-wall’ series] is less about the money they can invest in their service and more the shared belief and attitude towards what their standards are and need to be.

Comment by Rob

Welcome back Robert. An excellent post to start the week with.

Comment by Lee Hill

I think the last time I spent in Claridges was for Mark Piper’s wedding. Ye Gods there was a lot of Pepsi being hoovered up in the powder rooms by adland. Not me though. No no. I’d never do that….well. not any more.

Comment by Charles Frith

I’ve just watched 2 episodes of Claridges. It’s excellent. Who’d have thought a German could be so charismatic.

Thanks for the tip.

Comment by Pete

I know … he’s also the most diplomatic man I have ever seen. Brilliant.

Comment by Rob

Welcome back, it’s been so long it’s like the Elvis comeback special.
And good points too.

Comment by northern

More like elvis impersonator.

Comment by DH

Well he looks like him. The dead, on the toilet version.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Quite right, Vegas Elvis.

Comment by northern

First day of blogging and all is back to “normal”. Impressive and alarming.

Comment by George

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