Everybody hates feedback

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Stu Lunn is the Managing Director at Havas Media Manchester. He’s worked in the industry for over 20 years, including leadership roles at Google, Facebook, Dentsu & Omnicom.

Biggest fuck up

Not seeking out feedback early in my career, and certainly not welcoming it if it was given freely.

Most people, in my experience, have positive intentions – you spend so much time at work and have so many interactions with colleagues. Most people want that to be as positive an experience as possible, so who better to help fill in the blind spots you might have than your colleagues? I didn’t welcome that early in my career, I thought I knew everything and couldn’t see that you never really do.

When I reflect on it, I think it probably slowed my own development, but because I was working for big brands and performing well, it took me a while to see past my own misplaced confidence. I felt I’d ‘made it’ when I was really still learning the basics of business, particularly in leadership.

I addressed it through mentoring and a lot of reading. Understanding how your brain works and how positive business cultures are built is fascinating to me. The mentoring and actively seeking feedback is the key, though.

I’d encourage anyone looking to develop their career to seek feedback from all areas of their business at all levels.

If you’re in a leadership position, then make sure you explore ‘reverse mentoring’, there is an incredible amount you can learn from those perceived to have less experience than you.

Rant

Hyperbole on LinkedIn profile headers. There are a lot of examples, but the one that really pisses me off is ‘Thought Leader’. As a general rule of thumb, based on my own experience at least, if you say you’re a thought leader, then it’s very likely you are not. Our industry is particularly fertile ground for finding these profiles.

Useful advice 

Understand what is truly important to you and, as such, you should give a fuck about. This is, you may have guessed, the time to recommend you read ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck’.

Why? Well, it’s less about not caring and more about understanding what you can and should focus your energy on.

It demands that you are critical of yourself and honest (brutally) with what you can, could and should accept or change. It’s sound advice for life, not just work. Ultimately, there’s no wanky bollocks, as you’d probably expect from the title – and anybody can take positive action from it.

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