I joined Lloyds Banking Group as a graduate one year before the financial crash. The ten years that followed are best described by one word – turbulent.
Thankfully, I truly believe in the old African proverb, "Smooth seas don’t make for skilful sailors." Throughout these ten years, I’ve worked on some challenging brands. I’ve broadened my experience.
More recently, I’ve enjoyed working in a marketing incubator, looking at innovative ways to take our brands to market. The following are a few lessons I have learned over this time, coupled with some great quotes that stand out for me.
Embrace the change
Change is ever present and, right now, we are living through the fastest period of change that has ever existed – and that’s wonderful.
Change provides so much opportunity for those open to it. It’s not always comfortable and it may not be steady, but if it’s happening, then embracing it is the best way to progress and succeed.
"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often." – Winston Churchill.
Aim for momentum over perfection
It’s natural for a marketer to strive for perfection – our attention to detail, the passion we feel for our brands and the drive to create the best customer experiences. If we’re not mindful, however, this can come at a cost of progress.
The real art is finding the balance between momentum and perfection.
"If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward." – Martin Luther King Jr.
Do not fear failing
Failing is not shameful or a tragedy. But failing to learn is. It’s what you learn from everything that didn’t work just as much as everything that did that offers the best chance of success in the long run.
"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently."
– Henry Ford
Optimism is the faith that leads to success.
"No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed to an uncharted land." – Helen Keller.
You bring something to your brand that no-one else can – yourself. Your own experiences, perceptions, opinions and fears. When it comes to your brands, yours could be the opinion that transforms work from good to great. Be brave enough to speak your mind.
"We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." – Albert Einstein.
Empowerment is yours for the taking
In my experience, true empowerment can’t be granted or gifted – it has to be taken by the beholder. Empowered individuals make things happen, act as a catalyst to progress and don’t wait to be invited to make a difference.
"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any." – Alice Walker.
And, lastly, just something worth remembering. "Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles." – Charlie Chaplin.
Alistair Adams is communications strategist at Lloyds Banking Group. Adams was featured in Marketing's Power 100 Next Generation in 2012.