Stephanie Brimacombe: the group chief marketing officer at VCCP
Stephanie Brimacombe: the group chief marketing officer at VCCP
A view from Stephanie Brimacombe

Want to challenge bad habits? Hire an optimist

VCCP's group chief marketing officer explains why optimism is her secret work weapon.

Oscar Wilde once said the difference between an optimist and a pessimist is that the optimist sees the doughnut, the pessimist the hole. I love doughnuts and don’t count calories, so I guess that puts me in the optimist’s camp.

Optimists are people, like me, who always plan to get more done than time permits. An optimistic person is always looking for the best in any situation and believes their positivity can make good things happen.

Optimists keep going, even when it seems as if everything is stacked against them and they should just give up – a trait that’s pretty useful to have in the agency new-business game. Which brings me to an article I’ve just finished reading about how a whopping 72% of agencies think it will be much harder to get leads this year and more competitive to convert them.

But I’d like to know when it has not been competitive and hard, or did I miss that bit? Surely that’s where the fun is – having a good old head-to-head with your rivals, redrafting your thousandth version of an RFI, the polyboard, the all-agency briefing days, the indecipherably complex e-portals and the frantic 2am search for artbags.

I could see how this all gets a bit much for some – and, while the pessimists would call time when "a fifth agency gets added to the pitchlist", the optimists brazenly plough on. When a culture is optimistic, it accepts realists but squeezes out pessimists.

VCCP was born out of the optimism and belief of its four founders that they could challenge the traditional agency model and industry bad habits.

Fifteen years on, this approach remains unchanged, as does the optimism of the place. We may not be in charge of much in our unpredictable and unstable world at the moment but we can be in charge of our attitude. So the choice is yours – half-empty or half-full?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to my doughnut.

Stephanie Brimacombe is the group chief marketing officer at VCCP.