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‘Welcome your thoughts and emotions’ – Dr Guy Meadows, sleep physiologist and founder of The Sleep School

In the run-up to Christmas and the New Year, NABS is taking a look back at some of the best bits from this year’s various programmes, such as its Tuesday Club Talks and Resilience Programme, and  choosing the best piece of advice from each speaker and challenging you to take it on in the New Year.

Sleep is an important part of our regular routine; we spend a third of our lives asleep and use the time to recover, rejuvenate and balance our hormones. However, many of us find it difficult to sleep due to daily pressures. Sound familiar? You’re a part of the 80% of the UK population who experiences some form of sleeplessness, or could potentially be one of the 30% who suffer from chronic sleep problems.

Sleep physiologist Dr. Guy Meadows took on the role of the Nabs Wellbeing expert, offering help with sleeplessness to  help people find ‘more energy and a richer and more meaningful life’ by promoting practical ways to get a better night’s sleep.

Dr Guy teaches us to welcome our thoughts and emotions. Be aware of them, but don’t let them overwhelm you, observe their presence objectively then learn to let go: “Fearful thoughts or strong sensations such as anxiety at night can make you more awake. Learning to change your relationship with them; by getting to know them and even welcoming them when they arrive will reduce arousal levels and lessen your sleep struggle.” Remember, if you think you won’t sleep well, the chances are you won’t sleep well.

Click here to read more of Dr. Guy Meadows’ advice

‘Be true to yourself’ – Karen Blackett, CEO at MediaCom

In the run-up to Christmas and the New Year, NABS is taking a look back at some of the best bits from this year’s various programmes, such as its Working Parents Programme , and  choosing the best piece of advice from each speaker and challenging you to take it on in the New Year.

In October this year, we hosted the NABS Working Parents Panel; a chance for those within the industry to have an insight into the various problems and solutions many working parents face. Offering anecdotal tales and words of advice were Karen Blackett, CEO at Media Com, Steve Hatch, MD at Facebook UK & Ireland, Vicky Janaway, account director at WCRS, Sam Phillips, chief new business and marketing officer at Omnicom media group and Emily Samways, business director at Karmarama.

During the panel, one particular comment from Karen Blackett resonated with us; ‘be true to yourself’. Throughout her career, Blackett has faced many challenges being a working parent, including being promoted to EMEA CEO of MediaCom during her maternity leave. Blackett explained that no matter what your role within the industry, you should always be honest and authentic; “Do bring your home life to work, don’t be ashamed to talk about your kids, and most importantly ask for help – build a support network of neighbours, friends and colleagues who can step in and help if needs be.”

During this time of year, and throughout your career, ensure that you raise any issues with those around you. As Blackett explains above, a support network is a valuable tool in ensuring you are happy both in and out of work, and you are at the centre of your own.

Click here for more advice from Karen Blackett and others from the Working Parents Panel.

‘Do something different’ – John Neal, performance coach and sports psychologist

‘Do something different’ – John Neal, performance coach and sports psychologist

In the run-up to Christmas and the New Year, NABS is taking a look back at some of the best bits from this year’s various programmes, such as its Resilience Programme, and  choosing the best piece of advice from each speaker and challenging you to take it on in the New Year.

The link between the sports and business worlds may not appear obvious at first glance, but think about how many sport metaphors are used throughout business chatter; “OK team, let’s kick-off with a ballpark figure to keep us on target!”. Earlier in the year, performance coach and sports psychologist John Neal offered his expert insight as part of NABS’ focus on wellbeing in the workplace.

During his talk, Neal introduced the concept of mental toughness to our audience of ad folk, explaining how mental strength is all about CTUP: Correct Thinking Under Pressure. An advocate of training the limbic system, the part of the brain in charge of how we perceive the world, Neal discussed how we can not only better control our adrenaline responses – fight, flight or freeze – but can create new pathways in the brain to help us cope better.

The pressures of work and home are often so great that we can barely think straight. In response to these regular stresses, we react in a manner that seems second nature. So how do we change these reactions? Through creating new pathways within our brain. Neal advised that this can be done by challenging yourself to do something different; something that excites you; something that is outside of your comfort zone. So our challenge to you this Christmas is to do something that challenges you.

Click here to read more advice from John Neal’s talk.

 

‘Test counterintuitive things’ – Rory Sutherland, vice-chairman of Ogilvy Group UK

In the run-up to Christmas and the New Year, NABS is taking a look back at some of the best bits from this year’s Tuesday Club Talk programme, choosing the best piece of advice from each speaker and challenging you to take it on in the New Year.

The Museum of London played host to NABS’ Tuesday Club Talk with Rory Sutherland, as we got to peak into how such a gloriously creative mind works. Amongst a brilliant lecture on the importance of the sub conscious when it comes to decision making, Rory’s best bit of advice to the audience was to test counterintuitive things.

Often we can be driven by our own fear of failure, and so we will go along with the norm in order to avoid responsibility for bad outcomes. However, for us to stand out and make a difference, Rory implored us to go against the grain and test counterintuitive things; options that are dismissed by those content with the norm.

It’s as simple as not following the crowd and it can lead to interesting results. So in the New Year, think about how can you do things differently, and how can this lead to you standing out.

Click here to read more advice from Rory Sutherland’s talk.

 

 

 

‘Work on the things you love’ – Steven Moffat, screenwriter and television producer

In the run-up to Christmas and the New Year, NABS is taking a look back at some of the best bits from this year’s Tuesday Club Talk programme, choosing the best piece of advice from each speaker and challenging you to take it on in the New Year.

What do you get when you mix Doctor Who, Sherlock and NABS? Despite sounding like a weird BBC special, this was the treat on offer to NABS Partner Card holders in March as Steven Moffat, the brain behind both series, held a live Q&A, hosted at the offices of BBH.

Amongst some top-secret questions and answers on the future of Doctor Who and Sherlock, Steven made it clear, that the reason he is so successful, and happy, is because he’s doing something he loves. Working on things you love unreasonably, he said, is a brilliant way to live, even if it isn’t a success, you’ll have had a good time in the process.

So for 2015 – what would you love to do or work on? Perhaps it’s something you can work towards next year at work, or maybe its something you can do in your spare time. Because if we work on something that we enjoy, or have a passion for, work becomes less stressful, more rewarding and most importantly fun.

Click here to read more advice from Steven Moffat’s talk.

‘Understand your inner dialogue’ – Jamil Qureshi, performance psychologist

In the run-up to Christmas and the New Year, NABS is taking a look back at some of the best bits from this year’s Tuesday Club Talk programme, choosing the best piece of advice from each speaker and challenging you to take it on in the New Year.

On the face of it, a performance psychologist-come-stand-up-comedian might not fit with the usual NABS Tuesday Club Talk speaker line-up. But in June we welcomed Jamil Qureshi, a performance coach extraordinaire who’s worked to get the best out of the likes of the England Cricket team and well known business leaders.

Jamil spoke in-depth to the audience about the power of your inner dialogue. Successful people are motivated. They think about how they will succeed, rather than thinking about how they will fail. To put this into context Jamil used the example of the late footballer Gary Speed. Before taking a penalty he’d only ask himself one thing. And that would be which way he would be running to celebrate having scored the goal he knew he would score – left or right corner flag.

How many of us would approach this situation and think that we were going to scuff it? The value positive thoughts can have on an individual are endless; a happier mind equals better work and ultimately a more successful organisation. By harbouring negative feelings we’re more likely to fail. So as we head into 2015 – think about how you can start changing the way you think for the better.

Click here to read more advice from Jamil Qureshi.

‘Take considered risks’ – Jon Mitchell, Ex-Spotify VP of ad sales North America and chief revenue officer of Znaptag

In the run-up to Christmas and the New Year, NABS is taking a look back at some of the best bits from this year’s Tuesday Club Talk programme, choosing the best piece of advice from each speaker and challenging you to take it on in the New Year.

Ex-Spotify VP of ad sales North America and chief revenue officer of Znaptag, Jon Mitchell took our audience through a talk on how to take a start-up from the bedroom to the boardroom in 2014, urging us all to take considered risks.

What connects some of the world’s biggest success stories – the likes of Richard Branson or Elon Musk – is that they’ve never been afraid to take risks. They dreamt big and they worked hard, and their risks paid off. However, this approach requires a determined vision and you shouldn’t take risks lightly. Work out the worst case scenario before you take that leap. Jon took a risk in leaving a good job at Classic FM to join Spotify, then largely unheard of in the UK, but he believed in the organisation’s vision and knew it could work.

A few years down the line and Jon was vice president of ad sales for Spotify in North America. It’s through taking these risks, albeit well thought out ones, that you can really prove yourself and improve your career.

Click here to read more advice from Jon Mitchell’s talk

‘Create Collisions’ – Chris Hirst, CEO of Grey London

In the run-up to Christmas and the New Year, NABS is taking a look back at some of the best bits from this year’s Tuesday Club Talk programme, choosing the best piece of advice from each speaker and challenging you to take it on in the New Year.

Kicking off our Tuesday Club Talks in 2014 was Chris Hirst, CEO of Grey London. Office culture was his topic of choice, and collaboration through collisions his focus.

Whilst at first glance it sounds like Chris would like to bring in advertising’s very own version of The Hunger Games, Chris was in fact talking about getting the right people together and encouraging them to collaborate with one another.

Our industry used to be about the people who have the answers, but it should now be more about being the person who can help find the answers. Collisions between the greatest minds in your agency and getting them to collaborate is key to success. It means that as a team you will guide and rise together with each other. Some of the most important people in an agency, Hirst said, are the ones who acknowledge that their role is to help other people get to the answers.

With great minds around you, you and your colleagues will succeed. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start creating collisions.

Click here to read more advice from Chris Hirst’s talk.

NABS Tuesday Club Talk with Sir Martin Sorrell

On Tuesday night we played host to a very special guest at our regular Tuesday Club Talk, with legendary ad-man Martin Sorrell taking to the stage at JWT. In what was his third Tuesday Club Talk, making him our most frequent speaker, Sir Martin ensured it was another memorable talk.

Sorrell at NABS

In front of a packed out audience, Sir Martin, spoke candidly about all aspects of the advertising and media industry. Sir Martin was his usual confident, outspoken self, covering issues as far reaching as industry rivalry, international diplomacy and global trade. But for NABS, the most important points were the ones which touched on happiness, wellbeing and people:

Enjoy what you do

From starting out in a basement office with one staff member, to a global business spanning 111 countries and a 178,000 person workforce, Sir Martin said that it wouldn’t have been possible to achieve this if he didn’t enjoy his career. “You shouldn’t force yourself to do things you don’t enjoy.” Sorrell enthused, “What you do in your career should be first nature to you.”

On doubting yourself

When asked by Mark whether he ever experiences self doubt, Sorrell, perhaps surprisingly, admitted he has from time to time, and he still does have concerns about whether something is going to turn out right. “Every day we make mistakes, but the important thing is that we learn from them,” Sorrell said, highlighting how normal it is for even the most self-confident of people to have doubts.

On the importance of people

 People and good working cultures are something that NABS feels is really important, and it was great to hear that Sir Martin thought so too. “Most businesses are differentiated by the people who work there. In an era of 3D printing and maths men that may sound like an odd thing, but the critical element in success is the people.”  As Sir Martin pointed out, all good teams whether it be in sports or business are successful due to the people that are in them.

Work life blend

 It’s important, Sir Martin said, to balance the three circles of family, work and society. Something he readily admits has escaped him in the past. There are very few people who can do this successfully he stressed, but it is important to get that balance right so that it fits in with your own plan. “I support Flexible working laws whole heartedly. The laws are fine, but flexibility must mean total responsibility in handling your work” Sir Martin added.  Being judged on your output, rather than time spent in the office is something NABS supporters will be familiar with, Karen Blackett recently highlighted it at our Working Parent panel last month.

On women in business

It is parents, in particular mothers, who Sorrell believes are able to balance these three circles most effectively. Sorrell also stated that there should be greater responsibility in WPP, where it’s a 50/50 split between male and females outside of board level, and the wider industry to boost the opportunities for women. “Women do better in many aspects in this industry than men. At board level, it’s not acceptable for men to outnumber women.” Equality is something that the industry is moving towards – but there’s still a way to go.

All in all, Sir Martin put on a wonderful talk, answering questions openly and honestly, ensuring it was another fascinating Tuesday Club Talk for all. To watch a few key moments from the event check out our YouTube channel.

Our next Tuesday Club Talk will be with Richard Eyre chairman of the Internet Advertising Bureau on Thursday November 6th from 6.30 at The Telegraph. Tickets are still available to Partner Card holders.

Fast Forward 2014 – Storytelling

As our teams run into the last week of the NABS Fast Forward course, the pressure is on. They have all been working tirelessly doing their research, finding insights and coming up with strategies, creative ideas and media activation. But, if they fail to wow the judges on the day and bring these ideas to life in the room they could find themselves losing the business, a scary prospect that these delegates are going to face in their careers.

Stephanie Marks_Tish MousellSo who could NABS call upon to help share their years of experience and top tips on Storytelling? John Steel of course.

Who doesn’t love John Steel?

He is the master, the perfector of the ultimate Pitch!

We were very privileged at NABS Fast Forward to hear the maestro speak, not only was he massive inspiration for our delegates it’s fair to say the mentors were busy scirbbling a few of his top tips down too.

We could see him in a little box via video conference from New York, and you could hear a pin drop as the whole audience (especially us Mentors) sat in awed, mesmerised silence to hear his words of wisdom.

It was his 30th Anniversary of coming into our business, he started at BMP (now DDB) in Paddington, and is now the Strategy right arm for Martin Sorrell’s WPP Group.

So, what were his top 10 tips?

1. Have small teams and make sure you’ve got a leader that is making the final decision – dithering wastes time!

2. First impressions are very important, particularly at the chemistry stage.  Don’t tell the client a load of stuff they already know about their own business and category, go prepared but find a way to get the client talking about what they want to talk about.

3. Be brave and push back, don’t just take a brief at face value. If you think it is the wrong, say so and have the debate.

4. Get the entire agency involved in some way, create that wonderful sense of anticipation and team spirit for everyone.

5. Don’t present more than one idea.

6. Plan your time carefully – it’s all in the preparation.  Divide the preparation time into 3 equal parts; Spend the first third coming up with an idea, spend the second third pulling that idea apart and stress test it works and then spend the final third bringing the idea to life – and trust your instincts.

7. Show them you want it more than the next agency to come through the door. Confidence, enthusiasm and hunger will be infectious. Remove yourself from the bubble of the pitch and take it back to the day to day – what would it be like to meet your Agency at 8am on a dreary Monday morning in January. Would it be enjoyable? Would you be the sort of people they want to spend time with?

8. Make your message personal. Try and talk to everyone in the room.

9. Facts are not enough. John cited the example of the OJ Simpson trial – scientific data presented in such a dry way bored the jury and they felt talked down to.  Counter this with a well-crafted story from the defence that planted a small seed of doubt in the mind of jurors and the outcome was somewhat different to what everyone expected.

10. Finally, one size doesn’t fit all. You don’t always need to use slides, try to tell the story, they are there as a prompt, the focus should be on the presenter.  Top tip – use visual aids and always remember the most powerful slide of all; the blank one (If we don’t see a blank slide in every presentation next week I will be very disappointed).

His final tips were about speaking and a lesson for us all is to just write the way you talk, just be yourself and be natural.  People want to hear who you are and will see through jargon and fancy language.  To quote David Ogilvy ‘Never use jargon words, they are the hallmark of a pretentious ass’.

Needless to say John so eloquently peppered his talk with anecdotes from his years in the industry, emotional clips from the hey-days of advertising using Mad Men to make his points, sharing pictures of his dog and inappropriate stories left, right and centre; taking on board all of his own top tips.  If we’re honest we fell in love with him a little bit and would love to be able to pitch alongside him one day – we can but dream.

So good luck to all the teams this week; massive plug for Team Freud who of course have it in the bag, let battle commence.

By Stephanie Marks, head of client services at Maxus and Tish Mousell , training consultant at Tish Mousell Training

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