Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why most advertising sucks. (Part 4)

One of the greatest tragedies of the advertising business is that there's very little training. People with raw talent are generally indulged, exploited, and eventually promoted into positions of managing the next round of talented people, with no consideration given to how they'll lead. 
I know. I was one of them.
Some of the guys I came up with are now running the creative departments of the largest and most powerful ad agencies in the world, and I guarantee you that it's not because a single one of them had management training. Whatever any of these people know about leadership, it's what they learned from books or developed on their own. 
Some of them –– and I speak from experience –– didn't think it was important to read any management books or develop management skills.
As a result, lots of ad agencies are populated top to bottom by people who might be brilliant at coming up with ads, but crappy at bringing along people, developing others' ideas, or interacting with clients or others in the agency. Not all of them, mind you. Just way too many of them.

It's a shame, really, because good ideas –– like talented people –– don't spring fully formed into the world. They need to be, well, managed.