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Be less nice

We have a tendency in advertising to be nice to each other. After all, we're in the service business, so it makes complete sense. We smile, walk away, and then whine about it with our desk mates. The problem is this is absolutely, positively, unproductive.

To get things done, you need to challenge each other. The best work comes out of having a healthy debate. Not over email, or through texts, but in person. Through a real conversation that often gets uncomfortable. Drill down on what you're doing, ask each other the tough questions, dig deeper. More often then not, you'll find it gets you to a better place with the work and creates mutual respect.

After all, the world we work in is moving faster than it ever has. Our workload has multiplied through the years, without question. As a result, we tend to avoid speed bumps. A disagreement is a speed bump. It slows us down when we simply want to check something off our to do list.

The problem is that problems don't just go away.

We often avoid conflict, only to find the same problem resurfaces later. And when it does, it's become a bigger problem, that takes more time and money to fix.

You shouldn't be an asshole, but don't avoid conflict either. Conflict is productive.

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