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Insider… by Phil Jones

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I was asked this question at a conference recently, and it got me thinking. Thirty odd years in the industry have provided a fair amount of ups and downs, from which I have learnt many things. The first of these is that there is a big difference between a lesson identified and a lesson learnt!

On the basis that a lesson is only ever learnt if you don’t repeat the same mistake, otherwise it’s simply a lesson identified, here is what I would tell my younger self from what I have learnt over the last 30 years:

Always back your decisions with as much evidence as you can.

Feedback, however challenging at the time, will always give you a perspective for reflection (whether you agree or disagree with what is said).

Pursue mastery of self so that you can understand your default biases and decision pathways (plus your blind spots).

Pursue mastery of subject matter so your skills are always relevant for the industry of today.

Build a good network of people who have your best interests at heart to support you in life inside and outside work.

Communicate often, with accuracy, brevity and clarity (ABC).

Honesty is always the best policy, even when it’s hard to hear!

This list could have been much longer, but in the interests of brevity (as advised above), I have limited it to a few that have served me well over the long term.

Now, my question for you is: what advice would you give to your younger self?

Jot down a few points and share them with someone younger in your company or network, so that they don’t have to re-learn them in the future.

See you out there.
Phil Jones MBE, Managing Director, Brother UK

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2018