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My partner has zero initiative


I’ve been in the industry for a bit under a year and things are going pretty well. I’ve got a few big clients to work on and I’m learning a lot.
I’ve only spoken about myself so far which is the problem I’m facing. Whenever it comes to taking the initiative to be proactive, or to enter an awards show, my copywriter really isn’t willing to sacrifice much at all. I always have to try and motivate him to put in the effort.
I think he just wants an easy job – in fact he’s said so himself. In essence I feel that my career is being weighed down by his attitude in general.
I won’t go into any further details as I don’t want you to feel like a psychiatrist. Any advice on how to motivate a partner, or if it should come to it, how to move into a new creative relationship, would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
Frustrated Art Director

intro My partner has zero initiativeYou can’t succeed with that kind of partner–and he’ll soon find he’s out of a job, certainly at any decent agency. “East job” and “advertising” don’t go in the same sentence. Only the highly motivated, passionate creative people make it and have great careers. And it’s true, working with an unmotivated partner will drag your work down and hurt your career if you don’t move on. You will not say anything that will fundamentally change this person. We suggest your next step is a confidential chat with your creative director. Be frank, and professional. Don’t let emotion color the conversation. You don’t feel you can succeed with a partner who has told you he wants an “easy job”, who isn’t driven, as you are, to do your best every time out of the gate. From there, you’ll have to see if the CD is open to doing something about it. If not, time to go. When you do interview at other agencies, make sure meeting the potential partner is part of the process. Show each other your work, talk about goals, and yes, make sure you like them, too. The right partner is transforming, and the difference between loving your job and hating coming to work every day. You’ll keep moving forward and help each other to grow. Good luck.

11/15/2007 08:16:31 PM

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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