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For career success, being relevant trumps being cool

I love the Airbus A380. It’s an engineering masterpiece. The world’s largest airplane. Quiet. Spacious. Loved by passengers. Yet the A380 demonstrates what happens to businesses and careers when ‘cool’ trumps ‘relevant’. The A380 promised a solution to a pressing...

Ask customers for feed-forward, not feedback

Who’s the most powerful person in a firm? The CEO? No. The CFO? No. The head of sales? No. It’s the customer. When a customer complains, the CEO sits up. When a customer wants to leave, the head of sales gets on the case. In a firm, the customer’s voice trumps all...

To instigate change, first build credit

“You can help us build a love brand. I want to hire you,” the CEO said. Nina was thrilled. Her last years in consumer goods had been tough. Tight margins. Aggressive competitors. A firm, in which everyone was a marketer. This telecoms CEO promised something very...

Make the middle manager cool again

Who wants to be a middle manager? Not many people. It’s nice to be the trainee – young and cool; it’s nice to be the CEO – with all the power. But the rest? Stuck in the sandwich’s middle. No longer cool. Not really powerful. If middle managers were brands, they’d be...

Try This >> Have more skin in the game

Everyone in the boardroom turned to me in anger. I spent much of my former career doing two jobs: leading large brands and running major marketing transformation programmes. I loved both. And in both, when it came to success, my head was on the table. In marketing, I...

Try This >> Don’t recruit yourself

We love the familiar, the recognisable, the known. And when it comes to picking a team member, many people are looking for a clone. Men recruit men. Creatives recruit creatives. Number crunchers recruit number crunchers. It’s easier to relate. It’s kind of natural....

Join the Marketing Leadership Masterclass (April 30)

My online Marketing Leadership Masterclass in association with Marketing Week starts on April 30! This is your last chance to join at the special reader discount (you’ll save GBP 250). The Marketing Leadership Masterclass isn’t about marketing. It’s about becoming a...

Try This >> Thrive in a matrix organisation

Do you thrive in a matrix organisation? Here’s the essential matrix-fact: everybody is in charge. But nobody has all the power. The person who can tell sales what to do, hasn’t yet joined. The person who can tell product development to make amazing things, isn’t on...

Try This >> To make change happen, ditch your ego

Trust in politicians has evaporated. Consumer trust in brands is at an all-time low. And too many executives don’t trust their bosses. What’s the problem? Perhaps it’s professionalism? Brexit, for example, is a tough (and stupid) challenge – but the politicians in...

Try This >> Beware the ‘binfluencer’

The internet is great. If you know something and you want to write a blog that 100,000 people read, you can. If you want to do a podcast that 100,000 people hear, you can. The internet is also great for people who don’t know much, but are good in front of a camera and...

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– Marshall Goldsmith, The World's Thinkers50 #1 Leadership Thinker