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Seeing Talent in Nonconformists

A nonconformist is not necessarily a rude person. To Stuart, it simply means that you have something that you can assert. Authorities, however, sometimes take it as a form of insubordination when it’s not.

“Talent is most likely found among nonconformists, dissenters, and rebels.” -David Ogilvy

Still, it is good to cherish those who don’t usually go with the norm. Such polite dissenters have ideas that can be supported.

Go for Fun

It’s relatively common to want employees who would follow the rules. But for any advertising or other creative industries, you would really want people who can think out of the box—people who could formulate interesting and fresh ideas.

“Funny agencies are more creative and successful.” -David Ogilvy

Following up a certain formula is not enough. Agencies need innovators, and a way to do that is by having fun.

Free to Succeed

People are more efficient when they’re enjoying what they do. Having fun means being comfortable and relaxed. They feel free to be themselves.

On the contrary, people who don’t enjoy their jobs feel like working daily under a dark cloud. What they see is a culture that neglects every individuality. Consequently, they don’t reach up to what they could possibly become and would just work to get paid.

Giants vs Midgets

David once gave a fascinating example using matryoshka dolls. He explained how an agency of giants is composed of a boss with superior employees. On the other hand, an agency of midgets would consist of people who are more compliant.

To hear about achieving greater success through nonconformity, download and listen to David Ogilvy's Life and Stories. Discussion with Stuart MacLean.

If you’re short on time, here are the highlights of David Ogilvy's Life and Stories. Discussion with Stuart MacLean:

Seeing talent in nonconformists? (0:55)

Go for fun? (1:50)

Hiring novice vs experienced employees? (5:42)

Writing copies by committee? (8:36)

Importance of a headline? (14:07)

David’s interesting background? (21:35)

David’s College Fund letter and critique (22:07)

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