When to Take My Name Off the Door

“When you lose that restless feeling that nothing you do is ever quite good enough” — Leo Burnett

Guess I shouldn’t feel bad anymore, when this nagging feeling crops up from time to time. It’s actually good news! At least according to famed ad maker Leo Burnett.

In a farewell speech to his company, delivered in 1967, Burnett listed a series of practices and behaviors that, should they take root in the company after he was gone, would be clear signals it was time to take his name off the door. Even threatened to come back from the grave and scrape his name from the place himself.

Things like:

  • When you lose your passion for thoroughness…your hatred of loose ends
  • When you disprove of something, and start tearing the hell out of the man who did it rather than the work itself
  • When you forget the sheer fun of ad making and the lift you get out of it

The whole speech can be found on a post from David Aaker, contemplating personal values and their alignment with corporate values. It’s worth the click to see the whole speech.

As Aaker notes: “What are your business and brand values? Which are the signature values that represent the core of the organization and brand?”

And what are yours?



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