Blend innovation with appraisal and act decisively - Richard Eyre's top tips for success

Richard Eyres Richard Eyre has had a remarkable career in advertising, moving latterly into non-executive director roles with media and tech companies.

Having been at the cutting edge of the media industry for nearly forty years, I was interested to hear what his top ten tips to success would be - and like me, you might find some of them pleasantly surprising.

Here's my take on what he had to say:

1) Learn to hear in a different way. For example listen out for what people are not saying and try to figure out other people's agendas. Sometimes personal ambitions can get in the way of the business task and you need to know when that's potentially the case with those you're dealing with.

2) Appraise what you hear and make your own mind up about it. Don't just adopt others' viewpoints.

Don't rush into a decision

3) Allow time for new ideas to infuse. Not every decision has to be taken on the spur of the moment and often the results are better if they aren't. Expose yourself to new thinking and understand what is going on in the world around you. For example, for those in digital, tech and the media, blogs like Mashable and TechCrunch are invaluable to gaining new insights.

4) Don't be afraid to copy. At school it may be called cheating but in industry it's called benchmarking. If you see a style you like, try it on for size and then evolve it so it's your own.

5) Take risks and step out of your comfort zone from time to time. The product of some risks is that you may occasionally fail but that's ok. Don't let your fears be stronger than your dreams because that will only lead to regret.

Work out what is holding you back

6) Identify what it is that is restraining you. Reframe failure to see it as the Americans do - something you learn your greatest lessons from. Don't be put off by others and confuse self-confidence with talent. There is no direct correlation between assertiveness, self assurance and conviction, and the best understanding of the situation.

7) Know what your own success looks like. Stop and think so you're not just following a trajectory - it's not all about the money but what makes you happy. However, whatever your version of success looks like, it will cost you. You'll have to fight for it and make difficult choices; this is why you will be more fulfilled in the end. If your family unit is important to you, stay strong and put it first. Too many people in the business community do not respect it as they should so it will be hard.

8)  Work out what your own brand characteristics are. Choose four words that you'd like people to use about you and then ask yourself what you have to do to get people to describe you in that way. Carry out an annual review - new ambitions and new words may be needed as time goes on.

Don't let money, fame and power cloud your judgement

9) Money, fame and power are consequences of success but they are not a destination. They are not satisfaction creators so don't let them define you.

10) The media business is in chaos and with chaos comes opportunity. Those who win when the rule book has been torn up are the inspired, the fast movers and the free thinkers. Blend innovation with appraisal and act decisively.

11) Always give people more than they were expecting but don't broadcast it - your work will hold much more worth. This is a powerful technique and will differentiate you from the rest, even if at times sometimes your efforts go unnoticed. This approach will stand you in very good stead.

Richard's tips are refreshingly honest and are gained from his extensive experience over the years. We found them beneficial - hope you did too. Why not share your top tips if you have any, we'd love to hear them.