How to Be An Amazing Partner – By @ClancyForrest

By Forrest Clancy


How to Be An Amazing Partner

Last week, my inbox was totally clogged by legends of the industry. 

Gerry Graf dropped me a few hundred words asking if I could help him run his Agency. Marc Lewis sat in my office and begged for advice on how to better direct the school, Paul Belford emailed, texted and called asking if I’d be interested in partnering up with him and diving back in to the creative pit. 

I ignored them all. Because the truth is simple. Get your own creative partner. I just got one. 

You see, having a creative partner is the answer to everything. It’s like having a husband or wife. And maintaining a healthy creative relationship is just like keeping a healthy marriage. Luckily, after 6 months in the Ad industry, this is something I know quite a lot about. And so I’ll give you three quick tips, but you’ll have to pay for the rest. I’m far too good to just dole out free advice. 

First, honesty is the key. If your partner brings you some work that is not up to scratch, just be straight with them and say something like, “this is shit work.” This always works with me and my partner. 

Now, sometimes they might ask you what you mean by that statement. If you have an answer, that’s great, but don’t get caught in any traps. If you don’t have the answer, just repeat your words with twice the force. 


If it’s not clear to them what they need to do, perhaps you should find another partner. 

That brings me to my second point. Always keep your eye out for something better. If your partner looks like they might not be winning any awards this year, just be ready to drop them in a heartbeat. There might be times when your partner carries you, but, in return, you should never, ever think to carry your partner. They must pull at least their own weight at all times and the moment they don’t, cut them loose. 

Lastly, never present work you don’t believe in. If you cannot both agree on an idea, there are two things to be done. If your partner likes the idea but you hate it, don’t present it. You cannot get bogged down by their sluggish opinions and you cannot present an idea you’re not committed to. However, if you like an idea and they don’t, present it anyway. 

Tomorrow, Dave Dye will be at SCA for a talk. I am sure that many legends will come to see him speak, and the room will be packed full of my former partners and protégées. They will gasp when I walk in. They will balk at me, sat in the back row. Then, their jaws will drop as Dave wraps up his lecture and thanks his fantastic, inspiring, new creative partner. Me. 



The copy scores 87.5 in the Flesch Reading Ease test

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