I recently did a podcast with the P&G Alumni Podcast, when we talked about early defining moments. I had the incredible luck and privilege of working for Brian McNamara when I first joined P&G full-time. Twenty-two years later, I can still say that Brian was one of the best managers I’ve ever worked for.


Because he let people do silly things.

Brian was my brand manager on the Bounce fabric softener business. When I went to him with a silly idea, he didn’t dismiss me, or try to convince me that my idea was silly. In fact, he not only supported my idea to partner with Jazzercise, he joined me for an event!

Here’s why it’s good to let people do silly things.

Brian encouraged and supported me, recognizing that there’s no lesson better than the one we learn ourselves. I learned so much through that experience. Not only that there are better brand collaborations… but I learned about activation and partnership. And this experience helped me begin the next time, much more intelligently.

By the way, by allowing me to go through the experience, I learned happily. You see, we all learn. But some of us learn grudgingly, or we learn a lesson whilst being humiliated. Brian taught me that allowing people to do silly things, we enable them to learn AND maintain their dignity AND enjoy the process.

Thanks, Brian.

Listen here for the full podcast, this story starts at 14:50.

Photo cred: mojily.com