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Words to the wise: David Ogilvy

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Advertising titan David Ogilvy, who died a decade ago this year, sent these thoughts scrawled in a note to a business reporter in 1991:

  • Our founding fathers referred to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Profit didn’t enter into it.
  • Remember the Scottish motto: “Be happy while you’re living, for you are a long time dead.”
  • If you have to make layoffs, first cut the pay of your bigwigs, including yourself.
  • Set the corporate culture yourself. Nobody erects statues to committees.
  • Never cut quality. Your customers will disappear if you do.
  • If advertising doesn’t work, don’t waste money on it.
  • The consumer is your wife, not a moron. Don’t insult her intelligence.

— Adapted from “David Ogilvy’s best advice for business,” Patricia Sellers, CNNMoney.com.

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