MediaLink's Dana Anderson on why it's good to lose control

Being a rebel has its benefits.

In today’s competitive landscape, leaders need to stop trying to take so much control and allow others to take the reins a bit in order to get the best business results, according to MediaLink’s Dana Anderson.

The Chief Transformation Officer, who sat down with Campaign US following her talk at ANA Masters of Marketing last week, said it’s "less about losing control and more about giving it."

Control stifles growth and doesn’t allow companies to move fast or prototype ideas at the rate that they should, she said, adding that the "agility training" class she took recently was very helpful in figuring out everyone’s role.

Clients aren’t going to wait for agencies to transform; they’ll just transform themselves, Anderson told Campaign US, which is why advertising shops need to change how they’re working.

Right now, CEOS – on both the agency and client side – are mainly about output and command and control, but that is going to change with the next generation. Anderson said the CEOs of the next generation are going to be about input, offering help and prototyping. "They won’t talk about ideas, they’ll try them," she said.

In a study of 1,000 Xerox managers, insights revealed that people who are over-controlled perform less, like the task less and learn less, Anderson said.

"Ho do we free people? Let them have ideas. There’s a benefit of being a rebel," she said.

Her overall advice for the industry is to stay curious and generous and keep learning.

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