“When to Take My Name Off the Door”


leo burnett1 When to Take My Name Off the Door


“When you lose your respect for the lonely man, the man at his typewriter, or his drawing board, or behind his camera, or just scribbling notes with one of our big black pencils, or working all night on a media plan…. When you forget that the lonely man—and thank God for him—has made the agency we have possible…. When you forget he’s the man who, because he is reaching harder, sometimes actually gets hold of one of those hot, unreachable stars…. That, boys and girls, is when I shall insist you take my name off the door.”

-from an iconic speech by advertising legend Leo Burnett, at age 79

(big thanks to Laura Kelly for alerting me to this speech.)

*If you live near NYC: please join me to mark the launch of my book, “QUIET: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.”

Place: McNally Jackson Bookstore, 52 Prince Street, NYC.

Date and Time: January 24, 7 p.m.

Event: Q and A discussion, with author Naomi Wolf asking the questions. I’ll be answering them! And I’d love to meet you afterwards.

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  1. Janet Rock on 20.01.2012 at 08:48 (Reply)

    Don’t enjoy the archaic language in this speech. Ugh. Advertising. Ugh. The bad old days.

  2. Dries Smit on 20.01.2012 at 16:21 (Reply)

    I remember looking up to the old advertising guys; Burnett, Ogilvy and Bernbach. There was a time when I did a lot of research on them, and they weren’t the type of people to confuse their subordinates’ personalities with capabilities.

  3. Adele Chatelain on 27.01.2012 at 11:40 (Reply)

    I just purchased a copy of your book and should receive it in the mail tomorrow; it’s my 66th birthday and this book is my birthday gift to myself. THANK YOU FOR WRITING IT. I’ve been a happy Introvert all my life; nothing makes me happier than watching a beam of sunlight on the oak floor of my living room.

  4. Neilw on 04.06.2012 at 07:48 (Reply)

    You’re on to a beautiful idea, Susan.

    Burnett’s ‘subtle sense of the fitness of things’ helped me recall Horace’s Odes regarding the man (sic) ’rounded in himself’. An idea the great jurist, Sir Owen Dixon recommended to Melbourne University graduands together with Cardinal Newman’s Idea of a University..

    Have been reading Hans Eysenk’s papers per your ‘New Groupthink’. What do you think about Ambiverts? :)

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