Lessons Learned

June 6, 2012

Mike Brophey of Greater Media Boston’s WKLB shares with us some of the valuable lessons he’s learned throughout his career that no doubt helped make him in being honored as one of the top Program Directors in the country by Radio Ink.

1. It’s a headline. Have FUN! Our business of radio has great pace, interesting visitors, dynamic listeners, and an ever changing world of content and content delivery methods. And it’s full of stress. Break the stress routine with entertainment.  We sell entertainment. Make sure we entertain ourselves.

2. Hard work really pays off. I have always said that to be successful in this business it must be your vocation, hobby, spouse, and pet. That dedication is required to be intimately involved enough to progress. Take charge of clearing problems, managing people, and making decisions. Assume the leadership role.  Not experienced enough? Consult with those who are, then make the decision. It’s a key to getting ahead. So is dressing for the next level to which you aspire.

3. Know your people. The key to managing people is to appreciate and understand what they do on the job, and as individuals. There is no cookie cutter management. Period.  Everyone is different. The wisdom is in knowing how each individual “ticks.” Spending a lot of time with people builds trust. When I first arrived at Greater Media, my first staff statement was “Don’t lie to me. I don’t lie to you – you don’t lie to me.” We build trust from the first moment. Without trust, you have nothing.  It goes way beyond radio.

4. Choose The Battles. Winning arguments is not important. Accomplishing a task is. There are many ways, usually, to accomplish that. Be ready to fight for that which is worthy of a fight, and be ready to pass on inconsequential issues. Make a decision – even if it could be wrong. Forward motion is better than suffering the paralysis of indecision. No matter how right I am – about anything – there is usually another right way to view it. It may be even better than my right way…another reason to be a good listener.

5. Confidence is Key. The power behind confidence is acquired experience and attitude. I used to do club appearances. I could walk into the club and it could own me. Or, I could walk into the club and I could own it. It was a question of attitude – a positive attitude is fueled by confidence. Even if feigned.

6. Let people do their jobs – for their sake and yours. I have worked seven day weeks for long periods of time because I was too insecure to delegate. I have found that delegating and then personally fine tuning is better than trying to do it all alone. Plus, it’s an opportunity to disseminate knowledge and experience. It’s an opportunity for people to showcase themselves to you as well.

Mike Brophey is making Greater Media Greater in role as Program Director of WKLB in Boston.