You’re The Doctor

I worked in the television business for a few years, and it was one of my favorite gigs. As with any job that employs creative people, there were stories and legends that circulated, and one of my favorites was about Chuck Bundlie, one of WDAZ’s first news reporters. Chuck was on TV in the early 1970s when all of the video looked like it was shot underwater or through an inch of Vaseline. That didn’t stop him from doing powerful news stories, and after a time he went on to become an anchor and eventually the news director. I only met Chuck a few times (he was retired by the time I got my start) but he was a stand up guy.

The legend goes like this: Chuck was a consummate professional; an award-winning newsman. He had been around TV news most of his adult life. He had even picked up a camera now and then, but when decisions needed to be made about shooting video, he always deferred to the assigned photographer by saying “You’re the doctor.” Chuck may or may not have had an opinion, but he recognized that he was not the expert – the photographer was.

Juxtapose that with another person I met in the TV business: a struggling director / videographer who made TV commercials and even low-budget movies. He will remain nameless here, but not because he was a bad guy. Nope – he was a nice guy. He had tons of great ideas, but his execution was awful. For example, he never held his video shots long enough and never got enough takes. Consequently, his commercials were always filled with bizarre “swish pans” at the beginning and end of shots that made edits look like a runaway city bus had barreled through the set at the most inopportune moment.

Chuck was different. He didn’t let pride get in the way of hiring good people, then trusting them to do their jobs. Here at Anchor, our most successful clients do the same thing. They trust their employees, and they also trust us when it comes to their branding. If they need a big idea or experienced execution, they tell us “you’re the doctor” and let us do our thing. It’s refreshing, and it always results in better work.

Put in the work to find great people, then trust them to do what you hired them for. It will make your job easier and your business stronger. You’re the doctor when it comes to some decisions, but they are the doctor when it comes to others. The result is a healthier business for everybody.