Vogue's longstanding editor-in-chief — and also Conde Nast's artistic director — Anna Wintour sat down with the Sunday Times recently to share thirteen tips for success. Here are a few key takeaways (think: get fired (at least once), get up early, take your weekends seriously, and more) …
1. Be confident: Even if you aren’t sure of yourself, pretend that you are ... The world we are in is about instinct and being fast and responding.
2. Get fired: Everyone should get sacked at least once. It forces you to look at yourself . . . It is important to have setbacks, because that is the reality of life. Perfection doesn’t exist. (Wintour also admits to having been fired from her role as a junior fashion editor for Harper’s Bazaar in 1975).
3. Wake up early: I get up every day at 5am — I have always been an early riser — and I always look forward to coming into the office.”
4. Do the best you can: I don’t get out of bed and think, "Right, I must do something to be a role model." I live life the best I can, try to make the right decisions for the magazine and the company.
5. Know your strengths: I can’t make anything. I don’t know how to make a dress. I couldn’t go on a shoot and create an image. I can’t write a script. I have so much admiration for people who can do these things, because I would have no idea where to start. I am always responding to other people’s talents.
6. Organize and delegate: I am very organized and I am a very good delegator. People work better when they have responsibility. We talk about what needs to be done.
7. Downtime is important: I don’t have a high-powered life out of work. I like to go to the country for the weekend with the kids and the dog and play tennis. I am very good at turning off.
8. Try to view things as opportunities: If someone leaves for another job, on a personal level I might be sad, but I always see it as an opportunity, to find someone new with something different to offer, someone who might be able to teach me new things, too.
9. Focus on the future: We never have post mortem [meetings after an issue is published]. We move straight on. I don’t need people to tell me if it was a good issue or a bad issue; we know, so we just move forward.
10. Just do things right: It is very easy to put your name on something, but you really have to do things properly.
11. Execute your ideas: It is coming up with an idea and executing it. Ideas are a dime a dozen — it is how it is carried out.
12. Get cultured: I really think you have to go out and see things — screenings, theatre, exhibitions. I travel a lot. Every time you go out, even a walk in the street, you have an idea.
13. You don't have to be a writer: I don’t write, I am not a writer. I see myself as someone who responds to the times and the culture, to a moment. Is that a journalist? I don’t know.