This is my conversation with Robin Domeniconi - CEO/Founder of Threaded Tales and one of the founders of Real Simple magazine. I was struck by Robin’s history. By the diversity of things she has done. Of the size and significance of the organizations she has led. And during our conversation, I was reminded again of how even the best of the best are human. And that it is their ability to use that to their advantage that separates them from other leaders.
This is my conversation with Kat Gordon - founder of the 3% Percent Conference and CEO of the 3% Movement. Kat started 3% in 2008, to highlight the fact that only 3 percent of creative directors at major ad agencies were women Kat is a change agent, moving into previously unoccupied spaces, doing things that hadn’t been done before. A revolutionary in a time of revolution. I wanted to understand where that willingness to take on the status quo in such a public and sustained way comes from.
This week, my conversation with Cheryl Abel-Hodges, the Group President of Calvin Klein North America and The Underwear Group. Cheryl welcomes debate and exploration and new ways of looking at things. She welcomes it whether the conversation is about her business or about her leadership. So, this episode is called, "The Open Leader." I was struck by Cheryl’s clarity, her openness and her generosity. And by the environment she creates for real give and take. I’m curious what you think.
Adolescent Content believes that content intended for youth would be more impactful if it was conceived and created by youth. Their creators, and directors are as young as 11. They have developed work for iconic brands, shot feature films and given TED talks. Ramaa and I were joined by one of her directors, sixteen year-old Aniya Wolfe, who is a member of Gen Z, which. The oldest member of Gen Z is 21. As Aniya shows in our conversation, this generation is coming of age much much earlier than that.
I’ve known David Slocum for a decade or so. He has a rare gift for combining the theoretical with the practical, and I’ve watched scores of his students become more thoughtful and intentioned leaders as a result of his teaching. One of the areas we talked about was why talented people are willing to work for demanding leaders. ‘Demanding’ sometimes being a euphemism for rude or worse. Let me know what you think at email@example.com
This week, my conversation with Kim Wijkstrom, the CMO of One Main Financial. He has seen the world of creativity through an extraordinarily diverse set of lenses. He has been in the room with Steve Jobs. He has touched the work of Vincent Van Gogh. He has worked with dynamic companies and rebuilt tired brands. Through it all he has used creativity as a language for change.
This is the one year anniversary episode of Fearless. With each conversation, I find out more about how leaders overcome the obstacles that are part of being human. More about their ambition to make a difference. This week, my conversation with Chris Sojka, the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Madwell. Chris has already owned his own business for eight years and he’s still only 32. I wondered what he’d learned about himself along the way and how leadership has changed him.
Wesley ter Haar is the founder and Chief Operating Officer of MediaMonks, a global creative production company with 11 offices and almost 700 people. We talked about hiring bad people, about how to scale while holding on to your standards, and about the importance of building and maintaining momentum.
Mark is the CEO of Common - a company that accelerates the launch and growth of businesses that take care of the planet and all the creatures on it. He has grown up with and lived with tension in a variety of multiple forms and has been on a journey to discover his through line. My conversation with Mark made me think about my own through line. I hope it does the same for you. I talked to Mark about becoming a Buddhist, about leading from behind and about his fear of what’s possible.
Dan Pink is a rare combination. A powerful storyteller with an extraordinary eye for patterns and truth in a white-out blizzard of data and possibilities. His books have been a big part of my personal journey. His most recent book is called, When - the Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing You'll find all his books at DanPink.com. Dan and I talked about when he realized he was a writer, about why writing a book is like a marriage and about how he helped me put a room full of 200 people to sleep.
Lori Bradley is the Executive Vice President of Global Talent Management for PVH Corp. Lori has a Ph.D. and M.A. in Industrial/Organization Psychology and no one that I know, knows more about leadership assessment and development. She also has a masters in English Literature. Lori and I talked about the relationship between fear and creativity, about the importance of experiments in complex organizations, and about the role creativity played in getting her kicked out of vacation bible school.
Singleton Beato is a leader determined to create a better future for everyone. She is the Chief Diversity & Engagement Officer at McCann Worldgroup, and a thought leader and expert in the behaviors and practices organizations must embrace if they want to develop workforces that reflect society. During our conversation, she talked about the role that her race played in her upbringing, about why she waited until she was 32 to go to college, and about how to create environments that embrace differences.
Justin Gignac, co-founder of Working Not Working - an online marketplace for creative freelancers. Our conversation was recorded on-stage at the 4as Talent2030 Conference. Justin Gignac has been a cheerleader, a professional mascot and an entrepreneur. We talked about what it was like to grow up as the son of a clown, about the extraordinarily simple idea that was the genesis of WNW, about the army he’s building, and about what we should be teaching our children.
Bob Pittman has lived several lives in the course of this one. At 28 he gave birth to MTV. Then turned Nickelodeon into a lasting success and launched VH-1 and Nick at Night. He ran Six Flags and Century 21 before becoming COO of AOL-Time Warner. In 2014, Bob became Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia. We talked about the science and showmanship of leading creativity, about tortured geniuses and what he thinks about his failures and his legacy.
Dianne Wilkins is the CEO of Critical Mass - a global digital experience design agency. She is also a talent magnet, drawing people to her with her openness and her commitment to their success. She is also a survivor. We talked about her willingness to jump in, the tragedy that changed her life, and the role that ice cream played in shaping her remarkable career.
Rei Inamoto is unique. And he’s an identical twin. His professional life has encompassed some of the most prominent and powerful leadership positions in the creative industries, including as the worldwide chief creative officer at AKQA. In 2016, he and his partner Rem Reynolds, launched Inamoto and Co - a "business invention studio". Rei and I met in their offices in Brooklyn and talked about the impact of having a twin, of life as an outsider, and about the importance of humility.
My conversation with Kojo Marfo - Director and Founder, My Runway Group Kojo has a passion to change the world. He focuses on social impact through instilling self belief in young adults. His ventures - including adults. His ventures - including myrunwaygroup.com, are targeted at providing a platform for youth development and creative growth.
John Borthwick is the founder and CEO of Betaworks, a New York based start-up studio, and a seed stage venture capital company. Betaworks has built a diverse range of companies that sit at the intersection of media and the intersection of media and technology, including Giphy and TweetDeck. Last year, they launched of a $50 million early-stage fund called Betaworks Ventures. John and I talked about why small is beautiful when it comes to unlocking creativity and about the first time he saw the Internet.
Trevor is renowned for his contribution to society and for encouraging future talent. In 1995 Trevor set up Quiet Storm, the first agency to write, direct and produce its own work. He’s chaired the IPA’s Ethnic Diversity Forum and set up “Create Not Hate” to tackle gun crime by getting disenfranchised youth into advertising and creative projects. He was awarded an OBE in 2009 for his services to charity and advertising. This episode was recorded at the Eurobest festival in London.