Michael Kassan is perhaps the best connected person in the creative industries. As the founder Chairman and CEO of Medialink, he creates and unlocks relationships at the intersection of Silicon Valley, Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Wall Street. I talked to Michael about the criteria he looks for in people he wants to interact with, about what he’s learned about doing deals on the back of a napkin and about what he loves about being in the room when it happens.
Neil Tardio is a hall of fame film director, responsible for some of the most iconic advertising ever created. His 1977 Xerox commercial, "Brother Dominic", is part of any list of the greatest Super Bowl commercials of all time. I talked to Neil about working with some of the most legendary creative figures of the last fifty years, about the challenges of marrying art and commerce in one of the most pressurized environments, the film set, and about the lasting power of creating simple human connections.
During her career she has been at the heart of some of the most original and disruptive thinking of any of the creative industries. As she approaches the end of her fifth year at Wieden, I talked to her about discovering that months don’t always start on Mondays, about her role as a change agent, and about the one thing she wishes she had more of.
Gerry Laybourne has spent her life unlocking the creativity of others. From her early beginnings as a teacher and film-maker, she created not one but two game-changing networks. First, Nickelodeon, and then the Oxygen network. Along the way, she was named the most influential woman in the entertainment industry and one of the 25 most influential people in America by Time magazine.
Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs are the co-founders of Food52.com. Their goal was to create the first crowd sourced, online cook book. As you will see if you visit the site, they have already achieved much, much more than that - a fully realized food, cooking and lifestyle community and ecommerce destination.
Rosemarie Ryan has been leading creativity almost of her life. She has helped to build some of the most famous and effective creative companies of their time, leaving behind her a wake of improved businesses and more thoughtful people.
Today, she is the CO founder of CO Collective, a strategy and innovation company based in New York.
I talked to Rose about the role her family played in unlocking her leadership at a very early age, about the importance of hard conversations when you’re the leader, and about the role of generosity in her leadership philosophy.
Elizabeth Kiehner is one of the world’s experts on the application of some of the world’s most powerful technology to solve the problems of today and tomorrow.
As the Global Design Practice Director at IBM, she and her team can take the power of Watson - rapidly becoming not just a computer system but in many ways a new form of intelligence - and apply it to the problems of both today and tomorrow.
I talked to Elizabeth about the expansion of natural language technology in our daily lives, about a machine’s ability to edit tennis highlights without human involvement and about how to design solutions for problems that will exist 5 years from now.
Nils Leonard is a self-made success. His journey carried him from humble roots to becoming the chairman and chief creative office of one of the most celebrated ad agencies in London before he turned 40.
Today, he is the co-founder of Uncommon, a company that builds brands that people wished existed in the world. He is a disruptive and somewhat controversial figure.
I met Nils in Uncommon’s London office, and we talked about why tattooing played a critical role in his early life, about what he’s learned about unlocking creative talent, and about his own personal evolution and understanding of what matters most.
Faith Popcorn has spent almost half a century living in the future. She has predicted everything from the inevitable to the unbelievable. Her company, Faith Popcorn’s Brain Reserve has been instrumental in unlocking what comes next for many the world’s largest companies and most iconic brands.
I met Faith in her townhouse in Manhattan and she talked about the importance of conflict…about why companies hate change…..and about the future of the human race.
Adam Bryant is the creator of ‘The Corner Office’ - a weekly feature of The New York Times - in which he interviews business leaders from diverse industries. The Corner Office has been around since 2008, and if you haven’t come across it, I encourage you to go and explore the library of knowledge and insights it provides.
Wendy Clark is the CEO of DDB, North America. She was namedAd Age’s Executive of the Year for 2017 and she is rewriting the rules of the advertising industry.
She is a wife, the mother of three and one of the most respected and warmly held leaders in today’s creative industries. She will also ‘crush’ you if you underestimate her.
I talked to Wendy about growing up as the outsider, about the place she never takes her phone, and about her mother’s role in helping her pass her poetry class. This is Wendy Clark unfiltered.
Lisa Gersh is a lawyer by training and a leader by instinct. After a career practicing law, she became the co-founder of the Oxygen network, before becoming the CEO of Martha Stewart omni-media and then the CEO of Gwyneth Paltrow’s company, Goop. Along the way, she has proven over and over again, her willingness to listen, to learn and to lead.
Emma Cookson has been able to filter the noise for brands and businesses from early in her career. She is regarded as one of the foremost brand strategists in the world.
I talked to Emma about how she turned an Oxford university english literature degree into a career in advertising, about her unique definition of a brand and about her personal desire for global domination.
Shelley Zalis, is very much a woman of action who has made the business of equality the focus of this stage of her life and career. A successful entrepreneur in her own right, she founded the Girl’s Lounge to provide professional women a place to support and learn about each other at major conferences.
Steve Shiffman became the CEO of Calvin Klein almost exactly three years ago. In that time he has led what has been described in many circles as a creative revolution.
Steve talked to me about the role creativity has played in his life, about why he decided to disrupt a company known for disruption, and about what he has learned about leading creativity and his own journey in the process.