This is my conversation with David Abraham of Wonderhood Studios. Wonderhood is a startup - a modern media company built around a content and programming studio and a full-strength creative agency for major brands. David’s experience comes first from the London creative agency world of CDP and Chiat / Day. And most recently from seven years running Channel Four in the UK.
In 2018, KFC was named marketer of the year. Wieden + Kennedy were named agency of the year. And their partnership produced the Campaign of the year. Their partnership is driving business results and changing culture. It’s also the embodiment of the Wieden + Kennedy philosophy that Jason Bagley and Eric Baldwin described in our podcast last year - a philosophy they describe as ‘branded everything’. George Felix and Jesse Johnson are the two people at the heart of this very modern creative partnership.
This is my conversation with Mohan Ramaswamy - one of the partners of Work & Co. Mohan and I recorded this conversation at the Cannes Creativity Festival in June. Work and Co is unusual because they have 14 partners - all of whom are involved in all the major decisions of the company. For a business whose reputation and success has grown rapidly, that kind of community leadership is rare.
This is my conversation with Avery Baker - the Chief Brand Officer of Tommy Hilfiger. It was recorded live on stage as part of this year’s Cannes Creativity festival. Over the last two years, Avery has been instrumental in changing how Tommy Hilfiger shows up in the world. I wanted to talk to her about how she encouraged so many people across the organization to take the leap with her, and how she learned to push herself out of her own comfort zone in the process.
I first met John Seifert in 1983. We were both working at Ogilvy & Mather in New York on the TWA business. The world was very different back then. What hasn’t changed much is John. John and Ogilvy always seemed to fit together. You couldn’t imagine him working anywhere else. Thirty nine years later, he still hasn’t. Today he is the company's CEO. In an era and industry defined by upheaval, I wanted to talk to John about why he has stayed at one company for so long.
This is the second of my interviews from the Cannes Creativity festival. In this one - which was recorded in front of alive audience - I talked to Thomas Benski, the founder of Pulse Films, an award winning modern-day content studio, which two years ago was bought by Vice. Thomas is charming and charismatic. He is relentlessly energized and filled with original ideas. He is engaged. Interesting. And Interested.
This is my conversation with the four people at the heart of over the last 14 years. The two initial founders: John Boiler and Glenn Cole. And the two people they added soon after to help build the business. Evin Shutt and Matt Jarvis. Rarely do I see partnerships that - both in their intention and in their casting - have been formed on lasting foundations. Ego, insecurity and yes, fear get in the way. But when you get it right, it sounds like this conversation.
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.