2-17: "The Documentarian" - Alex Gibney

2-17: "The Documentarian" - Alex Gibney

From the Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, which tells the story of an Afghanistan taxi driver who was tortured and killed at Bagram Air Force Base in 2002. To the Emmy Award-winning Going Clear which looks closely at the world of Scientology. To We Steal Secrets - the story of Wiki leaks. As Alex Gibney describes it, he’s drawn to stories that reveal abuses of power.

He’s been called the most important documentarian of our time by Esquire Magazine. 

I assumed, as I sat down with Alex, that this was a man of strong beliefs, determined to tell stories that right what he saw as wrongs.

But his story and his view of the world is much more complex than that.

So this episode is called, “The Documentarian”.

2-16: "The Confidence Builder" - Charles Day

2-16: "The Confidence Builder" - Charles Day

Since I started this podcast, some people have said they’d like to hear how I’d answer some of my own questions.  What have I learned through my own experiences as a leader.

So I asked Adam Bryant - the founder of the Corner Office Column in The NYT and now the Managing Director at Merryck & Co - If he’d come back on the show and interview me.

Adam is a good friend and he said he would. So today my guest is me.

And this week’s episode is called, “The Confidence Builder”.

2-15: "The Economist" - Bertrand Cesvet

2-15: "The Economist" - Bertrand Cesvet

Bertrand Cesvet is the CEO of Sid Lee - a multidisciplinary, brand-building creative company with offices in Montreal, Toronto, New York, Paris, and Los Angeles.

He looks constantly to the future, is sensitive to the different needs of the people that works for him and sees the world through both the lens of the possible and the lens of the practical.  He is a business builder, an author, a creator, a tennis player and a father.

He is also an Economist. Which is the name of this episode.

Oh, and he says what he thinks.

2-14: "The Alchemist" - Andrew Essex

2-14: "The Alchemist" - Andrew Essex

Today’s conversation is with Andrew Essex. He’s the co-founder of Plan_A - a self described marketing services company. He’s best known for his time as the CEO of Droga 5, and before that as the Chief Executive Officer of Tribeca Enterprises, the parent company of the Tribeca Film Festival.

He’s sharp witted, a quick thinker and has a relentless curiosity for what’s next.

This episode is called “The Alchemist”.

2-13: "The Explorer" - Kara DeFrias

2-13: "The Explorer" - Kara DeFrias

It would take a longer podcast to describe all of the places that Kara DeFrias has worked - the Oscars, the Emmys, the Women’s World Cup, The Super Bowl, and the Obama White House, to name a few.

She’s passionate, funny, caring and a survivor. A three-times survivor. She was fired once two days after starting a job. 

So this week’s theme is Curiosity.

And this week’s episode is called, “The Explorer”.

2-11: "The Direction Finder" - Tom Stockham

2-11: "The Direction Finder" - Tom Stockham

Tom Stockham is the CEO of ExpertVoice. Before that, he was the CEO of ancestry.com and the President of ticketmaster.com. He was there when that particular rocket took off.

He is interested in making change that makes a difference, sees the future faster and more clearly than most and worries about how to bring other people on the journey.

So, this week’s theme is action. And this episode is called “The Direction Finder”.

2-10: "The Generous Leader" - Susan Credle

2-10: "The Generous Leader" - Susan Credle

Susan Credle is the global chief creative officer of FCB. She is original, open-minded and generous - sometimes, by her own admission, to a fault.

As the global CCO of a multinational agency, her job is to inspire, teach and hold to account a network of talented individuals most of who work in different cities than the one she calls home - New York.

Providing creative leadership to a large network brings different challenges. Building trust with people you see only intermittently is one of the most important.

Knowing yourself - your strengths, your weaknesses, your tendencies and, perhaps most importantly, your own heart - is a competitive advantage in any leadership situation. In a complex, organizational structure, it’s even more valuable.

So, this week’s theme is Self-Awareness.

And this week’s episode is called, “The Generous Leader”.

2-9: "The Honest Leader" - Mark Thompson

2-9: "The Honest Leader" - Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson has been the CEO of the New York Times for the last six years.

For the eight years before that, he was Director General of the BBC.

He acts with intention, values the knowledge that comes from mistakes, and cares passionately about the institutions and the ideals they represent that he is entrusted with.

So, this week’s theme is Courage.

And this week’s episode is called, “The Honest Leader”.

2-8: "The Path Finder" - Skyler Mattson

2-8: "The Path Finder" - Skyler Mattson

Skyler Mattson is the President of Wongdoody - a small creative agency that’s been successful for 25 years.

She’s also the cofounder of June Cleaver is Dead, the agency’s consultancy whose expertise is in brand experiences for moms. 

Skyler is caring, determined and not a surfer. Which, metaphorically, is surprising because she rides the waves of a rapidly changing set of creative industries with great skill and grace.

This week’s theme is Intention. 

And this episode is called “The Path Finder”.

2-7: "The Inner Voice" - David Lee

2-7: "The Inner Voice" - David Lee

David Lee is the CCO of Squarespace.  

He is thoughtful, self-aware and restless. As you’ll hear, he’s allergic to the status quo. 

Which makes David and Squarespace a good fit.

In many ways, Squarespace have been at the heart of the democratisation of the internet. Unleashing creativity for millions of people who suddenly found they could be the designer of their own web presence.

2-6: "The Difference Seeker" - Dan Gardner

2-6: "The Difference Seeker" - Dan Gardner

Dan Gardner is the co-founder of Code and Theory - a creatively-led company that creates products, content and campaigns across physical and digital worlds.

They have five offices across three continents and a statement on the website that says, “We are always looking for motivated, multi-talented, and organized people to join our diverse team.”

Dan has an open-heart, an open-mind and a conscience. He wants to make a difference, and wants to build a company that lets other people contribute.

2-5: "The Results Driver" - Nathalie Molina Niño

2-5: "The Results Driver" - Nathalie Molina Niño

Nathalie Molina Niño is the CEO of BRAVA Investments and the author of LEAPFROG, which she wrote as a guide to help Women Entrepreneurs succeed.

She’s a technologist, a coder, and a business builder. She also describes herself as a storyteller at her heart.

She founded BRAVA Investments on the basis of delivering returns to investors while making a catalytic impact on women in the world.

Impact is one of the 13 themes we’ve seen show up regularly in these conversations with the best creative leaders.

Which is why this week’s theme is Impact, and this week’s episode is called “The Results Driver”.

2-4: "The Humanist" - Jonathan Mildenhall

2-4: "The Humanist" - Jonathan Mildenhall

Jonathan Mildenhall is the founder of 21st Century Brand, and the former CMO of AirBNB.

He wears his heart on his sleeve. And draws you towards him. The first time we ever spoke was a year ago when I asked him to come on this show. He not only said, yes. He gave me a way to think about Fearless that raised my own ambitions for what the show could become. 

His openness during that first conversation has stayed with me. It is a characteristic you find in some of the most Fearless creative leaders.


2-3: "The Magnetic Leader" - Paul Venables

2-3: "The Magnetic Leader" - Paul Venables

Paul Venables is the co-founder of Venables, Bell and Partners. A San Francisco ad agency with self described ‘good intentions.’ Last year, VB+P, was named one of Fast Company’s most innovative companies and one of the top ten companies in media and advertising. So having good intentions is clearly working for them.

Which makes you wonder why more companies wouldn’t claim such apparently low hanging fruit. After all, it’s easy to claim ‘good intentions’ as your operating principle. Easy in the sense that no one knows what’s really in your heart - as a company or as a leader - except you.

Or do they?

Which is why this week’s theme is Leadership Values. 

2-2: "The Pressure Valve Leaders" - Jaime Robinson and Lisa Clunie

2-2: "The Pressure Valve Leaders" - Jaime Robinson and Lisa Clunie

Jaime Robinson and Lisa Clunie are the founders of the New York agency, Joan.

Joan was started by two women who came together at the very beginning of a moment in history. 

As you’ll hear, they didn’t decide to start a company for the explicit purpose of creating an environment overtly designed for women. 

But they did decide to fuel the company with the unique qualities that the two of them bring as women: empathy; determination; sensitivity; resilience; intelligence and originality.

They brought one other thing that runs through the DNA of Joan. A desire to get the best out of everyone who works there. And you’ll hear how they support each other to do that, in their own ways.

2-1: "The Sensitive Leader" - Alain Sylvain

2-1: "The Sensitive Leader" - Alain Sylvain

This week I’m talking to Alain Sylvain - the founder of Sylvain Labs - an innovation and brand design consultancy. Sylvain Labs is 8 years old and describe their tools as science and whimsy. Their client roster is diverse, from Google to Nike. From Chobani to GM. 

Alain creates and invests in new products, works closely with HELP, a merit- and needs-based scholarship program, the Global Poverty Project and the Lower East Side Girls Club. And sits on the board of VCU’s Brandcenter.

And he thinks deeply about how the work he does affects the people that make it and the people that experience it.

67: "The Explosion Expert" - David Abraham

67: "The Explosion Expert" - David Abraham

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.

66: "The Servant Leaders" - George Felix & Jesse Johnson

66: "The Servant Leaders" - George Felix & Jesse Johnson

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.

65: "The One-of-Many Leader" - Mohan Ramaswamy

65: "The One-of-Many Leader" - Mohan Ramaswamy

Mohan Ramaswamy is 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.