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

In this episode I talk to Jaime Robinson and Lisa Clunie, 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

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.

64: "The Empowering Leader" - Avery Baker

64: "The Empowering Leader" - Avery Baker

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.

63: "The One Company Leader" - John Seifert

63: "The One Company Leader" - John Seifert

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.

62: "The Son" - Thomas Benski

62: "The Son" - Thomas Benski

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.

61: "The Teacher, The Preacher, The Weird Kid and The Absurdist" - John Boiler, Glen Cole, Evin Shutt & Matt Jarvis

61: "The Teacher, The Preacher,  The Weird Kid and The Absurdist" - John Boiler, Glen Cole, Evin Shutt & Matt Jarvis

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.

59: "The Instinctive Leader" - Robin Domeniconi

59: "The Instinctive Leader" - Robin Domeniconi

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.

58: "The Gymnast" - Kat Gordon

58: "The Gymnast" - Kat Gordon

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. 

57: "The Open Leader" - Cheryl Abel-Hodges

57: "The Open Leader" - Cheryl Abel-Hodges

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.

56: "The Young Leaders" - Ramaa Mosley & Aniya Wolfe

56: "The Young Leaders" - Ramaa Mosley & Aniya Wolfe

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.

55: "The Teacher " - David Slocum

55: "The Teacher " - David Slocum

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 charles@fearlesscreativeleadership.com

54: "The Cultural Anthropologist" - Kim Wijkstrom

54: "The Cultural Anthropologist" - Kim Wijkstrom

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.

53: "The Millennial Leader" - Chris Sojka

53: "The Millennial Leader" - Chris Sojka

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.