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2-22: "The Transparent Leader" - Nancy Dubuc

2-22: "The Transparent Leader" - Nancy Dubuc

Nancy Dubuc is the CEO of Vice Media. When she took over the job just under a year ago, she was inheriting two of the hardest circumstances for any leader. She was replacing the founder. And she was stepping into a crisis. Several, actually.

There were reports that there was a pattern of sexual harassment at Vice among senior male executives and that HR had been unsupportive about the complaints. The company had missed its revenue targets by more than $100 million. And New York Magazine published a story that claimed that Vice had been “built on a bluff”.

Taking over in that environment meant defining the future and providing hope. It meant keeping what was working and changing what was not.

Most of all, it meant bringing people together and establishing trust.

So, this episode is called, “The Transparent Leader”.

2-21: "The Removal Men" - Neal Arthur and Karl Lieberman

2-21: "The Removal Men" - Neal Arthur and Karl Lieberman

If you’re interested in unlocking creativity in the people around you then Wieden + Kennedy is a real-time case study. Like all great creative companies, it is three-dimensional, and no two sides look the same. Understanding how and why it works means looking at it from several angles.

In earlier episodes, I’ve talked to Colleen DeCourcy, who has a global perspective; Eric Baldwin and Jason Bagley, who had just taken over the leadership of Wieden in Portland; and Jesse Johnson and George Felix, about how the agency/client relationship works when Wieden is at its best.

This episode is a conversation with Neal Arthur and Karl Lieberman, who run W+K New York.  

They came together just over three years ago, following a long period of uncertainty in the leadership of that office. Since joining forces, they have provided focus, consistency, care and hope. They also have clear expectations of themselves and those around them.

So this episode is called, “The Removal Men”.

2-20: "The More-Than-Me Leader" - Alex Goat

2-20: "The More-Than-Me Leader" - Alex Goat

Alex Goat is the CEO of Livity, a self-described, "youth-led creative network”. Their purpose is to create a more positive life for young people by partnering with marketing, talent and policy clients. Their goal is to make youth culture that creates change.

Alex is on a mission to make the world better. It gets her up in the morning and it keeps her up at night. 

So this episode is called, “The More-Than-Me Leader”.

2-19: "The ‘I Don’t Know’ Leader" - Rick Brim

2-19: "The ‘I Don’t Know’ Leader" - Rick Brim

Rick Brim is the Chief Creative Officer of Adam&Eve/DDB - one of the world’s most creative companies.  

Rick is down to earth, self reflective, supportive and passionate. He cares a lot.

Adam&Eve/DDB are perhaps most famous for the annual John Lewis Christmas campaign that produces one of the standout commercials of the year. For this and for many other reasons, they generate high praise and enormous attention. 

Which brings with it the other side of success. Expectation.

That’s when the pressure of leadership really shows up.  

This episode is called “The ‘I Don’t Know’ Leader”.

2-18: "The Ambitious Leader" - Susanne Preissler

2-18: "The Ambitious Leader" - Susanne Preissler

Susanne Preissler is the founder of Independent Media, an advertising and entertainment production company that represents a group of some of the best known film and television directors around - from Ben Affleck to Janusz Kaminski to Tony Goldwyn.

Susanne is also a leader of intention and determination. She has high standards, a point of view and an innate ability to solve problems. She also wants to make a difference.

So this episode is called, “The Ambitious Leader”.

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.