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Fearless - The Art of Creative Leadership

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Ep 67: David Abraham - Wonderhood Studios

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.


Ep 66: George Felix & Jesse Johnson - KFC / W+K

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...


Ep 65: Mohan Ramaswamy - Work & Co

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.


Ep 64: Avery Baker - Tommy Hilfiger

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. From a business that required five months to take clothes from the runway to the consumer, she led an internal and external revolution that produced a brand capable of delivering ‘see now buy now’ fashion. I wanted to...


Ep 63: John Seifert - Ogilvy

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 hime 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.


Ep 62: Thomas Benski - Pulse

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. He is driven in large part by what happened to his family when he was...


Ep 61: 72andSunny

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 - too 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. Common sense and win-wins leave the building. Replaced by missed...


Ep 60: Chris Weil - Momentum

This week, my conversation with Chris Weil - the CEO of Momentum. Chris has always struck me as clear, confident and charismatic. He welcomes people into his world and puts them at ease. And he relishes change. I wanted to talk to Chris about where his confidence and openness comes from.


Ep 58: Kat Gordon - The 3% Movement

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.


Ep 57: Cheryl Abel-Hodges - Calvin Klein

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.


Ep 56: Adolescent Content

Adolescent Content is the idea of the filmmaker Ramaa Mosley, and is based on the simple insight that content intended for youth would be more impactful if it was conceived and created by youth. Their creators, directors and photographers are as young as 11. They have developed marketing concepts and content 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. Aniya is a member of Gen Z, which, as she...


Ep 55: David Slocum - The Berlin School of Creative Leadership

I’ve known David Slocum for a decade or so and he’s been kind enough to invite me to speak to his executive MBA class at the Berlin School in Cannes for the last several years. 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...


Ep 54: Kim Wijkstrom - One Main Financial

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.


Ep 53: Chris Sojka - Madwell

This is the one year anniversary episode of ‘Fearless’. I’m inspired by so many of the people I’ve spoken to. Some I knew before ‘Fearless’. Some I’ve met as a result. With each conversation, I find out more about what makes the best leaders the best. More about how they 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. I was interested...


Ep 52: Wesley ter Haar - MediaMonks

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.


Ep 51: Shannon Lords - Great Bowery Films

This week my conversation with Shannon Lords of Great Bowery Films. We talked about the importance of casting when assembling talented teams, about working with world class directors and about the art and timing of saying no.


Ep 50: Mark Eckhardt - COMMON

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.


Ep 49: Dan Pink

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...


Ep 48: Lori Bradley - PVH

Lori Bradley is the Executive Vice President of Global Talent Management for PVH Corp. PVH owns Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Van Husen and Speedo among other brands. Lori holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Industrial/Organization Psychology and no one that I know, knows more about leadership assessment and development, succession management, and organization design. She also has a masters in English Literature. Lori and I talked about the relationship between fear and creativity, about the...


Ep 47: Singleton Beato - McCann Worldgroup

Singleton Beato is the personification of a leader determined to create a better future for everyone. She is the Chief Diversity & Engagement Officer at McCann Worldgroup, a position she came to after seven years as the Executive VP, for Diversity Strategy and Talent Development at the 4As. She is a thought leader in the issues that create the absence of diversity in organizations, and she’s an expert in the behaviors and practices that organizations must embrace if they want to develop...