Barton F. Graf CCO: ‘90 percent of a creative person’s life is rejection’
An episode of Starting Out
Starting Out is a new weekly show featuring candid conversations with leaders in the marketing industry. We’ll talk shop, find out their special power, and throwback to how it all began. Hosted by Shareen Pathak, Starting Out is a Digiday Media production. Digiday is the producer of other podcasts, including The Digiday Podcast and Digiday Live.
From college dropout to the worldwide CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, John Seifert’s career seems like the plot of a movie. Seifert joined the agency for a summer job during his sophomore year at the University of Southern California 38 years ago -- and never left. On this episode of Starting Out, Seifert discusses his path to one of the largest agencies in the world.
Michael Lebowitz is the founder and CEO of creative agency Big Spaceship, which has grown to over 100 employees since he started it in 2000. In this episode of Starting Out, Lebowitz talks about the importance of creating a framework for creativity and his path to founding a company.
Jeff Dachis is the founder of diabetes management app One Drop and co-founder of Razorfish. On this episode of Starting Out, Dachis discusses his career path, from his days of being a self-described provocateur in downtown New York to starting a new venture after being diagnosed with diabetes.
Michael Kahn went from multiple entrepreneurial stints to a long-term leadership role at Performics before arriving at DigitasLBi as its global brand president. In this episode of Starting Out, Kahn discusses the challenges of switching gears from short-term to long-term leadership.
Gerry Graf is the chief creative officer and a founder at creative agency Barton F. Graf, who’s worked at major creative shops like Goodby Silverstein & Partners, BBDO and Saatchi & Saatchi. On this episode of Starting Out, Graf discusses how rejection — a fact of life in advertising — has marked his career and more.
Jonathan Nelson is the CEO at Omnicom Digital, a global marketing and communications holding company that employs about 84,000 people around the world. Nelson is a true veteran of digital. He founded Organic in 1983 and has seen some serious highs and serious lows in the business of advertising -- including having his staff quit after delivering on their first big assignment. What happened after, and more, on this episode of Starting Out.
McCann Worldgroup CEO Harris Diamond has taken the IPG network to new heights since he came on board in 2012. In this episode of Starting Out, Diamond talks about work-life balance and an important lesson he learned in management.
Jason Stein, founder and CEO of marketing service agency Laundry Service and media company Cycle, pushed himself to the extreme while founding two companies and learned to step back and lead once they were established. On this week’s Starting Out, Stein talks about what it takes to succeed in the early days of a business and continuing to reinforce its culture and values.
Longtime agency veteran Ian Schafer recently announced his exit from the agency business following a midlife crisis that motivated him to try something new. On this week’s Starting Out, Schafer talks about learning to manage a business and pivoting to a new chapter.
Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, made waves in the marketing industry by starting a conversation about unconscious racial bias, a step aligned with the principles that define his leadership -- humility and transparency. On this week’s Starting Out, Pritchard talks about having a role model in his father, his career path from a cafe busboy to an executive position at P&G and why it's important to discuss unconscious bias.
This year, Digiday launched a new podcast called “Starting Out." We invited some of the biggest names in marketing to share the secrets of their leadership and success. Here are the five best pieces of advice that our guests swear by.
Tina Sharkey, co-founder and CEO of Brandless, thought she would follow in her mother's footsteps and run a fashion company. But after graduation, her plans changed -- thanks to her mother. On this week’s Starting Out, Sharkey talks about growing up in a business setting around her mother and an informational interview that changed her career path.
Eric Hippeau, managing partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures, has invested in many entrepreneurial projects. For him, an important part of deciding whether to say yes to a team is to look for educational or experiential diversity in the founders' backgrounds. On this week’s Starting Out, Hippeau talks about adapting to different cultures while growing up in different countries and how that informs his business decisions today. Below are excerpts in Hippeau's own words, edited for clarity.
Wendy Clark, CEO of DDB North America, has won many awards during her years of leadership in the agency world. For her, it boils down to being a doer -- something that her upbringing and her love for volunteering at nonprofits have fostered. On this week’s Starting Out, Clark talks about growing up as a British-born American working hard and a plan for her second act.
David Sable, Y&R global CEO and chairman of the board, is a pillar of the Madison Avenue set. The former Wunderman executive is known for his love of magic tricks and showmanship -- something that's been ingrained in him from the start. On this week's Starting Out, Sable talks about growing up as a rabbi's son, paleontology as a career choice and how he's climbed the ladder.
360i Chairman Bryan Wiener has a pretty simple formula for success: old-fashioned hard work. Wiener, who has had a long career in the ad business and watched the digital ad industry quite literally grow up, joined this week's Starting Out to talk about his first job, his "shitty mentors" and what it's like to put everything on the line for a company you love.
Jaime Robinson is one of the industry's best-known creatives. The former Wieden+Kennedy executive now runs her own shop, Joan, which she co-founded last year with former Refinery29 exec Lisa Clunie. But she sees her job -- and that of anyone in advertising -- pretty simply: It's about entertaining people. On this week's Starting Out, Robinson talks about her first job, her first advertising job and the importance of finding the right business partner.
Shelina Janmohamed is the vp at ad agency Ogilvy Noor, Ogilvy's Islamic consultancy, where she teaches brands how to sell to the Muslim customer. This aligns seamlessly with her personal brand as the author of "Love in a Headscarf," a book that began as a passion project in the form of a blog. In this week’s episode of Starting Out, Janmohamed discusses starting her blog after the 2005 London bombings and how coming from a diverse background often means explaining what it’s like being in her shoes.
Katrina Craigwell, GE Digital head of marketing innovation, has become a force in the marketing industry for her championship of women and women of color in the field. In this week’s edition of Starting Out, Craigwell, a Canada native, tells us how she’s risen to the top by following in the footsteps of her mother, Jacqueline, and why sometimes being good at what you do is simply about being present.
Dany Lennon has done it all: From music to advertising to agency life, Lennon, now the founder of recruiting and coaching company Creative Register, is fondly known among agency executives as the “original connecter.” She’s placed some of advertising’s greatest talents in their professional jobs, and coached them through their careers. In this week’s edition of Starting Out, she discusses the role instinct has played in her own long career in the industry.
Jeff Goodby, the chairman at Goodby Silverstein and Partners, has built a storied career in advertising. Goodby founded the agency along with Rich Silverstein, who he met at Ogilvy in the early 1980s. The agency has grown, kept growing, and more recently shrunk way down. On this week’s Starting Out, Goodby reflects on what it means to fire people.
On the first episode, Sarah Thompson, the global CEO of Droga5, joined us to discuss the value of keeping it simple and what it’s like to try land a job in the hyperconnected world of advertising without connections.
Starting Out is Digiday’s latest podcast. A show where we find out how the industry’s biggest movers and shakers made it, what’s their special power and what makes them tick. Starting Out will talk shop but also throwback to how it all began. Subscribe now and tell a friend.