Who is your digital hero ?
As I sat down to write this, I found it a really difficult question to answer as there are numerous people who inspire me across different perspectives, capabilities, and achievements. In my eyes, a hero is someone who stands up and drives ideas or products or solutions or actions or convictions (or any combination thereof) which are innovative, brave and generate positive impact.
And so, after much contemplation, I thought that I would share a broader view of my digital heroes (although, I do end up naming one!).
I have great admiration for the entrepreneurs I have worked with, who started with nothing more than an idea, conviction, and determination to succeed. In all the new ventures I have been involved in, the founders have been consistent in their passion, determination and commitment to the business, people, and clients.
This is not just limited to the companies I have worked in, but also includes the many ventures which have been launched to contribute to the fantastic digital growth we have lived through.
Equally, I have had the honour of working with some hugely impressive colleagues and partners who really place people and vision first, in everything they do. They value and nurture the team, while staying focused on the goal and on bringing value to their clients (Rhys McLachlan, you are in this group!).
And finally, I have seen and been inspired by how members of my teams have developed and evolved into leaders of their own right. It is motivating to see how many have quickly climbed the ranks in our industry due to their passion and commitment, and some have even gone on to build their own successful businesses.
Taking a step back and on a more global perspective, a person who I do see as an inspiration to us all in making a massive impact is Bill Gates. He is one of the digital technology pioneers who made a fundamental impact on the world with his technology and is now impacting our world for a second time in the critical areas of health, environment, poverty, equality and education. This leadership is truly inspiring, in particular during these troubling times.
What have they done to win hero status in your eyes ?
They all have been committed and passionate about making an impact, be it building a business, delivering a product to a client, being an incredible mentor, boss, or trusted advisor. They did this all because they believed in what they were trying to achieve and stuck to their principles and vision.
How has their heroism helped drive digital?
I think digital has been built based on this heroism. Without the bravery, conviction, and drive, digital would not have grown to be the dominate media format it is today within this relatively short space of time.
What are the biggest challenges in media we need another hero to solve ?
We all need to work together to navigate the current economic, social and structural challenges we face today broadly and more specifically in our industry. We are faced with an unprecedented situation : dealing with a global pandemic, working through a severe economic decline, failing to ensure fairness for all, and being in the eye of a storm of change across our industry, driven by the advances of digital.
I do not believe we need one hero, but we all need to stand up and be heroes to help us overcome these challenges. We will solve them only by working together with true commitment, conviction, and innovation.
What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?
Launching great products and businesses, with super clients and, of course, working with fantastic people.