Chris Macdonald on “View From The Top” at Advertising Week

Chris Macdonald on “View From The Top” at Advertising Week

Our WG North America President Chris Macdonald participated in “View From the Top,” a panel kicking off Advertising Week in NYC looking at how the definition of leadership has evolved in today’s industry landscape. The panelists discussed best practices and how they use their individual leadership styles to win over the heads, hearts and minds of their workforce.

Transparency and communication was paramount for all. “When you’re a leader and you’re communicating, you have to over communicate,” said Chris. He emphasized the need to always be looking for opportunities to communicate – not only with your workforce, but in how you take your brands’ and client’s messaging into society.

Targeting millennials was another topic of conversation. Chris referenced a recent McCann Truth Central study, Truth About Youth, that unveiled how differently today’s youth thinks about success. While past generations had their eye on their boss’s job or the corner office, young people today are much more interested in experiences. According to the study, they want to travel, to have varied experiences and they don’t think about “work-life balance” because it simply doesn’t exist for them. With social media, they are always “on.” The panelists also said that most young people are looking for cause-connection at their places of work. 

Diversity has been on hot topic of conversation in the industry for years. This year proved no different. The panelists offered up different perspectives and approaches to improving diversity in their workforces. Although they had mixed reactions to quotas, they did agree that the name of the game right now is turning words into action. Chris referenced McCann’s partnership with Verizon in their AdFellows program, an 8-month fellowship program around D&I which also puts quota requirements on agency partners. 

In the QA portion of the session, the panelists were asked about their use of social media. Not many of them use social platforms as a tool either personally or professionally, but they did agree that social media impacts how people get hired. If a candidate has questionable content on their social feeds, it risks their hire-ability.

The last question put to the panel was identifying the one key element that makes them a success as a business leader.

Chris’ answer was short and sweet: “Love what you do and love who you do it with.”

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