Almost 8 years ago, I started working for WPP network rather by accident. I was on a long-term contract in Guildford, UK (Data Science project for O2), however, I wanted to return to the London marketing scene.
I joined gt/wpp agency
Leaving gt and joining MediaCom UK
WPP network, one of the best experiences of my life
Since then, working for WPP network has undoubtedly been one of the best and most fun experiences of my life. But along with the successes, fast-tracked promotions, and celebratory high fives have also come doubts and lessons learned. I now feel very grounded with where I’m at, and I have a clear vision of where I intend to go.
Continue to learn and grow
My focus is continue to develop as strategic thinker that applies innovation (insight, media, technology, data, content and commerce collision) and strategic planning and operation planning to develop business strategies that have a greater chance for success.
WPP work experience - rewarding and valuable
During my time at WPP agencies, I spent many days/weeks/months working on WPP projects, leadership meetings and attending WPP events - where Sir Martin Sorrell was the main speaker. I was also involved/supported in important WPP initiatives.
Today...I look back and share
Today, I want to look back at the 6 years at WPP network and share a few leadership lessons I’ve learned from Sir Martin Sorrell and WPP network during my time at Y&R group and GroupM group.
What I learned from Sir Martin Sorrell
I learned a lot about how to change cultures and streamline organisations, and I believe these principles will prove as valuable to your business, as they have been for me.
Lesson 1: Clear Vision
Have a clear, compelling vision that informs everything you do. You have to know what you are and what you are trying to achieve. No one will follow you unless they feel you have the plan and ability to make your vision happen.
Lesson 2 : Clear areas to focus
Have a plan, keep it simple and stick to it. In Barcelona (2012), he advocated that as WPP leaders, we should focus in four areas:
Lesson 3 : Clear reasons to collaborate
Work together - One the biggest WPP problems was getting wpp staff to share knowledge and to break down the agency silos. At an event in London organised by 24/7, he stated that we needed to collaborate more.
Lesson 4 : Clear reasons to be ready
Every agency encounters crises - 2008 crash, cut estimated billings for COI's media agency M4C etc. The question is not how to avoid a crises but how to survive them.
What I learned from wpp network
I learned valuable lessons working with talented individuals from all over the world. I gained expertise and passion for global strategy, process improvement, and growth strategies.
I not only gained a substantial foundation in core multi-market best practices, but I was challenged to push myself through various real world scenarios.
Lesson 5: Stay ahead of the gameIf you want to win in the long run, you've got to be a step ahead of your competition.
Lesson 6: Focus on customer retention In a competitive marketplace where agencies compete for market share; client satisfaction is a key differentiator.
Lesson 7: Teamwork pays offEven the largest and most complex teams can work together effectively (WPP examples: Team P&G, Team GSK, Team Microsoft, Team Detroit, etc), if the right conditions are in place.
Lesson 8: Respond rapidly to changes Increased innovation, connectivity and pace of change means most forward-thinking business leaders have to be agile.
Identified 12 clear routes for learning to lead:
Do you have a leader mindset? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ivan Fernandes provides Strategic Thinking and Planning (insight, data, media, technology, content and commerce), has 10+ years strategic marketing experience.
New business growth, comes from new strategic thinking.
Open to a new challenge...let's have a chat...
His Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
His Twitter handle is @ivan2012
Ivan Fernandes, Founder and Managing Director at Digital Business Partners