Every day, my voice-mail message includes some piece of (almost) useful information related to that day.
Why do I do it? Partially to amuse you and break the monotony of “You’ve reached the mobile phone of…” (C’mon, you know why you're calling, and you sure as heck know what to do!). But also because it gives me the chance to learn something new every day.
Which lets you into two truths about me – I like to learn stuff and I like change. I like to ask questions and solve problems (nothing is sweeter than finishing the Times Crossword before I get off the train in the morning). And even the small discipline of changing a message every day keeps me fresh.
It’s really why I got in to advertising. Myriad chances to delve into the puzzle of how people think, and then find the most powerful solution.
Over the years, I’ve morphed from a classic packaged goods account guy to Minneapolis “creative revolution” ad guy (both at Bozell, interestingly). I’ve been a “tech guy” at McCann, a small agency COO (Grey Atlanta) and the CEO of FCB New York. I’ve built a couple of small “agency within an agency” organizations (darkGrey, a “village” within Grey Worldwide, went from $0 to $35 million in revenue in only 4 years and gave me the opportunity to meet my friend and partner David Duncan). I helped deliver “integrated creative” for clients before it became cool to say you could do it. I’ve helped my clients make lots of money and helped my agencies win lots of awards. And I’ve loved and learned from every minute of it, which makes me a lucky guy.
I operate on a simple philosophy: Intensity, Integrity, Creativity and Authenticity. Deliver that everyday, and you’ve had a good 24 hours.
I read a lot. Mostly Mysteries and Science Fiction, probably the result of learning to read via comic books (I still have about 20,000 of ‘em at home). If I could, I’d be Batman – detective, defender of his community, athlete – just without the psychological baggage and the tights.