VP Head of ad sales Europe at Spotify, 22 yrs in industry
Using only three words, describe work.
Fun. Challenging. Interesting.
Why are you doing what you’re doing?
Pay the bills, work with some bright people, learn stuff I can pass on to others.
Is the best yet to come?
Too bloody right! Only two years into my media brand career, long way to go! I did 20 years on agency side so that takes me up until 2036 if I am looking to be balanced.
When was the last time you laughed at work?
Crying at work. Discuss.
Let’s work on the basis that if someone is crying then there is probably a genuine issue. There are always those who say, “oh so and so always cries”, but I would prefer not to take that person as the benchmark. I have found over the years that tears that come about because of something at work, quite often are connected to something outside of work.
It’s always better to learn about people and what’s happening in their lives. We spend so much time at work that they often blend.
What place does emotion have in decision-making?
The one that comes up most for me is taking a step back and applying human decency, respect and kindness to daily work interactions. I expect for myself and ask my teams to expect a professional, reasonable working relationship. If clients of any sort, shout, swear, blackmail, ask for unreasonable things, I will always call them out. We are all here to do a job, if someone is not doing a good job then feedback is your opportunity. If you throw your weight around or bully, I will turn down any amount of revenue.
Are we only as good as our last piece of work?
I have seen people who have done a poor job go on and do great, so I don’t think so. It can often be the case that some people get into the wrong jobs, whether that is environment or style or they were not ready to adapt in a certain way themselves, leadership disagreements and so on. In those cases, if you get the right fit then things can change. That said, if someone is asking me for pay or promotion and they have not delivered on the job to date, then yes, you are only as good as your last piece of work.
If so, how good are you?
Ask my boss.
Are you better at what you do because you work where you work?
I think ‘better’ is always a bit black and white. Let’s take my move from agency to sales. Sales is a vibe business supported by rigour and accountability, but at its heart, I believe one person can change the fortunes of a whole country or region more than on the agency side. I have seen people I have hired do just that.
Can we win?
We have to get confident about what we do and talk more about the positives, hence why I started the #loveAds movement. We have to clear up the mess we have made in buying blind, fraudulent impressions, adding margins and eroding trust and we must focus on good work and getting paid for it. Agencies need to stand up for what they are worth and clients need to pay them. If we can do some of these things, we can win!
Our how’s work? zine was created to start a conversation about wellbeing in the workplace. We asked people from across our industry a set of probing questions designed to dig into every facet of their wellbeing. Take a read of their thoughts here.