What's your Oxygen? What's the one principle that has got you to where you are? Those were the questions we asked adlanders as we approached our eighth anniversary. And here's what they had to say.
'Ignore the hype'
Managing director and
CCO South Asia
I am the case of the curiously curious cat. As far back as I can remember, I have wanted to know what makes people and things tick. Confession: I’m a serial eavesdropper (in restaurants, elevators, wherever).
My first guiding principle: Ignore the hype; you are neither as good or as bad as people say you are. The second: Today’s great is tomorrow’s ordinary.
Chief marketing officer
My innate need to continuously learn has led my growth from a marketing professional into a holistic business person. Additionally, the old school values of hard work, teamwork and inquisitiveness can never be irrelevant. In today’s dynamic world, you tend to lose relevance if you do not learn quickly about the rapidly evolving technologies and progressively changing consumer demands. Acting on this instinct has helped me become a digital business professional, and achieve success in seemingly difficult situations. The additional dimension of managing profitability and delivering sales targets makes my job more challenging and very exciting.
Rediffusion Y&R Group
My oxygen would be collaboration – matching wavelengths, getting people and minds together. And very soon I find there is a deluge of thoughts and ideas.
Principle, Learning, Belief: I listen to everyone – even the junior-most person in the team. Though in the final analysis, the decision is mine, I want all different points of view to bear upon a solution.
‘Why play it safe?’
EVP and head of English entertainment
Why play it safe? When you step out of your comfort zone and start looking at things from a different angle – that is when you realise there is a whole landscape of opportunities to be discovered. The trick is to not get stuck doing the same thing over and over again. While that might give a measure of security, it comes with the price of stagnation which is detrimental in life and business. I like to bring a fresh perspective and a new beat to everything I attempt and that has, fortunately, worked for me in most cases till date.
‘The power of ‘Now’’
Harish Bijoor Consults Inc
The power of ‘Now’. The power of the moment. That's certainly my oxygen! Yesterday was happenstance and tomorrow is an uncertainty. The only reality is today and it’s happening just now. So enjoy it. Contribute to it. Participate in it with your heart, soul, liver, gizzard and all. Give your best to what you are attempting just now. Stop gloating on all the supposedly good things you did yesterday. Equally don't fret on all the real lousy things you did yesterday. That's history. Treat it as a flash in the pan. Today is the only reality. And stop fretting about the future. It’s a mystery anyway. You don’t know if there is one as well.
'Never ever quit'
Ideas are my oxygen. The kind of ideas that force you to get up at 2 am and stare at you with wide open eyes and let you go back to sleep only after you scribble them somewhere.
The one belief or learning that's helped me reach where I am...
Never ever quit. Because it ain't over till you quit.
New, challenging, pushing the boundaries, asking WHY NOT – that is what keeps me going. The day I think I haven’t tried the best that I could possibly have will be the day without oxygen for me.
I am made better by my team and my family – and that has helped me to get to where I am – both personally and professionally.
Every day, I make the choice to work passionately, and work to my team’s strengths. I choose to try and do something to add value to our clients’ businesses. Every day I try to do something to make my children smile.
Executive creative director
Ogilvy & Mather India
My oxygen in advertising is actually very simple. It's the IDEA. The exact moment when you are hit with something beautiful is what pushes you ahead every day.
On the second question of the most important learning – years ago my ex-boss Agnello Dias said to me, ‘Control what you can control. The rest will fall into place.’ I live by that.
So in my case, I can control the writing and that I must not let slip, no matter what. If I do that, somehow the other elements find a way to come together.
Not every time of course. But more often than not.
(This article first appeared as part of a feature in the issue of Campaign India dated 4 September 2015)