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.
'Metamorphosis will be constant'
Founder and chief executive officer
The 120 Media Collective
To stay ahead, it’s essential to keep an eye on not just what’s happening in our business but on adjacent spaces and industries as well. If the past 10 years are anything to go by, metamorphosis will be constant. The lines are blurring and convergence is the leitmotif of the new order. It’s worked well for me so far, accompanied by a healthy dose of paranoia about what the competition is doing to get or stay ahead. Eliminate complacency!
‘The dots always will connect in the future’
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something—your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life" – Steve Jobs.
This is the learning that I have had personally both in my personal and in my professional life. Which is now not only my belief but a principle that I strongly advocate. It makes me strive harder and dream bigger. It allows me to be open to ideas, conversations and thoughts as it prevents me from being over cautious, subjective and judgmental. It allows me to try out newer things, take risks, experiment with ideas, re-invent and be proactive to the ever-changing dynamic environment we live in. Life is all about trying and daring to do the new. Convention says otherwise but the gutsy look to the future and take decisions that may sometimes work and also fail at times – but the belief in taking those decisions that may work and lead to success is unprecedented. So I agree whether it's guts, destiny, life, karma or whatever, I live for the present and am positive about what lies ahead always. The dots always will connect in the future.
‘Keep fighting the good fight’
Creative head (North)
Keep fighting the good fight – that’s the one belief that has sustained me throughout. It’s always a battle to get the big idea out and one has to have the patience, energy and will to ensure that we never settle for second best. It’s all too easy to succumb to the constant onslaught of differing opinions, naysayers and yes, the occasional focus group. But if you have belief in that idea it will emerge victorious, come what may. Bloody, bruised, battle-scarred but victorious. To paraphrase Dylan Thomas’s immortal lines, "Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. And keep fighting the good fight!"
Director, marketing and
Intel South Asia
For me, it is the constant urge to learn something new and continuously improve. I devote myself to adding value to not just the organisation, but to my team and society-at-large. I try to bring something new to what I am doing every day. Over the past two decades in my career, there have been multiple instances that have reiterated my core belief that there is no substitute to hard work and perseverance. I have always maintained a ‘Can Do’ attitude especially in tough times.
‘Human capital is embellished by its intellectual capital’
Business head – digital content and syndication
Learning, continuous, relentless, obsessive enhancement of mindware is my oxygen in the knowledge economy. It is my belief that human capital is embellished by its intellectual capital and one must continue to enhance one’s knowledge curve. I believe in absorbing like a sponge and being a perpetual student of the internet. It is a dynamic, evolving paradigm, the rules of the game are in a constant state of flux and the audience is growing and responding in newer ways. Business models need to be invented and reinvented, the digital ecosystem is becoming stronger by the day and the age of the device-agnostic super platform is dawning. One must continuously learn from and adapt to this environment to harness the competitive advantage.
My oxygen is the business itself. It allows us to resist the usual. After two decades of being in this business I still 'love what I do'. And the love stems from the fact that there are always new things to learn and new dreams to chase.
I was taught very early in my career that if we want to be treated with respect, we should have the ability to say 'No' once in a while. To say no to ineffective ideas, unreasonable demands, improper practice… As a professional and a woman I have always been able to keep my chin up by saying 'No' effectively.
‘Good people and great ideas’
South West (SW) Asia
Good people and great ideas are my two atoms in the oxygen molecule. And the reason I still love to breathe in the air in this profession even after two decades is because both these atoms are still very plentiful.
"Stay on the side of the brand." Steer clear of people issues, individual egos and client politics – do what YOU believe is right for the brand. It's the only thing that will earn you respect and the self-esteem to sleep well every night.
‘Be happy. Spread happiness. Work hard.’
Head of operations Delhi
We often think of the workplace as less emotional, more formal and serious. And as far as motivation goes, few manage to inspire or motivate us because everybody is fighting their own battles.
In all this, we forget that we are in people’s business. Every organisation needs to have a strong set of leaders who can successfully steer its people through challenging times, to achieve improbable business targets.
But, it must begin by creating a
• Happy environment
• Find compelling reasons to celebrate its people
• Make people feel good about themselves.
People are engaged and motivated by why we do things more than what we do. Hence it’s important to make them feel special.
I have strictly grown with the belief that how we treat other people is a direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves. Personally, I walk away from evil people or situation no matter what.
‘Be happy. Spread happiness. Work hard’ is my only mantra.
‘There’s nothing in this business you can do on your own’
CEO and managing partner,
My oxygen is creativity/ ideas. That's the business we're in, no matter how it's changed over the years, or which department you're in. That's the reason I joined it and that's the reason I'm still in it.
The one thing I've learnt, that's held me in good stead is: surround yourself with good people, treat them with love and respect, and everything will fall into place. There's absolutely nothing in this business you can do on your own.
‘As long as the why is alive in my life, so am I’
Sukesh Kumar Nayak
Executive creative director
Ogilvy & Mather India
Curiosity. Never stop wondering. This is the one belief that has got me to where I am today. As a child I once jumped off the ledge with an open umbrella to figure whether I can fly like a bird. And today I experiment with ideas, to figure for example, why does it have to be just a TV spot and why not a series of continuing films, where audience can suggest what happens next. I believe, as long as the why is alive in my life, so am I.