I never waited for something to be done before I could do something. That took me into a new task area after another and I quickly became familiar with each one of them. And maybe that’s what made me pretty “complete” in my skills after all.
Seeing. Graphic Design is what I studied. I learned how to give birth to ideas using a drawing pen. And how to give an idea the finishing it deserves. To me the execution is not a cog attached to a cognitive concept, converting words into pictures. Executing an idea is rather the fine art of making it emotionally more accessible. And by doing so the execution becomes an idea itself.
Writing. Words are as essential to me as they are to our culture. My last German teacher liked my essays. My first Creative Director wondered if I shouldn’t become a copywriter. And some believe I have this job title which I never had. That couldn’t prevent that I got some awards for copywriting. And even though most of my writing is for business use only I don’t suspend the quest for beautiful texts.
Thinking. To understand which input is necessary to be creative it helps to be, well, a creative. My work became more strategic over time. But basically the way of thinking has remained the same. I just applied it to a larger area. Strategy without creativity is the mere accumulation of even more information. I know how to turn all the mess into something clear and stable enough to allow the next big leap.
Selling. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Asking why is hardwired into my personality. Why should anyone use this product? Why does it exist? When I have found the right answers and present them, I couldn’t be more convincing. And in case the work is not the subject, I always have enough thoughts left for some hilarious small talk.
Managing. I have much experience with leading the creative department of an agency. Hiring staff in no time, realizing ideas with no budget, reinventing the agency while struggling with the daily business. I have taught myself to allocate scarce resources in a way that guarantees everyday quality as well as performance peaks. And I like it. Because everything works even when it is actually impossible.
Coaching. Over the years more than 70 people in various agencies have got to know me as their supervisor. Supervisor? “Servant” would be more to the point. I provide the conditions my staff needs to perform their tasks. And in a time no one is fighting to work in advertising anymore this is truer than ever. Some former employees are now themselves in leading positions and pass on the spirit of good cooperation.