I have a bit of a split personality right now, with two full-time roles at Maxus. I'm asked about work/life balance a lot. The reality is that I have no balance. I just have a blessed life, of which work is a massive part. I'm lucky that Mr P is also in the industry so the "blur" works.
As the post-Cannes dust settles, I’m still swaying from the Microsoft boat and flying high from Maxus picking up a silver Lion for Mercedes and a gold for my colleagues Yewande Sokan and Georgia Lindsay, who won the Young Lions. There’s zero time to bask – our thoughts are on the strong work we’ll need to do to turn silver into a gold rush next year.
This is a much-needed week in London, kicking off with a UK leadership meeting looking at where we are financially, with existing clients, new business and talent. In my UK role, the priorities are to ensure UK business is running smoothly and clients are getting the best work they deserve, and that I network hard to raise awareness of what we do. Then, with my global hat on, I’m prepping multimarket pitches, guiding a marketing, effectiveness and planning team and gearing up for next week’s global conference.
Our big focus this year, locally and globally, is expanding existing client relationships. We’re lucky in that two of our biggest UK clients – BT and Barclaycard – have had major launches this year. Both are doing very well and have allowed us to create good work, adaptively planned and executed, backed up by significant spend.
Our industry thrives on the competition of new business, and we’re no different. Our pitching theme this year has been: "Fewer… bigger… better." And this week, in the UK, there’s a potentially massive piece of new business on the cards. I have a talented team working with me and we cannot wait to get our teeth into the brief – and with Group M right behind us, I’m convinced we can win.
I have a useful chat with the Marketing Academy about joining its mentoring programme. Yep, I’m already insanely busy but some great advice from Amanda Mackenzie at Wacl Gather was: "Keep putting your hand up and say yes… until you physically have to say no." So sign me up!
Wearing my dual hat, Wednesday sees preparation for a global client meeting, then internal UK one-to-ones where I get the real gossip. Later, I go with Google to the Advertising Association’s Mackintosh Medal dinner at Claridges – an opportunity to see old friends and pay homage to the guest of honour, Richard Eyre.
Female leadership comes to the fore again on Thursday, as I’m interviewed on it by The Telegraph, then hear Ed Miliband speak at a Wacl dinner on female leaders in business, politics and advertising. We’re fortunate in media, which has the best reputation of the three, but women are still hugely underrepresented in senior roles. Yet we rock and wear better clothes than our male counterparts. Have you seen the Wacl power dressing? I’m going to be vice-president this year, which is flattering, exciting and a bit daunting – and, frankly, I need a new wardrobe.
Come Friday, I’m finalising my presentation for the global leadership meeting and our plans for Cannes 2014. We have grown so quickly over the past three years that this busy week is normal. A bit unbalanced, maybe – but, then, balance is overrated.
Lindsay Pattison is the chief executive of Maxus UK and the chief strategy officer of Maxus Worldwide
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