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Adidas’ communications chief: never stop learning

Source | | Florian Alt

Don’t assume you know it all

My leadership style is collaborative and at eye-level with my teams. There is so much great knowledge and creativity among the people I work with – irrespective of the individual’s level or experience – it would be stupid to think that I know better about everything. A great idea can come from anyone; from interns to directors. It’s important to let people be a part of the journey you are on and face the same challenges you are facing; you need to let them contribute to finding solutions. The results will be much better that way than if you dictate the way things are done, and all they do is execute your plan. It’s important that everyone in the team collaborates; that they feel like they are contributing to the bigger picture. By going about it this way, the whole team feels part of the success we bring.

Try and try again

Before my current role I worked across every different discipline in the marketing mix – starting in retail, followed by brand comms and PR and social as part of our World Cup 2014 activations. Working across a wide array of disciplines has given me a deeper understanding of, and important insight into, all the different areas of the business. This, in turn, has enabled me to provide a well-balanced campaign approach across all marketing touchpoints. You have to keep up to date with what is happening out there, as the landscape is constantly evolving and changing. Traditional marketing models are dead and the world is changing faster than ever before. You need to keep your finger on the pulse, be courageous and try out new things – some might work, some might not. It’s OK for things not to work; the important thing is that you understand why they didn’t work and what you can do next time to make it better. If you don’t try something out, you have lost already. It’s important to try to be the first mover in your area.

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