Last week, Joan Kuhl met with Kevin Roberts, the Executive Chairman of the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, at their Headquarters in Soho, New York. Saatchi & Saatchi is one of the world’s leading creative organizations with over 6,500 people and 130 offices in 70 countries – and part of Publicis Groupe, the world’s third largest communications group. Kevin leads with outstanding optimism, joy, and courage, and believes strongly in the millennial generation and their ability to change the world.
In his interview, he shares 3 main pieces of advice to millennials.
Don’t be realistic. Be radically optimistic.
Kevin believes in the power of radical optimism. He quotes former United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” In order to bring real change to the world, Kevin believes we have to inspire and believe in the millennial generation while providing them with an ethical framework of values and beliefs. Be optimistic, confident, happy with your life, and be willing to take risks. Kevin states, “It’s okay to dream and to dream BIG. Realities of money, time, and resources prevent young people from going after what they really want. If you can dream it, you can do it. Kick reality to the side, and live with radical optimism instead.”
Never forget your ABC’s.
Speaking to the abundance of FOMO (fear of missing out) in millennials, Kevin encourages young people to be fearless. So how does one eliminate fear from their life? Kevin says to “Recite your ABC’s every morning.” That is, your ambition, your belief, and your courage. He instructs to go in front of a mirror, look at yourself, and state:
- Your ambition of the day, 2. What you believe, and 3. What you are overcoming with courage.
He also makes a point that you can’t achieve your dreams on your own. Seek out and build relationships with loyal mentors and peers that will give you unconditional love and support. Kevin states, “We work better when we are safe and secure.” Create and build an environment for yourself that helps you gain the courage to explore outside of your comfort zone.
Never stop learning, and stay true to what you want.
If you are in your 20’s, Kevin says to focus on gaining experiences anywhere and everywhere. Don’t feel the need to do “the traditional route.” He believes that learning & knowledge is always important, and the best way to learn is by gaining real life experiences. If you are just starting your career, look for a position and company that will allow you to learn and grow. During your job interview, you should feel confident enough to ask questions. Unlevel the playing field by sharing what you are looking for in a company. For instance, the four pillars of by which Saachi & Saatchi is based on are responsibility, learning, recognition, and joy. You need to make sure that the company you work for mirrors your values and allows you to attain your goals. Stay true to what you want out of your work.
We hope this advice inspires you to put your passion into action!
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