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The Things We Make Podcast: Episodes 01 - 04 Recap

The Things We Make Podcast is all about hearing from top marketing leaders, strategists, analysts, and other exceptional figures and how they make it happen.

In the first month of The Things We Make Podcast, we kick things off with brief conversations with bright minds. Join Keane Angle as he chats with the top thinkers and doers of the marketing and advertising worlds.

What happens when a magician becomes a strategist? Everything becomes magical! Mike Jacobson is a multi-talented strategist who started his magical journey at 13 by performing magic tricks for $20 for friends. His hobby would eventually lead him to the Ellen Degeneres show which changed his life forever. Nowadays, he performs as a magician to the stars… and is also VP of Brand Creative Strategy at Comedy Central

Episode 01: Making Magic With Mike Jacobson, VP Brand Creative Strategy at Comedy Central

While Mike lives in two different worlds—magic and strategy, he believes his humble beginnings as a magician has shaped the way he works as a strategist.

From his magical side hustle to his career-defining roles, Mike makes magic wherever he goes. He aims to create a balance between what his teammates want and the network’s marketing objectives.

Mike believes surprises, even little ones, are the key to breaking through and defying expectations (in a good way) at work.

Episode excerpt:

“When I was really little I was pretty shy. I would hide behind my dad’s leg. Magic really helped me come out of that shell. And so, I was kind of given the tools to like go up to talk to people. With magic, I have to win over people in like 10 seconds, 15 seconds or less because if they don’t trust me, then they’re against me the whole set while I’m with them… I always like to say that magic and strategy are very similar because it’s really just understanding your audience and what they’re feeling and thinking and then using it to your advantage in some way.”

“I not only apply what I’ve learned in magic to work but then, I apply what I learn in work to magic.”

Episode 02: Selective Chaos and The Work of Work with Lee Maicon, Global Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer at Edelman

When is chaos in the creative process okay? In this episode, Keane chats with Edelman’s new Global Chief Innovation and Strategy Officer, Lee Maicon, who has made ripples in the advertising world for the last 20 years. As he makes the big jump from McCann to Edelman, Lee reflects on the work of work and the selective chaos that comes with it

Lee Maicon’s stellar advertising career began after leaving his first job at a law firm which ironically convinced him that he didn’t want to be a lawyer.

He was deeply inspired by his friends in advertising agencies with radical creative thinking that affected culture.

After talking his way into strategy, he has been working with global advertising agencies like Strawberry Frog, 360i, McCann, and now Edelman.

While McCann has established itself as a global leader in strategy and advertising, he shares that he is quite honored to be a part of this new legacy. As he takes on his new role in Edelman, he takes with him years of expertise and endless creative thinking.

Episode excerpt:

“I’ve always sort of appreciated this, probably because I have a somewhat ‘non-traditional’ background as a strategist. It’s that the work takes work and that you need to have a really clear approach, process, and strategy for trying to do and understand the kind of work that you want to do. And then, you need a culture that supports that. I’m joining a place that has an amazing culture, I’m joining a place that has an incredible track record over 70 years or so. It’ll be interesting to see what’s working and how I can contribute to it and really understand what are the tools and what are the approaches, but then also what’s the culture that encourages and foments great work.”

“Out of necessity, in the work that we do, we do it together. And I think that’s the real power.”

Episode 03: High EQ Leadership with Nam Nguyen, former Global Executive Creative Director at Intel and soon-to-be-founder of his own agency

Nam Nguyen is a creative genius with a heart of gold. Defying the trend of toxic leaders, Nam has built his career on the ethos of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), diversity, inclusion, and competence.

Despite growing up in Silicon Valley and being surrounded by technology, Nam started his career doing non-profit work. For eight years, he worked in sectors such as community building, community organizing, public health, domestic violence, and education until he finally made the switch to marketing upon the suggestion of his mentor.

The non-profit worker turned Global Executive Creative Director at Intel defied the norm of toxic leadership by proving that compassion breeds both efficiency and efficacy.

With a leadership style grounded on the ethos of emotional intelligence (EQ) Nam pushes for diversity, inclusion, and excellence.

Episode excerpt:

“I think people have a tendency to think I’m not effective. I think people have a hard time understanding that you can be super thoughtful, you can be really mindful, you can build really great cultures that are diverse and inclusive but, I think for a lot of people, they don’t think that really translates into effectiveness or quick impact.

Post-Intel I went into so many interviews that they asked me about my leadership approach and how I run teams and manage teams and whatnot. I think everyone gets really confused and they get really nervous and they just don’t understand how you can run a team that way and be effective. A lot of feedback I got from those interviews, which was crazy, especially in today’s world, was like ‘you're just too thoughtful.’ Crazy, right? It was actually really shocking

I fundamentally believe this is the way we should be working, this is the way we should be treating each other. It’s about the collective success and not the individual.“

“There are still some voices that need to be heard because they’re saying something that numbers can’t say.”

Episode 04: Amy Richter on Personal Career Planning and Fabulous Leaders, Advisor and Coach at Thinqshift

Amy Richter, former Director of Marketing for the Atlanta Braves, former ad agency account manager, and now leadership coach, draws inspiration from both her mother and team sports. Both have led her down the path of creating fabulous leaders. Her team-centric ethos has allowed her to make waves from baseball to advertising, and finally leadership coaching.

No one understands teamwork and leadership better than Amy Richter. Her love for team sports has taught her everything she needed to know about leadership from teamwork, collaboration, compromise, commitment, and communication.

She switched gears from working at the Atlanta Braves for 10 years to work in advertising which, according to her, was the ultimate team sport.

Following years of leading global accounts in advertising, she reflected on her career and the future that it holds for her. She wrote herself a brief along that laid out her potential pathways forward in life after advertising.

Now, she works as an advisor and coach at Thinqshift where she helps build up fabulous leaders, teams, and organizations.

Episode excerpt:

“I just literally sat down and created a scorecard. I used the simple high-medium-low. When I did that, it was absolutely clear to me that the teaching pathway was the path that I wanted to go down. Because I went through that exercise and because I got really, really clear on what path I was going to go down, when I started talking to Vipul Kapadia, the founder of Thinqshift, it was so easy to see the intersection of the purpose of Thinqshift with the path that I had defined for myself. It really was a matter of clarity because it was so clear to me, it made it easy to see that it was gonna be the right opportunity. ”

“To me, advertising is the ultimate team sport”

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