The 5 Qualities You Need to Succeed, According to an Advertising Executive
In honour of our co-founders Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power’s latest book, The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career ($19), we’re running an interview series featuring 17 questions (to parallel the book’s 17 chapters) about the work lives of inspirational female leaders who are at the top of their fields. So far, we’ve tapped Lisa Messenger, Pip Edwards, Kelly Wearstler, and more. Next up? Mim Haysom.
It may be overused, but #GirlBoss is the by far the best way to describe Mim Haysom. Not only is she the general manager at one of the country’s biggest advertising agency’s, M&C Saatchi, but she is recognised for her work in finding new ways to move the industry forward, is an active mentor, and has been a guest speaker at leading industry events such as B&T Women in Media Forum, The Future Leaders Summit, and The Collective Start Smart Conference.
The highly regarded advertising executive and mother-of-two believes that culture is the secret to a company’s success and holds a high focus on training and attracting world-class talent. Read on find how she stays ahead in such a fast-paced industry, the qualities she believes you need to succeed, and the best advice she’s ever been given—read on.
I’m the General Manager at creative agency M&C Saatchi in Sydney. My role is to manage client relationships, run the business side of things, and to make sure we are developing great creative ideas and customer experiences for our clients, that deliver impact and business results for them. I’m pretty lucky—it’s a challenging role that changes everyday, in a really dynamic industry, with brilliant, smart, fun. and creative people surrounding me everyday. Doesn’t sound much like work does it?
The many hats I wear every day, and how diverse the challenges are.
I can’t recall the exact outfit, but I’m pretty sure it was a skirt suit, complete with shoulder pads! Needless to say my fashion sense has evolved since then.
There are so many people. If I had to choose one it would be Elon Musk—I’m obsessed with his ability to not only innovate, but create change in incredibly short time frames.
Nothing. I’ve loved every second of the journey. The only thing I wish I had done when I was younger was live in New York. It’s such a dynamic and creative hotspot, I would love to experience it as a local.
1. Passion for creativity.
2. Curiosity and a desire to challenge the status quo.
3. Emotional intelligence, to understand and know how to get the best out of people.
4. Strategic capability, and the hunger to solve clients’ business problems.
5. Great communication skills. After all, we work in the communications business!
A great pair of heels. They can dress up every outfit, take you from day to night, and give you some height—which is always a plus for me.
Passionate, focussed, with a sprinkling of fun.
I run! It’s the best way to clear my head. I’m also big believer in finding inspiration in other creative arenas like the theatre, and local art galleries.
Politely! The world’s small so you don’t want to burn any bridges. Always leave on good terms.
Broccoli and tofu in oyster sauce—way more delicious than it sounds.
Not having a clear understanding of, or realistic expectations of the role. As with any new role, they should be curious and ask questions, actively listen, ask for help, and actively seek out mentors who can help them navigate their new world.
In the morning, I head to the beach for boot camp while the sun comes up. I love it, it energises me for the day ahead. In the evening, I make sure I get home in time to read with my two boys.
Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like hell! It’s a sometimes scary, but great way to move through life. You certainly never regret not having a go at something.
There are so many great things happening in our business right now it’s hard to choose. We are constantly changing how we work with our clients, and the capabilities we can offer them. Recently we acquired Bohemia (media company) so integrating media capabilities into our business is really exciting for our clients and us.