Kevin Allen: The first interview, by Bob Morris

Kevin Allen

Previously, Kevin Allen spent two decades at the top of advertising giants McCann-Erickson, the Interpublic Group, and Lowe Worldwide. He is now CEO and founder of a London-based business transformation company, re:kap, and globally recognised as one of the advertising industry’s most accomplished growth professionals. The firm counts Burberry, M&C Saatchi, Nokia, Omnicom, Rolls-Royce, Cheil, Smythson, and Swedbank among its global clients. Kevin is also the author of recently released The Hidden Agenda: A Proven Way to Win Business and Create a Following. This Wall Street Journal bestseller is a rich, instructive story of his successful brand and advertising exploits.

Among his countless industry achievements, Kevin led the creation of the transformative “Priceless” campaign for MasterCard, a true US and global marketing icon. He has led efforts for other brands including AT&T, General Electric, JP Morgan Chase, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, The Ritz-Carlton, Smith Barney and Wendy’s.

While a New Yorker at heart, Kevin is a true globalist. For example, he led the team that created the Saudi Aramco brand identity and has worked over the years with brands such as Opel, South African Airways, Nestle, Electrolux, Siemens, Lufthansa and China Mobile. He was one of the founding members of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s team and advisory group that developed the platform for his successful mayoral election and turnaround strategies for the City of New York. He is a visiting lecturer at The Columbia University Graduate School of Business, the Cass School of Business, and the European Business School at Regents College London.

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Morris: Before discussing The Hidden Agenda, a few general questions. First, who has had the greatest influence on your personal growth? How so?

Allen: There is no question that it is my mother. A wonderful woman who raised four kids single-handed, she gave us the ultimate gift, of unconditional love and approval. I was told virtually every day that I was, “The greatest thing since sliced bread” and that I could accomplish anything. If you think about it, these are the chief qualities of any great leader. In a famous interview with the great British General Montgomery, when asked what his greatest fear was, instead of replying ‘the Nazi war machine’ he replied that “I might lose the love of my men.”

Morris: The greatest impact on your professional development? How so?

Allen: I have been blessed to have many mentors in my life. I encourage anyone no matter what stage of their career to seek out these generous, wise people. As I sit here writing it’s so hard to do, but if I had to choose it would be a man named Peter Kim. Peter was a true genius, an instructor at NYU at 19 years old, and when I met him in his 30s Vice Chairman of powerhouse McCann-Erickson (where I also worked). He taught me many things, above all, how to believe in myself. When I thought I had to be somebody that I was not to succeed in business he taught me to approach my role as myself, drawing on unique strengths I was lucky enough to have. These were in fact human intuition and a good deal of human sensitivity. When I doubted this, he insisted that in spite of what being in an analytical business environment might suggest, these were the keys to my success.

Morris: Years ago, was there a turning point (if not an epiphany) that set you on the career course you continue to follow? Please explain.

Allen: Good Lord, there have been so many! Following on from what I have just mentioned I entered the business world as a kid from the wrong side of the tracks assuming that in order to be successful I had to be some kind of perfect businessman. Bill Genge, the former chairman of Ketchum advertising agency when I was working at roundabout my mid-30s, observed me one afternoon presenting to my colleagues. He took me aside and said “Son, why not step out from behind the suit and let them see who you really are. Your quirkiness, sense of humor and enthusiasm is what we all love—let it rip!”

Morris: To what extent has your formal education been invaluable to what you have accomplished in life thus far?

Allen: I couldn’t get a job in the advertising business initially because in order to become an account executive you needed to have an MBA and I might say from pretty good school at that! So I began the drudgery of taking my MBA at night. It took forever and I confess at the time some of the things didn’t seem to be the kinds of things that I needed but I will say this: when it came time for me to lead companies, the concepts, the working models, the famous thinkers proved absolutely invaluable.

Morris: What do you know now about business world that you wish you knew when you when to work full-time for the first time? Why?

Allen:  I know now that business is not entirely a game of analytics but also a human endeavor. It is the people, their desires, their concerns, their aspirations, their needs, and their values that drive people and organizations to achieve greatness.

Morris: Of all the films that you have seen, which – in your opinion – best dramatizes important business principles? Please explain.

Allen: Well, I suppose first instinct might be to choose a film like Patton, or that sort of thing but I’ll choose my all-time favorite, The Wizard of Oz.  Dorothy sets out on a quest to achieve the impossible.  In doing so she comes together with companions who believe as she does but bring to her endeavor skills and abilities that form a united greatness. At the end of the day any organization is mobilized by what it believes it can accomplish and is inspired by the shared belief that it can make a meaningful contribution to its achievement.  (And let’s not forget about Toto!)

Morris:  From which non-business book have you learned the most valuable lessons about business? Please explain.

Allen: One of my all time favorites, one which is being read to and by children all over the globe, The Little Prince. In it after a remarkable journey the little fox says to the Prince, “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret, it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

Morris: Here are several of my favorite quotations to which I ask you to respond. First, from Lao-Tzu’s Tao Te Ching:

“Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.”

Allen: A wonderful woman who worked for me when I was a shift manager at Marriott In-Flight Services by the name of Jodell told me one afternoon as we faced a particular crisis, “Kevin we love you, but you don’t know your” a** from your elbow. You’ll be alright, sugar… just leave it to us.”  I believe in a management principle I call “buoyancy.” That is, people float you as a leader because they believe in you, they believe that you have been generous of spirit to attend to their interests and needs to help them accomplish things on your behalf.

Morris: Next, from Voltaire: “Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.”

Allen: We live in a business environment of constant and relentless change. Great companies have the stomach to face the truth of their circumstances but it is certainly true to say different people in the organization will respond to this truth in a variety of ways. I believe there are four types that appear: Catalysts who relish the truth that is found and the possibility of change that results; followers and observers who effectively wait to see which way the wind is blowing; and resisters who will see change as a threat and use the truths to subvert your movement. Needless to say embracing your catalysts and neutralizing resisters especially by converting them is the key to leading change in any organization.

Morris: And then, from Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”

Allen: Success in business or in life is a quest to find your “core.” This is the essence of who you truly are and the strengths that you possess. I know it feels counterintuitive in the business world where old stereotypes of what leadership is about have people emulating somebody that they’re not rather than embracing the magic all they are. People connect with authenticity and genuineness and that can only happen when you are yourself.

Morris:From Helen Keller: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”Allen:I exhort both individuals and organizations to have what I call a “real ambition.” This is not simply blind ambition, or the usual business measures of market share other financial goals, but the creation of something extraordinary that didn’t exist before. People can be motivated in work and in life in the belief that each and every hour of their day is a contribution to a remarkable and breathtaking accomplishment.

Morris:Finally, from Peter Drucker: “There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.”

Allen: Here is where I think the word “courage” comes to mind. I have seen many organizations going along without questioning the rightness and purpose of their activities. To deal with this, what is needed is change management that reevaluates itself, moves to a new formulation, and solidifies its new position. I believe that being committed to well-worn models in an environment of constant change means that an organization may not be able to “manage change” but it can certainly remain in constant “readiness” to respond to it. This means that across a number of key dimensions, only those organizations “In Readiness” can take full advantage of whatever opportunities the given circumstances create.

Morris: In Tom Davenport’s latest book, Judgment Calls, he and co-author Brooke Manville offer an antidote for the Great Man theory of decision-making and organizational performance”: organizational judgment. That is, “the collective capacity to make good calls and wise moves when the need for them exceeds the scope of any single leader’s direct control.” What do you think?

Allen: The age-old days of the supply economy, command-and-control systems across organizations allowed for a single decision-maker to exercise will across the body of the organization. The objective was simple: to ensure in a distribution based economy that the well oiled machine got products and services from point A to point B. We live in a demand economy where these old rules no longer apply. Dramatically fast moving marketplaces with the customer firmly in charge, innovation breaking at light speed all requiring organizational flexibility and individual decision-making. However, the key is not to decentralize to such extent that decisions are made by a collective. There is nothing that calcifies an organization faster than a large number of people thinking that they collectively render decisions. Collective input is great, seeing, identifying and preparing for the opportunity is amazing, but at the end of the day the leadership at all levels throughout the organization must exercise good decision-making and be held accountable for the result.

Morris: Here’s a brief excerpt from Paul Schoemaker’s latest book, Brilliant Mistakes: “The key question companies need to address is not ‘Should we make mistakes?’ but rather ‘Which mistakes should we make in order to test our deeply held assumptions?’” Your response?

Allen: In the supply economy organizations that I grew up in, making mistakes was a singularly bad idea. Uniformity of activity and getting it “right” was the order of the day. In this new environment we live in, I like to apply the “Silicon Valley notion”:  Enterprising individuals design some sort of amazing new software, they try it, it blows up in their face… and then they unravel it to determine what went wrong and how to advance their innovation. These individuals do not see failure as a cataclysmic, they see it as “adoptive experimentation” as a means by which the boundaries of innovation can be pushed and only arrived at through trial and error. What is required is what I call “cultural permission” through language and phrases that crystallize management’s desire from their people to try new things knowing the spirit of support is behind them.

Morris: In your opinion, why do so many C-level executives seem to have such a difficult time delegating work to others?

Allen: I believe that the role of C- level executives has evolved so dramatically from supply economy days and for many it’s difficult to understand and fully embrace. Today’s C-level executive is doing their job when they first and foremost create a culture, articulate a value system, establish a real ambition, articulate organizational clarity and provide an environment for their community through cultural permission to thrive, make decisions and grow. This places a greater degree of emphasis on soft skills and emotional intelligence that in the supply economy were sort of irrelevant. Now they are everything.

Morris: The greatest leaders throughout history (with rare exception) were great storytellers. What do you make of that?

Allen: I cannot agree more… and they still are. People like Horst Schulze of Ritz-Carlton galvanized the culture of the company through a story that led to his cultural idea of “Ladies and Gentlemen Serving Ladies and Gentleman.” It was expressed in the form of his experiences as a young man growing up in the hotel business and what it meant to be “excellent.” Stories are the oldest form of human communication; they contain all the elements that motivate: a quest, a hero and most important, a journey.

Morris: Most change initiatives either fail or fall far short of original (perhaps unrealistic) expectations. More often than not, resistance is cultural in nature, the result of what James O’Toole so aptly characterizes as “the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom.”

Here’s my question: How best to avoid or overcome such resistance?

Allen: I have been directly involved in three major corporate turnarounds along with my role in the turnaround of the City of New York. With your real ambition established I encourage engaging your catalysts and addressing your resistors directly. Resistors will take two forms, those who when properly motivated convert to catalysts. They are very potent because people witness the transformation giving them further incentive to join in. For the remaining resistors, whether they are open or passively resistant, if they are not with the program they will simply have to go.

Morris: In recent years, there has been criticism, sometimes severe criticism of M.B.A. programs, even those offered by the most prestigious business schools. In your opinion, in which area is there the great need for immediate improvement? Any suggestions?

Allen: My impression of many of these programs including those in which I participated placed far too much emphasis on right brain analytics and simply not enough on how to develop emotional intelligence. The new world that graduates will face is one which is decidedly about the galvanizing and mobilizing of communities. As a consequence being equipped with the methods to establish things like a real ambition, the management techniques to engage as an authentic leader and the means and tools to motivate and mobilize is essential for any new business.

Morris: Looking ahead (let’s say) 3-5 years, what do you think will be the greatest challenge that CEOs will face? Any Advice?

Allen: I believe that marketplace dynamics will move at light speed which means the position of the company which in the past may have taken years to grow or decline will change literally overnight. Business models that once thrived will by virtue of technological breakthrough literally disintegrate overnight. In this regard I believe that the best thing a company can ever be in is in a state of “Readiness” that is, across a wide range of dimensions from its noble purpose to its accountability systems and its innovation methodologies to be in an ever ready state to seize upon changing market conditions to advance their already well articulated real ambition.

Morris: Now please shift your attention to The Hidden Agenda. When and why did you decide to write it?

Allen: After 20 wonderful years in the advertising business I realized that I was enjoying far more seeing the up and comers winning as result of some of my experience or advice. Getting a phone call from a young team telling me with excitement in their voices, “We won!” which brings more thrill now than in anything I might undertake myself. So I decided it was time to roll up my years of experience to help people win.

Morris: Were there any head-snapping revelations while writing it? Please explain.

Allen: How much fun I had.

Morris: To what extent (if any) does the book in final form differ significantly from what you originally envisioned?

Allen: The stories of my many pitch pursuits, wonderful mentors and fun memories played a much greater role than I thought. People tell me the tips and learning became easier to understand as a result of these and for that I am really pleased.

Morris: Here are three separate but related questions. First, to whose “hidden agenda” does the title refer? Next, is there more than one agenda? If so, please explain. Finally, is each agenda involved (if more than one) deliberately hidden, merely unrecognized, or both? Please explain.

Allen: When I’m working with a group I like to insert the word “their” hidden agenda to ensure that in the first instance the focus is on the audience to whom you are directing your effort. At the end of the day the objective is to bring your leverageable assets — that is, that which is special about you — to connect to a deep desire that is held in the hearts of your prospect.

Morris: Did you have a “hidden agenda” in mind for those who would read your book after it was published? Please explain.

Allen: I have observed that with so many, it was apparent that people felt in order to sell or lead effectively, that they had to either be someone they were not, or to adopt some form of “sales method” when in fact the entire process at its core is a human game. To play this game effectively is to unleash your own human intuitive and empathetic abilities and come across decidedly as the person or organization that you are.

Morris: You assert that everyone is – or at least should be prepared to be – a “pitchman.”  Please explain.

Allen: Every single day we are pitching. Whether it’s to get support for an idea you have, to secure funding for startup business, to get your board to understand your position or to ignite your prospects, it is all about understanding the desire they hold their hearts and connecting yourself to them

Morris: What is “the heart of the matter” discussed in the Introduction?  No pun intended, why does it matter?

Allen: The end of the day every decision no matter what it is, is made not with the head but the heart It is the is deep emotional visceral motivation that is at work. The task is to uncover and connect to it…when you do, they’ll follow you anywhere.

Morris: Who are “growth aspirants” and what unique ability is their “very spear point and lifeblood” of achieving their objectives?

Allen: Growth aspirants are strivers, fighters, doers and dreamers who believe they can make things happen. I believe the unique ability is that they believe things can be made to happen, however difficult. Anyone I’ve known at any level of the organization were part of this fraternity had a belief that what they were creating was not only good, but could in fact be achieved.

Morris: Here is one of several dozen passages that caught my eye. According to Enid Merin, “The ‘want’ is the rational part, but ‘desire,’ that’s the emotional part. It’s the emotional part that buys.” Steve Jobs repeatedly insisted that he knew what Apple’s customers [begin italics] really [end italics] wanted before they did. What are your own thoughts about all this?

Allen: Enid was in fact a door-to-door sales woman. She sold encyclopedias for a living.  She was quick to remind me, though, that “A mother doesn’t want a set of encyclopedias, she wants her kid to be President!” If you understand these true desires in the same way, as I believe Steve Job’s did, then invention becomes a function of this deep, abiding understanding.

Morris: Please explain how specifically what you call “the hidden agenda” influences – if not determines – the preparation and presentation of a pitch.

Allen: When we set forth on the pitch very often we go immediately to the functional issues at hand. These are all vitally important but it must be recognized that it is in fact not what the true issue is. The successful pitch winner is the one that uncovers the true desire-the hidden agenda- is that is at work and links both the issues at hand and their solution to it as part of a collective whole.

Morris: Actually, you suggest that there are three hidden agendas. Please explain.

Allen: After experiences over the years I’ve come to recognize that the hidden agenda falls into three areas. Firstly, the hidden agenda of want which is based upon a person’s ambition or forward leaning drive. The second is need, a motivation based upon a yearning, a fear or concern that indeed something is missing and the third, where the decision is being viewed through the lens of a closely held value system.

Morris: Please explain what you characterize as “the conceptual target” and why is it especially important.

Allen: At the end of the day the buyer is not a statistic or demographic; rather, an individual or collective with a common emotional motivation. The conceptual target like the “soccer mom” allows your team to view your audience through the lens of a definition that is emotionally based around their hidden agenda.

Morris: What seems to be the most serious mistake made when people are engaged in conceptual targeting? What in fact should be the approach and the process?

Allen: Conceptual targets go wrong when they are one of either two things: their insight is too thin or someone’s left out. The best process of uncovering a conceptual target is to “de-massify.” This is where you break down all of your potential constituencies and identify the range of emotional motivations for each of them discreetly. The next stage is to aggregate upwards by finding the common emotional motivating thread that binds them as a community.

Morris: You share a number of interesting ideas in Chapter 3 when explaining the five-step process by which to conduct a preliminary conversation with a prospective customer. Which step seems to be the most difficult to complete? Why?

Allen: I’ll answer it this way: my mother used to tell me repeatedly as a boy, “listening is not waiting for your turn to speak!” No matter how you slice it, it is awfully hard for people to listen effectively. The desire to register an opinion or demonstrate one’s competence many times overrides the very important task of listening with human empathy to the person you are trying to engage. But that listening must not be to filter for the functional, rather one must listen with a heart to understand what emotional driver is at work.

Morris: What is “laddering” and what major objective does it help to accomplish? How?

Allen: Laddering is a means by which you peel away the layers of the onion. At the conversation with the prospect begins as you are listening for the clues of their desire. As you seize upon a fertile area, stop like you are hovering over a vein of gold and begin to drill downward, asking further and further questions to allow the prospect to reveal the motivation that lies within.

Morris: What is one’s “core”? Does [begin italics] everyone [end italics] have a core? How best to determine the defining characteristics of a person’s core?

Allen: Your core is your essence – the special abilities you possess at the core of your being. It is a special gift you have been given that separates you from others. A great exercise whether for individual or a company is to ask the people (ask 3-5) who are otherwise the head of your “fan club” individuals to write for you the words that they associate with your strengths and the things that make you special. Then ask them to explain why they believe this to be so. You will find a remarkable collection of richness that paints a particular picture that which makes you special. (and it will make you mighty confident about them too…

Morris: What is one’s “profile”? How to determine what it is?

Allen: There’s a good body of very good theory and practical methods now by which a person’s personality type can be characterized. Based on your Jungian thinking, profiling methodologies like MBTI and others help a person to understand what personality characteristics are their strengths. They show that which is dominant such as, whether like me your personality is more dominated by human empathy and feeling, rather than a personality that is dominated by facts and process. You can take these tests online and I can tell you, you will find the results very helpful indeed.

Morris: Please explain the importance of Marriott International, both to your career and to your personal growth.

Allen: I’m glad you mentioned this company as they have played such an important part of my life. My very first job mopping floors was at this fine company and even at that level I learned of the profound and rich culture that binds this organization. Remarkably years later as a young advertising executive this understanding of the deep abiding belief system that drives Marriott was very much the means by which we at McCann Erickson at the time were able to connect with them and become their advertising agency. Seeing our thinking galvanized in a term called the Spirit to Serve which became part of the fabric of their lexicon means more to me than I can say.

Morris: You offer several excellent examples of corporate credos. In your opinion, which is most compelling? Why do you think so?

Allen: I guess I have to say it must be Johnson & Johnson’s. There is something remarkable about a belief system etched in limestone in a company’s headquarters but more importantly I have been able to see this belief lived out as a guide to their endeavors. What’s important also is that the power of this value system is manifested not only by the people who make up the company by the expectations and standards that customers and others outside of Johnson & Johnson hold them to.

Morris: What do you mean by “real ambition”? What differentiates it from ambition that is not real? Can it be possessed by organizations as well as by individuals? Please explain.

Allen: As I mentioned earlier I believe strongly in this notion. Anyone can have ambition. Alexander the great had ambition and burnt lots of towns down in the process. Michelangelo had “real ambition”, that it’s creating something amazing that didn’t exist before. I believe that real ambition is at the core of both a person and a company’s very being and is one of the one of the most important practices in setting a path for individuals career as well as the growth and evolution of the company.

Morris: In Chapter 6, you suggest that real ambition has five “elements.” One is that it has a “catalytic core.” Please explain.

Allen: The real ambition is only good if you can ignite people to believe it and set forward to making it happen. So in this regard it is the ability to become infectious, to excite imagination as to what the future might bring.

Morris: Why is it also important that real ambition be expressed “in simple human language”?

Allen: I remember coming into one of the agencies of McCann in our far-flung empire. As I walked into the lobby I ran into the fellow whose job it was to move the furniture around. He declared in excited tones “Hi Mr. Allen we’re working on the pitch and you know what, I think we’re going to get it!” For me nothing was more exciting than this because moving an organization towards real ambition is about galvanizing everyone up and down the organization and in fact if the people at the very entry level of the organization are clear about that vision they will know what it means to them and what they will need to do to reach it. Fancy language is great in boardrooms but nothing motivates like simple human understandable and highly motivating language.

Morris: What are the defining characteristics of a “win strategy”?

Allen: Its ability to be painstakingly simple.

Morris: For those who have not as yet read The Hidden Agenda, please explain what “the Allen Key” is and what it can help to accomplish.

Allen: The Allen Key combines two key components: their hidden agenda and your leverageable assets. It allows for you to carefully analyze which one of the three agendas it might be and then once having done so, to allocate which of the three leverageable assets you will choose to connect it to. I’ve had many tell me that keeping the Allen Key by their side as they pursued their prospect was the difference between winning and losing.

Morris: Why formulate a win strategy statement?

Allen: Having your team on the same page is vitally important. There is something profoundly important about the process of codifying the decisions you make about how you will pursue your endeavor. A win strategy statement makes it abundantly clear the decisions that you made about your prospect and how you will connect them.

Morris: You discuss “The Advocate’s Approach” in Chapter 8. Who and/or what is the “advocate”? For what? Why?

Allen: The word “advocate” is taken from the practice of litigation; that is, arguing a successful case. The work that you have done to uncover and connect the hidden agenda of your audience is only good if you can articulate a compelling argument that motivates.

Morris: Why is it frequently so difficult to achieve a critical reduction to an essential core in a pitch? Are there any especially important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when attempting to do so? Please explain.

Allen: I’ll say it in one word– decisiveness. There is so much good information and insight to be had but at the end of the day you’ve got to land on the one salient hidden agenda at work and establish with clarity how you will connect and ignite. This is a process of brutal decision-making and prioritization. If you’re working in a group you cannot make effective decisions in my opinion in teams of more than six so try to keep your team small and the list of variables short.

Morris: Please explain how and why storytelling can be so compelling.

Allen: Storytelling is the oldest form of human communication. It is emotional, it is human, it involves the quest for something noble, it deals with the realities of disappointment and opposition, but is based on the single most important human motivator: hope.

Morris: On Page 201, you identify and discuss what you characterize as “the essential elements” of a story. In your opinion, which of them seems to be the most difficult for aspiring raconteurs to master? Why?

Allen: The quest, which is in story terms, your real ambition, is often the most difficult for people to articulate. It is because real ambition or vision of the future, if it’s a good one, appears to be utterly impossible on its face. As a consequence, sadly, the quest in the story is calibrated and watered down because in its watered-down state seems perhaps a good deal more achievable. When you are writing the story of your future your quest must be far reaching in its scope and imaginative in its construction.

Morris: Let’s say that a CEO has read and then (hopefully) re-read The Hidden Agenda and is eager to ensure that all of his organization’s senior-level executives “get it” in terms of understanding (a) what really motivates others (especially customers and direct reports) and (b) how to be most persuasive when communicating with them. Where to begin?

Allen: Oddly enough, while it’s critical to understand your audience to gain collective buy-in in your organization I often start with “your leverageable assets”. In doing so, we are able to work tom establish the real ambition, the credo that is the value system of your group as well as your core. Understanding what it is that is special about you, what you all believe, and what special assets you think you possess are vital in order to connect with your audience’s hidden agenda

Morris: For more than 25 years, it has been my great pleasure as well as privilege to work closely with the owner/CEOs of hundreds of small companies, those with $20-million or less in annual sales. In your opinion, of all the material you provide in The Hidden Agenda, which do you think will be of greatest value to leaders in small companies? Please explain.

Allen: Everything. I lived my life large corporations and now the CEO of a thriving small company. Believe me large or small the vital necessity of understanding what drives your prospects emotionally and how you connect with it is universal.  I would even venture to say, that being a master of this, renders a small organization one tough competitor.

Morris: Which question had you hoped to be asked during this interview – but weren’t – and what is your response to it?

Allen: What is the most important characteristic of a contemporary leader?

I will let Maya Angelou answer for me:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

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Kevin cordially invites you to check out the resources at these websites.

His firm, [re:kap]

His Amazon page
His Adweek interview linkHis “Big Speak” video presentations on YouTube

 

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