Very few have achieved the same success that Gustavo Martinez has. He has spent more than 30 years in marketing and advertising and currently serves as CEO of J. Walter Thompson Worldwide. His work has led to some of the most innovative, creative, and iconic ads of this time. Being the head of such a creative powerhouse requires certain traits that are forged with experience. As the head of one of the worlds largest marketing firms, he has a few things to teach aspiring professionals. Here are a few takeaways for anyone looking to one day walk in his shoes.



Active Listening


One of the greatest traits employed by Mr. Martinez on a daily basis is active listening. There is a huge difference between listening and active listening. The fundamental difference in the latter is to quiet the small voice in one’s mind when listening to others. Do not listen to hear what others are saying, but focus on their words and try to understand where they are coming from. Active listening is a trait that is strengthened with practice and is compulsory for a successful entrepreneur. When it comes to the arena of advertising and marketing the concept is doubly important. It is essential to understand multiple perspectives. One should approach problems like advertising in collaboration.



Creativity and Synergy


It goes without saying that marketing and advertising are fundamentally based on creativity. It is the ‘raw ore’ that it is built on, according to Mr. Martinez. The success achieved by giants, like himself, is built on diversity and eclectic backgrounds. Sometimes creative solutions are birthed from another’s experience, but nurtured by another’s vision. Putting together a team that works well together and plays on each other’s strengths is the key. The synergy that exists within his team is a direct result of his leadership. He spends ample time searching for the best of the best and only hires those who fit his personal standards. However, this sometimes results in even more creative solutions like hiring consultants. He believes that since creativity is such a large part of the job, it is important to account for everyone’s creative process. Consulting allows creatives to do the best work possible. It allows them to contribute their unique perspective to a synergetic partnership.





If synergy and active listening are the keys then recognition is the force that opens the door. Showing recognition for a job well done is a great motivator. Recognition can push people to new heights and inspire new ideas. Humans are instinctually drawn to this form of positive reinforcement.


So, remember to praise good work, encourage new ideas, and bolster synergism to achieve success.


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