Who are you, and what do you do?
Hello I’m Julie Michael. I am the CEO of a digital, media and creative agency called Team One. We are Publicis Groupe’s fully-integrated agency dedicated to helping premium brands thrive in a connected world.
What has been one insight or lesson that has been most helpful in your career?
I can be a rather inpatient person. I’m certainly not proud of this. Most of the time I can remind myself to slow down and spend the time needed to do things the right way — not just the fast way. But occasionally I need to remind myself of one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received: “Never be expedient with people; only with functions.”
What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress.
Oh I’ve made lots of mistakes. Most leaders have. It comes with the territory of trying to advance an organization. If we sat back and settled for status quo it would be easier not to make any mistakes. The biggest mistakes I have made are around not being prepared. If I don’t take the time to prepare for a hard conversation or a big presentation, my words aren’t inspiring or they just plain come out wrong. I do better work when I give myself time to think things through before I open my mouth!
Project forward ten years. How will your industry or field be fundamentally different then? What opportunities do you see?
I work in an awesome industry! Communication agencies live at the intersection of technology, entertainment and media. The changes that Google and Facebook/Instagram have brought to the industry over the past five years are significant, and today 90% of marketers need to have strong presence on both platforms. As we look to the future, the role of machine learning / artificial intelligence will play a major role in identifying consumer behaviors and helping us target them at the right time, in the right place, with the right message. Technology platforms will become prolific and eventually become commoditized. What will endure is that great brands need to have a reason they exist in the world — and it has to be bigger than “sell more, make more, earn more.” And then marketers will need to entertain or add value to a viewer’s experience. If they don’t do one or the other, nobody will pay attention.
What are some bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Anything that has to do with tricking a consumer or selling-at-all-costs is soooo 1980. If you’re not adding value to people’s lives, you will be a short term fad, not an enduring brand.
In the last two years, what have you become better at saying no to?
I’ve become more diligent about managing my time. I only attend meetings with a stated purpose, and only when I can add material value to the conversation.
What is the one book you recommend most often and why?
Here are a few great books to consider:
“The Four Agreements” is a foundational book about positive and productive relationships.
“Legacy in the Making: Building a Long-Term Brand to Stand Out in a Short-Term World” is another fantastic business book. And I must disclose it was written by a co-worker of mine, featuring dozens of awesome leadership stories from the world’s most iconic, lasting brands.
I also like “Brave, Not Perfect” by Reshma Saujani. The title says it all.
What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?
College graduates entering the workforce need to exhibit two things to be considered to work in our company: curiosity and eagerness. Both in balance and not ridiculously off the charts. I’ve encountered many graduates who were handed a lot of things throughout their high school and college years — but it’s the ones who worked hard for something (really anything — sports, moving to another city, a relationship, an education) that I’m attracted to. We love to see people who can’t wait to lean in and contribute.
What is your favorite quote, one you aim to live by?
“Keep cool, but don’t freeze.” — Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
Honestly, I don’t have much time to meet with recent college graduates through work. We have an awesome HR/Talent team that hosts college tours, recruits great entry-level candidates, and manages our internship and apprentice programs. My advice to graduates is to have a one-page PDF resume, tightly formatted and impeccably written. Then to send cover notes and resumes to all the places that interest them. Be relentless and follow-up every two weeks until you are granted an informational interview. This simple method actually works. Don’t be tempted to rely on the “I need my parents’ friends to find me a job” method. Just be diligent, thoughtful and thorough. A great job will be yours!