The CMO Files: Paul Lewis, Valtech

What keeps CMOs awake at night?

08-11-2017-paul-lewis-valtech

Name: Paul Lewis

Organisation: Valtech

Job title: CMO

Location: New York City, USA

  1. Where were you born and raised?
    Space coast of Florida
  2. What was your first job?
    Grocery store stock boy
  3. What was the first product you got really excited about?
    The Macintosh computer. A graphical user interface, a mouse, WYSIWYG printing—so many game changers—brilliant.
  4. Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
    I don’t know so much if it is one person, but rather the belief that there is always more to learn, more to experience and more to accomplish. My dreams are always bigger than today can hold which constantly propels me forward.
  5. What has been your greatest achievement?
    In my personal life my children, but in my professional life helping to found a trade group (Society of Digital Agencies) and later working at Adobe to help develop and grow their agency programs.
  6. What has been your biggest mistake?
    Someone told me that a regret is something you wish could be erased like it never happened. I’ve made so many mistakes, too many to even count, yet I don’t think I regret any of them because mistakes are your best teachers
  7. What is your greatest strength?
    Logic. If I can’t understand something I tend to question each assumption about it like I imagine scientists do. I either deeply learn what I didn’t know or sometimes I discover the world is not flat after all.
  8. What is your biggest weakness?
    Routine. I am amazing at setting up processes and system, but over time I can get bored trying to follow them myself.
  9. What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?
    The vastness of marketing and, in particular, digital marketing. People often get complacent with the universe they know, versus how fast this industry is changing. You have to stay humble and accept there is always more to learn.
  10. Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?
    I just watched Jocko Willink’s video on “Good” – so right now I’m liking that.
  11. What makes you stressed?
    Unclear vision. You can’t accomplish your goals and organise your teams without a clear direction of what success looks like.
  12. What do you do to relax?
    Video games, biking or surfing. I like to unplug my brain and just be in that moment.
  13. What is your favourite song?
    What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
  14. Which book taught you most?
    Buddhist and Tolle books helped me learn not becoming too attached to specific outcomes and to be more present and caring. It is hard to maintain positive attitude and passion without proper perspective.
  15. Do you have a team or sport that you follow?
    I train at balance cycling – which is just biking without your hands on different types of courses with obstacles against time.
  16. Which country would you like to work in?
    I’m lucky in my role of CMO I oversee 30 offices in 13 countries and five continents. How can you compare an evening in Paris versus strolling Bondi Beach in Sydney versus morning coffee in Copenhagen looking over the calm ocean? I love them all.
  17. Which company do you think has the best marketing?
    The ones that hire my agency (Valtech).

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