Meet the MD: David Lewis of LEWIS

Meet the MD: David Lewis of LEWIS

As managing director of marketing and communications agency LEWIS, David Lewis has some exciting plans for growing the firm in the future. He told us how he expects to make this happen and what he has learned since joining the company when he was only 19.

What is it you do?

I am the driver of the amazing bus called LEWIS. I sit up front and manage the overall direction of the business.

I have an excellent team around me who feed in directions, road works, quickest routes, good stopovers and of course where the cheapest petrol can be purchased.

Whilst we have this constant communication and feedback it is up to me to ensure the journey is smooth, everyone is safe and comfortable, but we all arrive at our destination in a profitable and enjoyable manner.

And, especially recently, we’ve been arriving in some very exciting destinations!


What is it the company does?

We are a marketing and communications agency. We help businesses and brands communicate with their audiences in a way that they respond to and with a tone that is right for them. This could be in a digital, social or offline environment (our skillset transcends all three). To sum up what we do: Creative Technology Delivered.


What do you believe makes a great leader?

Inspiration. In my view someone who can captivate a team or an individual, let them know that they’re more than a number, that their achievements earn much more than a pay cheque and inspire them to be better all the time. A guiding force who is approachable and is appreciative of the efforts, actions and issues the team face.

I’m not from the ‘treat them mean, keep them keen’ school of leadership. The journey that our company is on is sometimes a challenging one, so we need experts, passion and talent in all different areas and ensuring you inspire the team to take you forward on that journey is key.


What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

At the time everything seems like the biggest challenge, whether it be pitching for multi-national business, dealing with procurement or simply managing staff levels and their developments. Afterwards, we always seem to have sailed through unscathed a bit better educated and experienced. 


How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

I train. I get up at 6am every day and go to the gym, swim, spin, circuits whatever. It is here that I can organise all the things buzzing around in my head.

I can plan all the actions of the day ahead, work out the next steps and think about the challenges of the business and what we need to do to overcome these. Sometimes you’ve just got to clear your mind or you might fall off the treadmill!


When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a P.E. teacher. I loved sports; rugby, football, athletics, squash, basketball all sports, so being a P.E. teacher was my ideal job.

Play sport all day, drink tea, go home, excellent. I went to School in the Scottish Borders so I had Jim Telford as our rector and Bill McLaren took us for rugby practice so sports were a massive part of growing up.


Any pet hates in the workplace?

Definitely coats on the back of chairs and bags under desks. This really makes me cringe. Just the thought of people tripping over these and hurting themselves!


Where do you see the company in five years’ time?

Last autumn we moved to new premises in Leith, Edinburgh and have quadrupled the size of the office space.

We’re currently recruiting for three key positions with hopes to grow organically from there, so our expansion plans for the business are in full swing. As for five years down the road, it is so hard to say with technology moving so fast.

We are seeing some major changes year-on-year and month-on-month. I’d like to think that LEWIS can continue to enhance Scotland’s reputation as a nation of brilliant creatives at the cutting edge and, like so many amazing Scottish agencies, continue to win business throughout the UK and the rest of the world.


What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Definitely only do something that you’re passionate about. I get out of bed every day looking forward to starting work and the new challenge that awaits. You’ll never truly be happy if you don’t enjoy your job. Oh and make sure you’re thick-skinned!


Where did you start your career?

I started with LEWIS when I was 19, so you could say I was born into the business!


Give us a brief timeline of your career so far.

Born. Bred in the Borders. Caught the design bug. Honed the design skills. Took over a fantastic business where creativity is at the heart of everything we do. The rest is history!