Creative marketing agency boss, Clive Goldstein talks to BQ about the importance of good service and good manners
Describe your role in no more than 100 words.
I’m MD of The Union in Leeds – we’re a very experienced team of creative marketing, advertising and brand specialists. I love working directly with our clients and with everyone in the agency so we give industry-leading work and service to our clients. As well as this, I specialise in brand strategy work and lead all client brand development projects. I consider my role overall to be an agent of change seeking to make a difference to our clients’ business through our work.
What is it the company does?
The Union is an integrated creative agency – we offer the full range of creative communications services including strategic brand consultancy, and all forms of advertising and design, in all media channels. We help our clients get their message to the right people in the right way, and help them sell and grow. We aim to give the very best service - some of our clients have been with us for many years, which I hope proves we’re good!
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
Since university I’ve always worked in and helped run leading UK creative advertising and brand marketing agencies, first in London, then Edinburgh, and for the past 20 years in Leeds. I’ve worked in a wide range of markets and industries, and have seen many changes over the years and still love what I do.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
A leader understands that it’s the team that achieves, not individuals alone – so a leader applies their knowledge and experience to guide the work the team does, and has the confidence to seek and take on board everyone’s views, giving a direction everyone can buy into and follow – a leader helps the team throughout, creating new leaders along the way. Able to be hands-on, especially in a very people-centred business like ours, where it’s often likened to an orchestra, you need to know when to be the conductor, and when you need to pick up an instrument.
What has been the biggest challenge in your current position?
Switching off, sometimes! But I love the challenge and the variety, of work, clients and issues.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I love cycling, where all you think about is the road and the immediate surroundings. And walking our 2-year-old Scottish Terrier, Archie. But not at the same time.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A film director.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
Bad manners – it’s never going to stop being important to treat others the right way, including clients, colleagues, staff, suppliers, and whether senior or junior and in every medium used to communicate.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
I’ve been lucky to have had a long and successful career with a lot of big-name clients and talented colleagues. I still love what I do, and see myself working with clients and their brands for many years, hopefully!
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Be open to learning from others, always be honest, and be prepared to accept when you could have done better, because with this approach it’s more likely you will keep doing better and be more likely to achieve your goals.
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