Leo Q+A: Chris Hess
Arc Worldwide’s EVP, Group Account Director talks inspiration, execution and what’s keeping him up at night.
Meet Chris Hess: EVP, Group Account Director at Arc Worldwide and resident cat-herder—his words, not ours. In his role, Chris oversees the agency’s iconic Campbell Soup Company business and ensures creative effectiveness and success. From career insights to year-end goals filled with holiday cheer, get to know Chris and his approach in the Q&A below.
In one sentence, describe what you do.
As business lead over Campbell’s I wear many hats: strategic partner, psychologist, politician, salesperson and cat-herder.
What excites you about your work every day?
Solving problems with some of the industry’s best thinkers and creative minds, who also happen to be damn good people just to be around.
What keeps you up at night?
Things on my to-do list that didn’t get done.
Conflict. Can’t we all just get along?
My dog. She insists on sleeping on top of me.
How do you know when you/the team have hit the “right” idea?
The effort suddenly feels effortless. Everyone leans into the conversation, voices get louder, eyes get bigger and everyone is nodding and building on the idea. Body language is very telling.
What are you working on right now that excites you most?
Breathing life into an iconic, 150-year-old brand.
What takes a campaign from good to great?
Execution. So many great ideas are poorly executed. Execution is the difference between a great idea flying or fizzling.
What has a high-profile project taught you that you’ve since applied to other work?
Trust your gut. Balance data with intuition. Data should inform or validate decisions, not be THE decision.
**When and where do you do your best thinking? **
Anytime my mind is at rest—meditation (clearly defeating the purpose), working out, the shower, long drives, or in the middle of the night.
Do you have any personal routines that help you foster creativity?
Traveling, listening to music, photography and staying connected with creative people.
What’s on your to-do list for the rest of 2018 (or for 2019)?
Personally? Eat, drink, be merry.
Professionally? Make sure we all (team, clients, leadership) can go into the holidays feeling good about where the work is headed and the game plan when we return in the new year. That and eat, drink and be merry.
Who or what inspires you and why?
People with grit. Those who have failed, or overcome massive obstacles to ultimately make a difference in the world. Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Jay-Z, the list goes on…