Exceptional Women of the World: Cindy Gustafson


Manage episode 192120047 series 1130389
By Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio streamed directly from their servers.
The path to strategy for Cindy Gustafson, chief strategy officer of Mindshare, started in, on the surface, a most unlikely place: the New York Thruway. As a toll attendant, she got short glimpses into the lives of literally million of people — tiny micro-moments that built a relentless curiosity, something that she believes is an important foundation for anyone in advertising and marketing. In looking back, and if she could give herself a piece of advice, knowing what she knows now, Gustafson, who led the launch of Mindshare’s creative media division — an invention studio — believes that being reliable is one of the most critical traits. Being on time, but also following through is what matters. Bold in her opinions, Gustafson is a proponent of not being comfortable with convention, feeling as though that can be a roadblock to success and a crutch for moving business forward. That improvement also applies to the brief as well — and being better than what’s put in front of people is a sure-fire way to transforming a client’s business. But learning the rote and mundane parts of the job still matter, Gustafson believes, and should never be cast away for the sake of chasing the ‘shiny thing.’ Original, energetic and armed with years of insight and experience, Gustafson is “radically honest both personally and professionally” and believes that being that way (and also a characteristic that people can emulate, even if it’s not 100% natural) creates a great deal of clarity and takes ambiguity out of the equation. In the end, though, to Gustafson, it’s all about taking every part of her work, talent and point of view, to continue to break convention because originality is an important currency in marketing and can make all the difference to brands and those who work with them.

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