Maddy SIm

Fellow interview with Maddy Sim

1. What’s your golden rule - at work and in life?

It’s a bit of a depressing one to be honest, but I’ve found a very old adage play out across my career… ‘pride comes before a fall’. Those times that you think you’ve got something nailed? That’s when it’s worth digging a bit deeper, checking for blind spots. I’m at my greatest risk of screwing something up when I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself.

If that’s too much a downer, then the good news is that it tends to work the other way too. Usually when I’m down on myself I can pull something off, and change my own mind.

Put differently, my advice would be to fight off complacency!

2. Who has been your biggest influence?

I am lucky enough to have had some excellent, and very different, bosses through my career. Three stand-out.

One taught me that team leadership is all about setting expectations.

One taught me that you’re not done when you think you are.

One taught me to think about what it is that your audience wants to hear first.

3. What is your most hated business expression?

When people ask what your bandwidth is. I am not a fibre optic cable!!! I remember the first time someone asked me it, back in 2012. Never did I think it’d catch on.

We have a perfectly good word people: capacity.

4. What keeps you up at night as a marketing leader?

Very specific challenges that I’m trying to puzzle out. I often find I coast along in that space between sleep and consciousness, thinking strange thoughts about the problem, weaving it into dreams. And then sometimes, when I wake up I’ve got the beginnings of a solution. 

5. Why is being part of the Marketing Society important for your career?

Being part of a professional community is so good for your spirits, never mind your career. You can get so caught up in work, problems, in your own bubble, and getting out and talking to people in similar lines of work gives you wider perspective.

I’ve made good friends through the Marketing Society, and I’ve had a chance to catch up with old friends who I used to work with. It expands your network, gets you away from the desk for a bit, and gives you access to some great talks on important issues or skills.

6. Tell us something that isn't on your CV

I was (I think) Scotland’s best paper girl between the ages of 12 and 17 (aka, the time I started getting semi-regular hangovers).


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