future leaders

Future Leaders with Paul Condron: Review

By Katie Goodfellow

For the latest installment of the Future Leaders series, we gathered at the Edrington offices in Glasgow to hear from Brand Director, Paul Condron.  

With over 25 years marketing experience, 15 of those within the drinks industry, Paul spoke to us about his career history, lessons he’s learned along the way and what it takes to develop a robust brand vision. 

Kicking off with an insight into his career history, Paul has held key roles with brands including Highland Spring, Tenants and most recently The Macallan before moving to his current role as Brand Director with Highland Park. While all within the drinks industry, these brands each have their own compelling brand story, and unique audience base – while sharing the same thing that Paul was seeking in his career, creativity. But how did he get to where he is today?

“Don’t wait for it to happen – drive it” When it comes to career progression, Paul had the following advice:

  • Every step you take in your career should take you towards your vision.
  • Have the right conversations and use the power of influence.
  • Take opportunities, learn as much as you can and apply those learnings

LEADERSHIP IN ACTION

Paul spoke not only about his own career progression, but what he has learnt about becoming and being a great leader, sharing these top tips:

  • Learn from success and failure – don’t be afraid to try something new but always take the learnings forward.
  • Choose the right people, for the right reasons – don’t be rushed in to filling a position, find employees that will suit the role and the team and pull on the variety of skills and experience that you can.
  • Support and celebrate your team – as a leader you should lead by example and trust your team to deliver, while providing support and celebrating their wins. Don’t take credit for the hard work of your teams, they will thank you for this!

BUILDING A BRAND

Finally, Paul shared the story of The Macallan brand and what we can learn from its successes for our own businesses:

  • Learn from others – look at other brands in the same industry or with the kind of success you’re looking to emulate. Take learnings from aspirational brands and businesses into your development. And use these to demonstrate tangible examples to other departments within the business.
  • Have a clear vision – for The Macallan this was to become “the ultimate sustainable Scottish luxury house” and led all brand decisions through the redevelopment. Setting a clear goal will not only help your teams deliver against, but also set benchmarks and objectives for the business.
  • Build the right brand team - as with any good leader, a good brand is built with the right team behind it. Pull resources from different areas and where you can, and work with agencies to fill any gaps. Paint the vision for your teams and be clear on where they each fit within this, but make sure you bring them along with change and keep them focused.

To finish the session, we were given 3 questions to take home and consider helping shape our brands, businesses, and careers.

  1. From our vantage point on the outside, can we identify some brands we think benefit from a strong Vision that guides their behaviour?
  2. Does this give them an advantage over their competitors?
  3. Is there anything we can learn from this as Future Leaders in terms of having our own Vision for our careers?

Event review by Katie Goodfellow, Brand and PR Manager at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

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