Meet Smaran ‘Smaz’ Jworchan, senior account director at Clemenger BBDO Sydney and graduate of our IPA Business & Agency Leadership 2016 course. He talks about changing his approach to leadership and the allure of the industry.

TCC: How long have you been in the industry and in your current role?

SJ: I’ve been in the industry for 10 years and in my current role at Clems for the last two. It’s actually my second stint here so it feels a bit longer than that.

TCC: What is the best thing about your job and being in the industry?

SJ: The interesting folks you meet and the creative challenges you face. No two days are the same so you never know what’s in store. A well-stocked bar fridge and ping pong tables always help.

TCC: What made you want to get into the industry?

SJ: I was allured by the industry before I even knew it. As a young kid, I looked up to Michael Jordan and lapped up his Nike, Gatorade and Big Mac ads. I always thought it would be cool to work with big brands and celebrities but my dream was always to make the NBA. When that didn’t happen, I took the job offer at JWT.

TCC: What was your degree in?

SJ: Bachelor of Business – Marketing

TCC: What are your wider career goals?

SJ: Continue to do good work and never stop learning. I’d also like to win a Cannes Lion – Gold or above.

TCC: Who do you look up to in the industry?

SJ: Al Crawford. One of the smartest and nicest guys you’ll ever meet.

TCC: What are your main sources of career inspiration?

SJ: All of the above. Inspiration can come from anywhere and I try and keep my eyes and ears open. TED talks and industry blogs are tried and tested but I also take out just as much by strolling through an art gallery or listening to Kendrick Lamar’s latest album. In short: cultural research.

TCC: What motivates you on both a daily basis and to keep striving towards your goals?

SJ: Knowing that you can always do better. Seeing all of the great work that’s out there and wishing I had worked on it. Particularly when your mate has worked on them. Shout out to Stephen de Wolf and Nick Alcock.

TCC: What made you want to do the IPA Business and Agency Leadership course?

SJ: I wanted to get an insight into how you transition from an account manager to senior management and leadership roles. I also wanted to gather tips on how to develop my own leadership style.

TCC: How would you describe it in a nutshell?

SJ: Intense couple of days. Interactive and open forum where we had guest speakers from a wide range of marketing fields. You leave feeling motivated, armed with a list of inspirational quotes and a dozen new friends and mentors.

TCC: What was the best thing about it?

SJ: Listening to industry leaders share their stories and how their leadership role changed as they moved up the ranks. It was also a great opportunity to meet your peers from other agencies who are experiencing similar challenges.

TCC: What was the number one thing you were able to apply in your day to day work?

SJ: Changing the way I start my day. I’ve been building in 15 minutes of reflective time in the morning where I try and avoid emails and other tasks and start the day with more focused work. It’s amazing how a small change in the morning can help shape the rest of your day. I’ve also been more mindful of my team’s energy levels and hopefully they would agree when I say that I encourage a better work/life balance.

TCC: What is your favourite project/campaign you’ve worked on to date?

SJ: I’m proud of the work we did for Macmillan Cancer Support in the UK – “No one should face cancer alone”. Thankfully, cancer hasn’t affected any of my nearest and dearest but to see the effect it has on families in the UK and around the world has left a profound impact on me.

TCC: What’s your passion outside of work?

SJ: Travel, food and football. If I could do all three at once that would make me a happy man.

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