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Merlin Lecture with Robert Senior- by Masha Voskresenskaia

Yesterday I attended my first Merlin lecture for 2011 where Robert Senior, European CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Fallon Group, addressed a full auditorium of young professionals in the marketing arena working for customer and client side. The afternoon was opened by Sherilyn Shackell the founder of the Marketing Academy in her usual flamboyant style and encouraged the attendees to ask questions post the lecture.

Being a 2011 Marketing Academy Scholar I was very interested in absorbing and learning as much from this lecture as possible, however I was also conscious of the fact that I don’t work in a traditional marketing department and was not sure how much of it would be relevant to me. I was proven wrong within the next five minutes once Robert Senior started to speak. The key take out for me was a quote by Eisenhower “Plans are useless, planning is everything”, the audience was encouraged start planning one’s life/career by splitting it into 3 areas:

a)      100 day plan: define your short term goals and objectives

b)      100 month plan: allow you to see how you are tracking vs. your goals and aspirations  

c)       100 year plan: define your legacy, what would you like written on your tombstone, how you would like people to remember you

Career goals and ambitions will always change and we were encouraged to constantly aim higher but having a plan allows us to have a structure. “There is no end goal, its constantly moving”, said Robert.

The second thing that impressed and was a big learning for me was the ease and fluidity with which Robert was able to give a talk to a room full of people. The lecture lasted for 2 hours and was not supported by PowerPoint slides. I aspire to this skill and will now aim to become less reliant on computer software to support my presentations.

The Merlin Lecture was fascinating; I felt that within the short space of time I got to understand what drives him and makes him tick. Robert shared anecdotes from his career, examples within work and in the outside environment. I would definitely recommend that you attend the next Merlin Lecture as they offer an unprecedented access to the movers and shakers with the business arena.


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