John Davis, Chairman, BrandNewView; Author, Radical Business
John is Chairman of BrandNewView, a leadership firm focused on helping businesses become a force for social and economic good. Previously, he led regions for Duke CE in Asia and North America.
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What comes to your mind when you think of a leader? Someone well-groomed, learned, and someone above your level? What do you think makes a leader?
According to John Davis, normal people are shaped into leaders by their circumstances.
Our guest for today, John Davis, is the Chairman of Brand New View. It is a leading firm that helps businesses in becoming a force of social and economic good.
He has worked with Nike, Transamerica Corporation, Informics, and others in the past. He is an avid writer. He has authored ten books. One of his latest books is, ‘Radical Business: How to Transform Your Organization in the Age of Global Crisis’
About Brand New View
John tells us that there are two histories attached to Brand New View.
It all started 22 years ago when John left his corporate job and founded Brand New View as a brand strategy firm to help organizations to build a brand reputation, marketing strategy, general strategies, etc. John says that one thing led to another and he kept going with the flow and his work changed.
For the past one and a half decades, Brand New View has been working on leadership development in different ways. John majorly helps individual leaders in organizations in making transitions. He also helps organizations to make massive transformations within them.
Are leaders born or trained?
John firmly believes that leaders are not born, they are trained instead, but there is a caveat to that. He says that we all are influenced by our social circumstances. Our peers and other people around us give inputs on how we are going to be shaped like human beings. We often fall into circumstances where such a moment arises where we need to lead. There is no textbook or a set of answers that can help us in those circumstances. This is when we build our leadership talent, supported by the collaborative spirit of our peers.
Classification of Leaders
John tells us that there are different researches done on the types of leadership. Different studies give different types of leadership. However, in John’s opinion, leadership falls into different buckets on the basis of circumstances. He believes that leadership tends to be situational at large. It is not about just assuming that you are expected to provide an answer but understanding the situation and giving some guidance and input.
“Transforming organization by creating positive value through addressing society’s most pressing and urgent needs”
John said that he transforms organizations by creating positive value through addressing society’s most pressing and urgent needs because he believes that organizations are in a position to solve whatever problems humans are facing. Organizations can build solutions and can talk to the government and other organizations about solving substantial problems etc.
Mazi is a Greek word that means being together. The idea behind Mazi Gathering is getting together with executives or a group of leaders of society, not exceeding the count of 20 to have a relaxed discussion on the issues of importance to them guided by the experts. It is not an academic gathering. Mazi Gathering provides an opportunity to get away from your daily job and sit with people to resolve something that is challenging all of them.
People get into an engaging debate for 90 minutes where they talk about the issues going on. John says that people there might not be able to solve every issue but they definitely think about it and debate about it which brings the issue to the mainstream.
What inspires John to write?
John tells us that his main purpose of writing has always been valuing creation. Discussing the areas in which he writes, John tells us that his domain is Branding, Strategy, and Marketing. He has written several books on marketing metrics. When he was younger, he was very enthusiastic about sports.
He has helped several organizations in sports marketing and has written books on sports as well. He has also written books about strategy. In his recent book, ‘Radical Business: How to Transform Your Organization in the Age of Global Crisis’, he has explained what creates strategic success for organizations. He earlier wrote books talking about the education system and what global higher education needs to do in a world that is rapidly changing.
John is Chairman of BrandNewView, a leadership firm focused on helping businesses become a force for social and economic good. Previously, he led regions for Duke CE in Asia and North America. Other roles include Dean and Professor of Marketing at SP Jain School of Global Management; interim Department Head at the Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon; Professor of Marketing and Chair of Marketing Communication at Emerson College; Professor of Marketing Practice and Director of the Centre for Marketing Excellence at Singapore Management University (SMU). He has also been a visiting Professor at the International Olympic Academy.
A former Fortune 500 executive, John led marketing teams for Nike, was Vice President of Marketing and Business Development within the Transamerica group of companies, and Vice of Marketing and Business Development at Informix. He has also started two award-winning companies: Northwest Resorts, a boutique resort firm; and Brand New View, a leadership development firm.