Our in-house profile this month is Peter Leeds the Director of Global Creative and Brand Activation at Pitney Bowes, a technology company that creates meaningful impact for clients across the connected and borderless world of commerce.
He’s also led in-house creative teams at Marsh as well as at ThomsonReuters. On the agency side, Peter founded Gabardine, an integrated creative marketing firm, and directed the interactive creative work for both IBM Global Services and Delta Air Lines at Modem Media. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he is nevertheless incapable of operating a washing machine.
Here, Peter answers our questions and shares his own insights about being an in-house creative leader. You can also hear him speak at In-House Perspectives 2 this September where his topic will be 5 ways to demotivate, demoralize and ultimately destroy an in-house creative team.
Your full name?
Where do you work?
What does your company do?
Enables billions of digital and physical transactions across the connected and borderless world of commerce.
What types of services does your team specialize in?
Copywriting, design (print, digital, display), video pre-pro, production & editing and project management.
How many people make up your team?
Your title/role within the company?
Director, Global Creative and Brand Activation
What was your very first job in this field?
Jr. account guy
Share a best-practice leadership experience
Let people fail (under the right circumstances).
What are you working on now that you’re excited about?
We’re coming out with a product set that will revolutionize the way small- and mid-size businesses ship and mail.
If you could share one piece of advice for an up-and-coming creative leader what would it be?
Learn to present your work so that people can understand its value in ways that are relevant to them.
What inspires you?
The alchemical combination of concept, copy and design.
What is the first thing you do each day to organize yourself?
Check the calendar to see when I can squeeze in work between meetings.
Have you noticed any changes or trends for in-house creatives in the past year?
It’s sexy. Brands have in-house labs, innovation teams and other groups that have creative at their core and are attracting great talent.
What has been your greatest challenge as a creative leader?
Learning to speak the needlessly complex, often convoluted language of business.
Describe the career path you have taken and where you see yourself next
Agency copywriter > ACD > CD > client-side global head of creative > Chief Creative Officer (?)