Passion, collaboration, empathy: Wunderman CCO Sami Thessman on being a great creative

What Does It Take To Be A Great Creative? is a video series that highlights the thinking of global creative leaders on specific actions that can build a successful creative career in the industry. See what other creative leaders had to say in past episodes.

Sami Thessman, Wunderman chief creative officer, has tread a global path to understand what makes a great creative. From his home in Helsinki to time in Hong Kong and now New York, he’s worked with some of the world’s biggest brands and believes that there are three simple keys to becoming a great creative: passion, collaboration and empathy.

First, it’s all about passion. As he says, “this industry is built to fuck up your ideas,” but being passionate about the work is what can keep you going and fighting through the tougher times.

Next, Thessman believes it’s all about collaboration. With the advent of more media, more platforms and more touchpoints, this is not the time to be the lone wolf. And, in fact, it’s not even possible to go it alone, so working with as many people as possible is a must.

Finally, he counts empathy as an important trait. Creatives really need to know their audiences well because, despite the fact that they are getting bigger and bigger, they are becoming more personal every day.

See Ang's full interview above, and don't miss the previous What it Takes to be a Great Creative? with Steve Henry, co-founder of Decoded.

Doug Zanger

Doug Zanger is the Americas editor for The Drum. He leads the Americas editorial team’s content activity in the growing region. Based in Portland, Oregon, he is committed to sharing the most meaningful stories that benefit the global industry and its people. A Minnesota native, Zanger has covered a wide range of brands, issues and personalities, including Aloe Blacc, Seu Jorge, Wendy Clark, Susan Credle, Dan Wieden, Jeff Goodby and more. Fiercely dedicated to diversity, equality and talent, he has interviewed several women in leadership roles through his Exceptional Women of the World podcast.

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