Thursday, September 01, 2016

Time to Say Goodbye Kevin Roberts: SpRing: Death is Scented with Birth

Life and leadership lessons from Kevin John Roberts:

Almost twenty years 20 years ago, I was invited to join Saatchi & Saatchi as Worldwide Chief Executive, with a view to resurrecting this famous company and saving it from a premature end. With Bob Seelert, Bill Cochrane, Bob Isherwood and Milano Reyna, we created a Purpose and Plan which our 7,000 people rallied around and executed.

Two short years later we met Maurice Levy and the Publicis Groupe and we merged the two companies, keeping the brands separate. Viva La Difference. Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis thrived and great work, great ideas, great campaigns and great Lovemarks were created.

Last year I announced that May 1 2017 would be the day I would retire from the Groupe (20 years in this industry as a Network CEO is somewhat unusual) – and Saatchi & Saatchi was now in Robert Senior’s capable hands.

This plan was jolted by a controversial piece of communication by me a few weeks ago and I decided to bring my retirement forward by eight months, to today.

I leave proud of the progress Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis Groupe made over this period and grateful for the many friends I’ve made along the way, colleagues, partners and clients. Amazing Kevin Roberts ( Blogger's Spilling Czech took Kevin and s at the end of Roberts )

Productimage-picture-songs-of-kabir-121_jpg_110x479_q85The PEN American Center has posted audio of Paul Auster reading two poems by Kabir, translated by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra's. The poems were originally published in PEN America 11: Make Believe. We've recently collected these poems (in slightly different versions), and many others, in Songs of Kabir.

Speaking of translation and the Pen American Center—don't forget that their annual world literature festival, PEN World Voices, kicks off today.
Paul Auster reads Kabir And what was yesterday a little mucus,
tomorrow will be a mummy or ashes.
—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, IV. 48

Birth is scented with death.
—Bhartrihari (c. 5th century), v. 197,
trans. Barbara Stoler Miller
You had one life,
And you blew it.
From sticky spunk
To human shape,
You spent ten months
In your mother’s womb,
Blocked off from the world
Into which you fell
The minute you were born.
A child once,
You’re an old man now.
What has happened has happened.
Crying won’t help
When death already
Has you by the balls.
It’s counting your breaths,
This world, says Kabir,
Is a gambling den.
You can’t be too careful.
KG 60

It’s a mess,
But you’re there
To sort it out.
Cock of the walk,
In great shape,
Keeping the best
That’s me.
Listen, says Kabir,
I have a prayer to make.
I’m handcuffed to death.
Throw me the key.
KG 44