The Imposterous Emma Robbins – the exhilaration of fear and the importance of leaving the room with hope
Today’s Episode features Emma Robbins, ECD of M&C Saatchi Melbourne. Emma has always been afraid, ever since she walked into Clemenger all those years ago. But that’s more than ok, because it’s that fear of being average that has kept her pushing for all the career defining work that she continues to magick up out of…somewhere.
Not every conversation on The Imposterous ends with us looking at each other saying, ‘Well, she’d be good to work for’. But this one did. Emma’s career spans 25 years, from junior writer, to Group CD, through to Executive Creative Director and Board Member at Clemenger BBDO. Now ECD at M&C Saatchi Melbourne Emma has won multiple international awards, judged locally, nationally and internationally and mentored up and coming talent as a lecturer and tutor at Award School
To Emma, being a creative leader means a whole lot of things, the first being the imposterous feeling of ‘who said I was the leader?’. The tyranny of making so many decisions every day, the pressure of the ‘the chair’ can get really quite uncomfortable, like an alien in your stomach that constantly prods you with its doubtful finger. Yet amongst all of that, Emma distils her role down to a singular thing – hope. When sitting in reviews with her teams, she has to give that raw talent guidance and direction of course, but above all to supply the hope that they will get there. To actively spark that flame of confidence is above all what we all have to do for each other.
Finally, Emma says that finding the gold in leadership starts with just finding yourself in a room with people that you like. Because when you are in that crucible of the pitch, the night before the big presentation, you need mates around you, not just colleagues.
Emma gives back to the industry in the work she makes and the Creatives she inspires. There’s a generation of Creatives out there because of the advice Emma has given and the example she has set. Fun, funny, caring and a cracking writer, Emma is one of our favourite imposters for sure.
With a new episode every Monday, The Imposterous is hosted by Michael Knox (ECD, Roller) and Graham Drew (CCO, Grey Malaysia) and as has been created to explore the theory that even the world’s most respected creative professionals suffer pangs of inadequacy that either stifle their potential brilliance or protect them from mediocrity. Tune in to find out how Imposter Syndrome might just be your super power, if you let it.
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Listen to previous episodes with Nils Leonard, Laura Petrucelli, Rob Campbell, Kitty Lun, Sarah Barclay, Fran Luckin, Jab Borgstrom, Merlee Jayme, Jo Sellars, Grant Rutherford, Shannon Crowe, Daniel Lobaton, Josy Paul, Vicki Maguire, Paul Catmur, Toby Talbot, Rachel Lounds, Phoebe Sloane, Graham Fink, Andre Gray, Ben Welsh, Anais Read, Cindy Gallop, Julian Cole, David + Cam Blackley and Claudia Cristovao here.