What Drives You

The 3 essential traits that MediaLink’s CEO looks out for when hiring

What drives MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan?
What drives MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan?

Like most industries, the media and advertising business is constantly transforming to entice new customers.

In 2018, creating and running a successful company requires multiple skills and perseverance. Yet for major consultancy executive Michael Kassan, his one piece of advice for budding entrepreneurs is fundamental: the people involved.

“Focus on the opportunity to work with the companies, work with the clients, work with whatever your customer base is and deliver value to them,” Kassan, CEO and chairman of MediaLink, told CNBC’s Karen Tso on an episode of “What Drives You.”

For Kassan, that concept of building a strong relationship with your colleagues, clients and customers is what “matters at the end of the day” — and it’s not just a one-way relationship.

Chairman & CEO MediaLink Michael Kassan
John Lamparski | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

He founded MediaLink in 2003; the strategic advisory group partners with major companies around the world, to offer them pragmatic insight and strategies, which are designed to help with business decisions and opportunities.

The company describes itself as one that “creates competitive advantage and growth strategies” for companies, from start-ups to global Fortune 100 brands so having the right team is crucial.

Speaking at the Cannes Lions communications and advertising festival in south France earlier this month, Kassan told CNBC that he had his own set of principles when it came to the people he wanted to surround himself with.

“These are the three boxes that I have to tick about people that I work with or people that work with me. First one is integrity of course. The second is intellect and the third is ‘Are they fun on a bus?’”

Shannon Fagan | DigitalVision | Getty Images

The third aspect may initially raise some eyebrows, but what Kassan means by this is: are these people you want to spend time with in your life — people who will not only bring you joy, but that you can have faith in to handle certain situations?

“I mean metaphorically: we're on a bus together,” he said. “Are they people you want to hang out with? Are they people that you can trust? Are they people that can add value through their intellect? And are they going to be good people to hang out with?"

“Because I think that matters at the end of the day.”

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