Fredrik Carlström
CEO, Great Works America

Successful Business Leadership

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Find the best person for the job, says Fredrik Carlstrom, and stay out of the way.

Fredrik Carlström

Fredrik Carlström is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Creative Director of Great Works America, a full-service digital marketing and communications agency that represents a diverse range of clients including Absolut Spirits Company, H&M and Nokia. In his dual roles, Carlström, a veteran marketing executive and acclaimed film producer, utilizes his deep and broad experience in both marketing and entertainment to spearhead Great Works America"s mission to create innovative and cutting-edge campaigns that engage consumers and encourage them to interact with leading brands.

Carlström joined Great Works America in February 2007 when the company opened in New York and signed an exclusive partnership with Carlström"s Third Factory, a film production company — the first deal of its kind between an advertising agency and a film production company. This partnership marked the transformation of Great Works America into a marketing agency that bridges the worlds of advertising, art, media and entertainment.


Fredrik Carlstrom: If I only knew. I mean, I think both when I produce, and when I do advertising-- when I wear my creative director hat-- my philosophy’s always been, “Find the best person for that particular job, and sort of stay out of the way.” So that’s kind of how I try to do it. I think I’m good at finding talent, and making people go in some sort of the same direction, a little bit. So yeah, find good people. Stay out of the way.

Question: How Do You Motivate People?

Fredrik Carlstrom: I think people are motivated by very different things. Some people are motivated by money, some people are motivated by status. Some people are motivated by fun. I think in our industry, thankfully, there’s a lot of people who’re-- who want to create stuff. I mean, an advertising agency is one of the most fun places in the world, I have to say. It really is a lot of fun, ’cause you’re sort of really doing a lot of stuff. I mean, we’re producing so much stuff. You know, we have probably 40 projects going at the moment. And so I think you motivate people by not being too sort of stuck in process; by trying to make people do the best they can, and to do better than they thought they could. I think that’s probably the way I try to do it, to push people to do better.


Recorded on: 6/12/08