Lawrence Dore is a ‘crisis king’ and knows a thing or two about building and selling agencies. He started his career in the City before moving into communications with the likes of Citigate, Brunswick, M&S and Mandate. We asked Lawrence to share his thoughts on his career challenges, lessons learned and of course his hidden talent.
1. Can you give me a brief overview of your background and experience?
I left university for the city where I worked as an investment analyst researching companies for our fund to invest in. Whilst I didn’t fully appreciate it at the time the access to FTSE CEOs at such an early stage in my career was very formative. What struck me most, and prompted my move into communications, was how different companies talked to their shareholders, presented strategy and answered questions. My career since then went through IR, Citigate, Brunswick, an interim role at M&S and the founding and sale of my previous firm. Today I’m a co-founder of DRD. We’ve been running seven years.
2. What would you say are your three key attributes that have contributed to your career success?
I don’t think you can avoid hard work and an ability to go the extra mile when needed. Listening is also much under-rated. Finally a sense of humour and perspective help get you through many challenges and dark moments.
3. What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career so far?
Setting up an agency, twice.
4. Many people aspire to having their own agency although it is hard work – what is the one thing that makes it worth it?
I derive enormous satisfaction at having created an environment where not only are we commercially and professionally successful, but we strive continually to do it the right way. I’m sure we make mistakes at DRD, but we also set out seeking to do the best we can by our people and create an environment where people feel challenged, fulfilled and respected.
5. What is your most memorable work moment?
There are so many. But thank yous from clients and our team probably top the list.
6. What is your most important lesson you have learned from managing people?
Be transparent and honest. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, but in the long run its always right and I think, and hope, you gain respect for behaving this way.
7. What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve been given along the way, and by whom?
Play to your strengths and recognise what others do better. From my father.
8. What or who inspires you, and why?
Professionally my co-founder Claire. We’ve worked together now for ten years and her capacity for positive thinking and problem solving is a huge part of our success.
9. If you hadn’t ended up working in comms, what was your plan B?
It’s really changed over time. As a child I wanted to be a 400m runner. At the time of leaving university it was the city or marketing – understanding behaviours and what drives people continues to interest me.
10. Do you have any hidden talents?
I cook obsessively. A perfect day off is visiting farm shops, seeing what looks fresh and cooking all day. On a good day I’ll crank out enough food to feed our village for a week.
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