This blog post is part of a weekly blog post on my 12 week design internship program at Nike, check out the past weeks here.
Speaker Series with Kris Aman | Global VP/GM - Football, Baseball, Athletic Training
This weeks speaker series was with Kris Aman, who started at Nike 16 years ago as a Product line manager and worked his way up to become the VP/GM of three categories. Just like other speakers, Kris shared lessons he has learned over the years and talked a lot about being passionate and working up to your set goals and dreams. Kris is definitely a fund and inspirational person to listen to and learn from. Here's points of things he shared:
Growing up, Kris always had the dream of working and being at Nike, he followed that dream and never gave up, which led him to where his is today.Â Kris got his degree in advertising, then moved to a small apparel company before he joined Nike as a Product Line Manager, and over the course of 16 years jumped from one role to another until he made his way up the corporate ladder. From the many projects he has worked on, he shared a great example on how to be successful, as he puts it, if you want to be successful, be global and local, global as a brand and local in the things you do. A great example about that was the Beijing 2008 Olympics, where the whole Chinese nation had their hopes on Liu Xiang for the gold medal. Liu was injured at the start of the race and wasn't able to compete, bringing the hopes of the whole nation down. The next day, Nike turned the tables and launched a new campaign turning that sad occasion into one that the whole nation started celebrating, with a tagline saying "Love Sports, Even When it Hurts!". The next day, that tag line had gone viral and so did the Nike ads, turning this sad event into something everyone was celebrating. What Nike had done was stick to the athlete even when they couldn't race, supporting the athlete as a global brand and being part of how people felt on a local level.
Another great example of being local was when Nike organized the "Human Race", where local communities in China could run with great athletes, and doing the same in other countries by supporting both the sport and the athlete. An event like this laid the ground work that Nike isn't about the initiative only but also how the initiative gives consumers the opportunity to participate on their terms.
Also a few great pieces of advice I thought he shared where:
Keep your eyes on the futures and the prize, your dream and goals!
You must be hungry and intense, compete! Be serious, its better than any experience and it will take you places much faster.
Our jobs are to make what others think are not attractive, attractive.
Convince people with a vision how exciting something is.
Put innovation in everything.
To sum it up, he shares 3 things he has observed over the years to be successful:
This is the single most important thing to start your journey.
Good companies and recruiters are looking for people blown away by passion and commitment and not necessarily your resume and experience.
Are you ready to take over this company and the world as a "Team"?
Compete like crazy.
If you don't care enough theirs someone else who does!
Believe that your job is to create separation. It's not about the talent, but how you become special, either through your work, attitude, or anything else you can bring to the table.
Let everyone know you can exceed or reach their passion.
If you fall the path to your dream and stop trying to achieve what you want by giving up, then your not really walking the walk and serious about the dream. If it's truly you're dream then you will keep trying and trying.
Be a leader not a follower, every time Nike follows they get in trouble.
This is the highest level of aspiration you have to have.
By being a great leader that means you have to be a great team member as well.
Have the team spirit.
As leaders, our job is to build teams.
That's all for this week!