Robert Solomon describes himself as “the world’s leading authority on how to improve creative work by forging and sustaining trust-based relationships with clients.”
This Napa man runs Solomon Strategic, a firm he founded in 1999 to provide marketing counsel to advertising agencies, client companies and individual marketing professionals.
In addition to working as a brand strategist and new business developer, Solomon works as a speaker and workshop leader who also is certified as an organizational and executive coach, particularly skilled in job search.
1. What was your first job?
My first job was when I was 13 years old, serving as a morning delivery person at the Sansom Street Café in Philadelphia.
2. What job would you like to try/not try?
Try: I’d love to take a shot at playing quarterback for my hometown, Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Not try: I’d be a great failure as a comedy writer.
3. How did you get into this industry?
Strictly by accident: I intended to be a college professor, and was pursuing a doctorate in English and American Literature at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, but for personal reasons that plan was derailed, leading me to first work as a mediocre copywriter, then later as an account executive in an advertising agency.
4. What is the biggest challenge your industry has faced?
Lack of trust among clients for their agency counterparts.
5. Who do you most admire in the business world?
My former client Ken Chenault, the just-retired CEO of American Express, for his thoughtfulness, decency and kindness.
6. What is one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?
I’d love to be invited by TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) to give a talk on creativity at one of their conferences.
7. What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?
I’m a published poet.
8. What was your childhood ambition?
To play center field for the Philadelphia Phillies.
9. If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?
The Big Island of Hawaii, with my wife Roberta, at the resort where we had our honeymoon.
10. Which other Napa County business person would you like to see featured in 10 Questions?
Author and consultant Marilyn Loden, founder of Loden Associates, the person who coined the phrase, “the glass ceiling.”