When it comes to the mantra, “teamwork makes the dream work”, Kevin Galbraith is an avid believer. Kevin is a Senior Account Manager at North Strategic, Canada’s fastest growing digital, social media, public relations and influencer agency with a proven track record for working with brands to improve the business impact of their marketing and communication strategies.
To all his success, Kevin credits his team and emphasizes the importance of calculated risk-taking as well as the significance of failure as a vital learning experience in moving forward in one’s career.
The best piece of advise I have ever received is…
Always feel comfortable taking a risk because there is a team around you to support you and help you succeed.
I couldn’t do what I do without…
The support of my team. I am a big believer that any one individual’s success is a result of the people around them. I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by people that are like minded, creative, and have a very entrepreneurial spirit. Whether it’s working with my client teams or my account teams at North, they are key to my success.
How did you get started?
I was bartending out in Vancouver, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I had a friend who did the Humber post-grad PR program and got a job out of it and, at the time, I was looking for a job in an industry that sounded fun. So, I went through with that and was lucky enough to land at a company that I have been able to grow with ever since.
What type of Notable are you? Are you a creator, an entrepreneur, or a professional?
I would say entrepreneur. In anything I do, I try and think about how to grow and evolve from it whether it’s for myself, my clients, or the team around me.
Why do you love your job? What sort of cool things do you get to do?
I am challenged every single day. Any time that I think that there is a new opportunity that I want to pursue, I have been given the chance to be able to do that. I get to work on large international brands by helping them with their Canadian communications and digital strategy. I love working with big brands: there is an inherent pressure that comes with it because they already have a big voice in the market. You are continually looking for new strategies and new creative ways to tell their story whether it’s a brand message, product message or consumer message in a way that is going to disrupt what people might expect while still adhering to what the brand is at their essence and taking calculated risks that are going to make you stand out and be noticed.
What do you want to be known for?
I want to be known for being a great team player who helps my team succeed. I like being seen as someone who is collaborative in everything they do and pushes those around me to achieve what is notable in their life.
What does ambition mean to you?
Pushing forward and never being satisfied with where you currently are. If you feel as if there is something you should be doing, you should always be taking the necessary steps to put yourself in the position where you at least experience it. Experience it with the ability to fail and learn from it and make some calculated risks because you can learn a lot more from those failures than if everything goes perfectly according to plan.
Looking back, are there moments that clearly stand out in your life as defining moments that have led you to this point?
100%. Growing up, I was a huge jock. I played sports year round. When I was eighteen, I broke my leg and, at that time, I was beginning to explore the world of music. The combination of not being able to play sports at the level that I was accustomed to while also falling in love with music expanded my universe concerning what interested me. The lessons I learned by picking up guitar and drums and forming a band has carried with me throughout my entire career and anything I am doing. I would say that even though it was the most painful day of my life, it was the probably the best thing that could have happened to me.
What would you consider your biggest accomplishment to date?
This past year I implemented two global pilot programs locally here in Canada. They have since been picked up by subsidiary markets internationally. It’s amazing to see the strategy that I helped build be implemented in markets worldwide.
What’s the worst mistake you’ve ever made?
The biggest mistake I ever made was not listening to the advice of the senior team when I first started, and being a perfectionist by holding things very close to my heart. I didn’t realize that I was preventing myself from mistakes that I could have learned from and as a result, accelerated my learning path.
What are some pivotal mentorship moments for you?
One particular mentor always pushed me to think outside the box and take risks. She was instrumental in giving me the confidence to put myself out there with the understanding that there is a team of people behind me. The entrepreneurial belief that you are going to succeed because you have a team around you has been pivotal for me and my career.
What parts of your personality, skills, or approach have helped your career?
I think that I am quite strong in pulling inspiration from different walks of life. Whether it’s travelling with my girlfriend, a family function, music venue, or concert that I go to, understanding that there is inspiration in the world around you that you can be applying to your everyday life. You don’t have to exist within the confines of what your job responsibility entails.
What’s the next challenge or project you’re tackling?
Right now, in my career, I am very interested in mentorship and coaching those around me. One of the best things about my job is working with junior level employees who are experiencing some of those same career-defining moments that I experienced for the first time.
Where can we learn more about you and connect with you?