Off the back of being appointed a brand new strategist at Designworks, former NBL star and ex-Wookiee, Axel Dench, gives us the rundown on his illustrious career for our industry profiles.
What’s your backstory?
Former basketballer/retired Wookiee Commander who discovered that branding and advertising takes much less of a toll on the body.
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
What’s your proudest career moment to date?
Launching Lockwood’s internal brand video and seeing staff give standing ovations, more often than not with tears in their eyes.
Who’s your industry hero?
Jeff Goodby from Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, although Malcolm Gladwell for his insights in to the human condition tops my chart!
What makes good leadership?
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Where ever I am, taking in to account the opportunities that have come my way – offered or self-created – is where I’m supposed to be.
What’s been your most challenging career moment?
For basketball it was moving overseas and learning how to play and interact with non-english speaking people. For my 2nd career, it was when I switched from finance to advertising and the mental shift required to operate in such a different environment
What would you change about the industry?
Clients desire to ‘wait and see’ before making a decision
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
There are no mistakes in life, only lessons learned – which is relevant from the sporting arena to the boardroom, and everywhere in between
What’s one thing not many know about you?
I’m deaf in my right ear and legally blind in my left eye
What’s your quirkiest attribute?
Not sure it’s quirky or annoying (my wife would say the latter) but sometimes when I breath in and out, for some reason I like to do it to the beat of a song
If you could be Prime Minister for a week, what would you do?
Set up a series of public forums to hear from all members of society as to what helps or hinders their ‘everyday’. Review these outcomes and then see what is required to effect the change of these 1per cent type things, and then what may be needed to influence those that need more dramatic input.
What’s your favourite kind of cheese?
Tasty, plain and simple. A plate of tasty cheese on top of country cheese biscuits is a complete meal any day of the week.
Tea or coffee?
Never had a drop of either, so hot chocolate for me.