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The Power of One


Alexei Orlov reflects on the importance of the individual in a note to executives and staff during Omnicom’s observance of International Women’s Day in 2015.

I have been blessed in life to have been supported by a number of exceptional people — many of them women — who in turn took it upon themselves to guide and mentor me. I certainly needed that. I still do.

Shelley Lazarus, of Ogilvy & Mather fame, is a truly great global brand marketer who once told me that people needed to consider more about who they are and what they can do than anything else.

In this vein, one of the things I have come to truly believe is this:
Actions prove who someone is — words just prove who they want to be.
Nothing can be truer as it relates to the life of business as, indeed, the business of life.

From where I stand, I am a great believer in principles — and, conversely, I try to stay away from “rules.”

My belief is that worthy principles are there to guide, support and encourage people to gather around the campfire of expectation — whilst rules invariably are far too starched and by their very nature, more often than not, offer people the opportunity to break them.

A fundamental principle instilled in me was THE POWER OF ONE.
It is very simple and clear, and has helped me a great deal through my own life.

If every day you can do just one good thing — speak to a colleague who needs some support, focus absolutely on a piece of copy that may capture the heart like no other, put together one clear thought that gives light to a dark room, cut a rose and hand it to somebody who just at that very moment needs to know they are loved, share a smile that gives someone bravery and heart … an important message passed quickly and accurately — whatever it is, just do that One Thing.

And if you do that One Thing every day, then by the end of the year you would’ve done more than 350 good “one things.”

It takes more than a single drop of rain to quench the fields.
It takes more than one clap to offer an applause.
It takes more than one small gesture to show someone you care a lifetime.
It takes more than just one sentence to create a phenomenal speech.

But it all starts with one step. One moment. One thing done as well as can be.

And that is what I ask of you: to think of the Power of One as your absolute and eternal friend. And if every day every one of us did one good thing in our business, then by the end of the year more than half a million good moments will have come together, gathered and powerfully weaved into one tapestry of greatness. Not just business success. But people success. Seize the day. Every day.

— Alexei

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