Lenny Stern is a founding partner of creative marketing communication agency SS+K, the advertising agency that created the youth campaigns for the Barack Obama presidential campaigns of 2008 and 2012. Lenny grew up in Queens, NY and started his career in the competitive, zero-sum world of politics. His background instilled in him a unique approach he still uses today: Define yourself. Define who you’re for. Define the competition. Define the stakes. Engage, don’t simply communicate! As one of the co-founders of SS+K, his passion is developing creative solutions to guide organizations through moments of change and challenge–whether it’s re-establishing iconic brands, launching new ones, helping insurgents disrupt an existing category or helping organizations stand for important issues. Lenny has guided relaunches of brands like Delta, Wells Fargo, Pfizer, Time Warner Cable, Travelers, Comcast and GM, while his work creating new brands for TiVO, Chevy Volt, Fresh Direct, Honest Tea, Kraft MiO and Jet.com has helped numerous Davids go up against category Goliaths in tough competitive markets. Lenny, a self-proclaimed recovering lawyer, has been a visiting professor at Yale School of Management and at Duke University, and sits as a National Board member of Communities in Schools (CIS), the nation’s largest and most effective dropout prevention organization.  


  • How pursuing what you’re passionate about — something that can make a positive impact — will lead you to have an interesting life
  • Why you need to have strong communications skills — written and verbal
  • Why non-traditional paths can teach you important skills
  • Why your set of skills should be like a swiss army knife
  • Why if you’re not learning you should change your job and your career
  • Why being a really good listener is so important
  • Why Lenny looks for young people who are curious, empathetic, self-aware, fearless and ready to do jobs big and small to get things done
  • Why you should be curious about other fields besides your major
  • How the world of marketing combines policy, branding, social media, technology and so much more
  • Why you should watch the documentary War Room and read the book:  Just Kids to learn more about this line of work
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