Ron Tite: Founder & CEO, Church+State & Author

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My Admission Statement: I believe that businesses and business leaders need to be driven by purpose and need to re-enforce that purpose with intent through their actions and behaviors.

Bio: Ron Tite has been an award-winning advertising writer and Creative Director for some of the world’s most respected brands, including Air France, Evian, Fidelity, Hershey, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Intel, Microsoft, Volvo and many others. He is Founder of Church+State, a content marketing agency and publisher of This is That Travel Guide to Canada – a best-selling, award-winning satirical book. He was Executive Producer & Host of the award-winning comedy show Monkey Toast, has written for a number of television series, penned a children’s book, and wrote, performed, and produced the play The Canadian Baby Bonus. In demand as a speaker on leadership, disruption, innovation, branding and creativity, Ron speaks to leading organizations all over the world.

Ron’s first book, Everyone’s An Artist (Or At Least They Should Be), was published by HarperCollins in 2016. His latest book, Think Do Say. How to Seize Attention and Build Trust in a Busy, Busy World will hit store shelves October 8, 2019.

How did you get into the industry?

I was working in a web design firm that was partnering with an agency. The Chair of the agency asked if I ever considered working in advertising as a tech-savvy account person. “No”, I replied. “What does that entail?”
“Well, this is essentially what an account person is all about: It’s making a list and checking things off. You’re smart enough to figure out what goes on the list. And I think you’re ambitious enough to work until you check things off.”

Any emerging industry trends?

Business leaders have forgotten how to play the long game with their careers and their businesses. Many are resorting to the short game: Small tactics that drive peaks of interest that aren’t sustainable. IMHO, it’s bullshit. And it’s wrecking people’s lives and businesses.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

Get back to the basics, baby. Set yourself up for a career of success. Don’t be the equivalent of the business professional who lands on a “Where are they now?” episode. As the epic band Trooper (Google it) once said, “We’re here for a good time, not a long time.” But it’s longer than we think. Act like it.

Inspiration for the business idea, and your vision for the Business?

It’s no longer “the separation of church and state”, it’s the unification of those two forces. Someone needs to help brands, media properties, and people succeed in that new reality. Right?

What's next for the Business in the near future?

Muffins. There are always muffins.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

Smart people. Real conversations. Organic curiosity. No bullshit. And a fridge full of Diet Coke.

Your most difficult moment at the Business?

As a former Creative Director, I knew the world of business but I had never run one. The first year I started the agency, I had a horrible moment where I learned what cash flow was. If our first client hadn’t couriered us a cheque, we wouldn’t have made payroll. Gulp.

How do you motivate others?

By getting out of their way.

Career advice to those in your industry?

Try more things. Experiment more. Don’t just be curious but actively chase the thing you’re curious about.

What do I do best?

My ability to articulate my ideas in compelling ways. With 20 years on stage as a stand-up comedian, I can read a room, work a room, and get people to pay attention. The ability to make people laugh doesn’t hurt, either.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Caffeine.

What are my aspirations?

There should only be one goal: Complete and total happiness. There are a million different ways that I can achieve that, and I haven’t even scratched the surface on exploring what some of those are. Some are in business. Some are not. Luckily, my curiosity is stronger than my apathy.

My Biggest Success?

I threw an opening ceremony pitch at a blue jays game when I was 10 years old. It doesn’t get better than that.

My Motto?

Only rocket science is rocket science.

My Favorite People/Role Models?

I’ve always loved Steve Martin’s career. Standup, acting, screenplays, novels, plays, art. He’s done it all. I have role models for different aspects of my life: Bill Sharpe, Tom Blackmore, Marc Giacomelli, Robin Whalen, Mitch Joel, Scott Stratten, Martin Perelmuter, Jason Thompson, Michele Romanow, JF Dery, Mary Secord, and my wife. She’s an incredible human being who does wonderful work for our community. She’s also an incredible mother.

My Daily Thoughts:

Goal of the Day: Inbox zero.

Thought of the Day: I feel like I’m forgetting something….

Action of the Day: Reply. Delete. Delete. Reply.

Deed of the Day: Not outing someone for their blatant pitch slap delivered through email. And for the record, I’m never available the next day for a call at 11am.

Tip of the Day: It used to be “Management by walking around”. Now it’s “Management by reply-all.” Don’t write novels. You have more important work to do.

What do you love most about Your City?

The multicultural aspect of Toronto. It’s incredible.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Toasted bagel and yogurt at home.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Snoring.

10:00 AM – Informing my assistant, “We’re going to have to reschedule my 10:30…”

12:00 PM - Rigatoni Bolognese at Caffino

7:00 PM - Reading a story to my son.

11:00 PM – Netflix!

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

I have more Diet Cokes than you’d think possible.

Most used App

MLB At Bat.

What should everyone try at least once?

Absolute failure.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In my mind.

What Else to Know?

My new book: Think Do Say. How to Seize Attention and Build Trust in a Busy, Busy World.

My new podcast: The Coup: Disruption and the Fall of the Establishment on Frequency Podcast Network

My new shirt!: Blue Gingham. Just like the other 40.

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