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Thoughts from a Young Lion

By Wassim Olabi, Horizon Draftfcb Jeddah
My Cannes Lions adventure kicked off as a refreshing journey that recharged my mind like never before.
Bob Isherwood’s Young Creative Academy gave me an opportunity and access to seminars and private sessions with some fantastic speakers. This was an opportunity to widen my understanding of the business in an unexpected way; it is for sure one of those revolutionizing experiences that doesn't occur very often. With a different environment and surrounded by enthusiastic people, it has propelled me to a new level and raises the bar so high in a way that fuels my passion and my desire to be up there on the Cannes Lions stage next year.
However it was quite alarming, because it made me look back and think about the way I work. Some of the most useful things I’ve learned so far are:
 How to really listen through giving others the freedom to speak, which will allow me to create a better conversation, be it with the clients or with other colleagues.The free writing method and the need to write just for ourselves, a practice that helps to overcome our fears or to collect initial thoughts or ideas for a certain brief.An observation on the rules of breaking creativity rules: techniques and thought patterns to be used before we tackle any brief.
This festival and all the magic within it is a major shift in thinking, as well as a great way of confronting some of my fears and getting enough motivation to fight really hard for the creative I have opted to become. The challenge is huge with the rising number of entries every year, which makes it even more competitive.
As one of Draftfcb representatives for Cannes this year, it is a privilege to be part of an agency that is reinforcing itself as one of the top agencies in the world, and driven to achieve greater accolades. The experience of taking part in Bob Isherwood's Creative Academy is definitely a turning point in my career.