Mike Porter

Global Accounts Director
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Global Accounts Director
"When you have a strong team, you know you can move mountains."

From playing a key role in the development of a sporting super-brand to now offering guidance as a global director at Macro Group, Mike Porter’s career has had three constant focuses. Making a difference for his clients, developing high-performing teams and above all, inspiring others to be their personal best and go from good to great.

Mike’s Q&A

How did you get into what you do?

I worked with Nike for 18 years and did almost everything on offer - from small beginnings working in a warehouse with 20 people, to taking a leading role in an operation which grew to over 500 colleagues. I was an easy person for Nike to move into different roles, troubleshoot and drive improvement – so they’d often parachute me in to help!

In the end I was assigned to a facilities role. I took some training and found myself really interested and invested in it – everything is different day after day, there’s always something new to deal with, to change up. And with challenge comes the opportunity to make an impact and make things better.

What do you enjoy most about your current role at Macro Group?

Working with my global team! I worked with part of the Americas team and now I work with all of America and beyond. Coaching, mentoring, and helping my team develop is the biggest thing for me, and I can now do this on the global stage. I love it when people are like sponges and want to soak up information and learn.

One of the things I also thrive on when looking to deliver value for our client is costs savings. Diving deep into the numbers and then using that analysis to enhance our team is how I approach things. Earlier in my career I read the Jim Collins book ‘From Good to Great’ and was inspired by it – for me, it really is about getting the right people in the right seats on the bus to make the difference on the journey - and to get to your destination successfully!

How do you redefine the boundaries of ambition?

By looking at how we take challenges today and turn them into opportunities. I think we can best deliver distinctive value when we truly understand the client,  their aims, wants, their culture and how we align. Having this depth of knowledge and relationship with the client puts you in a strong position to be able to  make a positive difference for them.

What has been your proudest moment at Macro Group so far?

The team itself - seeing people develop and grow together. It's a core learning that I took from Nike, and it's at the heart of our company culture here too. When you have a strong team, you know you can move mountains.

Why Macro Group?

I'd already worked at different brands on my career journey (Nike, Best Buy, LG), before an agency then reached out to me with the opportunity. I found it attractive because of how different it was to what I'd done before.

In my previous roles, I'd always run teams in house. Going to a third-party position with a global organisation offered an opportunity to build a service from the ground up. It was something I really wanted to run with. When I began to understand the culture, the leadership at our business, our proposition and potential for growth as well, it made me even more determined to join and help the business grow. The culture was aligned with some of the best I'd experienced in my career, so I accepted the role. Now we're an independent business, we have the opportunity to build this further.

What motivates you every day?

It really is as simple as coming in and working with the team. We've got a fantastic group and it's flourishing. As I grow and develop, they do too. I love to see that transformation as colleagues build their knowledge and confidence. For example, it's great to see a quieter person become more openly confident, feeling empowered to make decisions. That's a great motivation.

What skills do you need to be good at your job?

Positivity, passion about what you do and integrity are key. When the team opens up, and we talk through challenges, having good listening skills helps you to develop ideas and solutions together. We have a wealth of knowledge within our teams and listening is a way to combine that knowledge and develop it into something great.

Thinking outside of the box is something I also try to do all the time. Looking at things from a different angle helps with getting creative and driving enthusiasm. My whole team is always talking about making that leap from good to great, and so it's become embedded in the day-to-day.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?

Be caring, be passionate and be understanding. Empower your team, respect their knowledge and give people Be caring, be passionate, and be understanding. Empower your team, respect their knowledge and give people enough room to make the mistakes that can help them learn. Being collaborative, creative, eager to learn and a champion of your colleagues is part of the heritage of Macro Group and the industry more widely.

I always encourage my team to be champions, to get out of their comfort zone, share their ideas, network, and not be afraid to take the lead.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

My family, the great outdoors and sport! I have four kids and I love to take them to our cabin up north where we go kayaking and walking at the weekends. For me, north is two hours north of Toronto, and our cabin is on a lakeside. The drive up is serene, the opportunity to be mindful and in the moment, time outside of work to think about life itself and enjoy the beautiful countryside.

Building and being part of a strong team also extends beyond my work. I used to be a keen hockey player, and so sports have played a big part of my life and I’ve given that passion to our kids.

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