Authentic Lou Pardi Shares Her Generation X View

Interview with Lou Pardi - Director Agency Marou

Lou Pardi, Creative Director at Agency Marou in Australia shares her experience and workforce tips when communicating with multiple generations. Lou Pardi shares her Gen X perspectives, what has influenced them, how she views her career and what she expects from the workforce.

  • Read Lou’s answers to our Questionnaire
  • Listen to Lou’s Video where she shares her insights, tips and what excites her about working with multiple generations? (4.30 mins)


What do you consider typical characteristics of your generation?
Driven, hardworking, recognise hierarchy (but don’t always conform to expectations around hierarchy).

What do you expect from corporate leadership in today’s business world?
I expect corporate leaders to see the whole scene – how the business they’re leading fits into the broader economic, community and environmental landscape. I expect them to lead by example. I think the days of, ‘Do as I say not as I do,’ are numbered. I expect them to keep an eye out for disruptions in their industry and be innovative.

What engages you most in the workplace and what makes you go the extra mile
Autonomy. Give me end goals, deadlines and a budget and let’s lock in milestones for sign off. Then let me get it done.

What is your preferred way to communicate in the workplace?
I’m not a massive fan of meetings – but a good meeting, with an agreed agenda and all of the relevant decision makers in the room is fantastic. Generally, I like direct communication (not conflict) and a respectful, mature workplace. I give my input in clear terms, and I work well with other people who are direct and collaborative. I’m not into gossip, politics (although of course I’m aware of the landscape) or bullying. Regardless of how good the work is, if an employer keeps a bully on staff, I’m out the door.

Lou Pardi - Creative Director Agency Marou. Image by Cormac Hanrahan

Lou Pardi – Creative Director Agency Marou. Image by Cormac Hanrahan

What kind of development opportunities do you expect to be offered by your employer?
I don’t have an expectation, all the people who I’ve seen and read about who do excellent work and succeed have made their own opportunities. An employer facilitates this by enabling those employees – saying yes when they want to try something and supporting measured risks.

What do you wish your colleagues from other generations would know about Generation Y?
For the most part, Generation Y aren’t being arrogant or rude when they doubt ‘how things have always been done’. It’s not a personal affront. They have different views on how management should work (remote working comes to mind), how hierarchy should work, and when it is their turn to be heard. They can be less scared of failure and a workplace that builds a culture that supports this can reap the benefits.

For me, my job is… fascinating, challenging and a huge privilege to have.

What are the priorities during this phase of your life?
Become an expert, build wealth for retirement, work with great people on good projects. Have a lifestyle that allows me to do good work and have good health.

How do you balance your personal and professional life? Haphazardly.

When you choose a job, what do you look for in a new challenge?
The opportunity to do good work is number one. I want to work with clients who tie what they do to what they’re trying to achieve in the business. That’s not always the case in marketing, but when the marketing and communication strategy plugs into the business strategy, it’s a beautiful thing. I also want to add value – I’m not interested in being a number on a team or working inefficiently. Number two is great people – ideally people smarter and better at their jobs than me, who I can learn from. Number three is flexibility. I generally don’t do great work sitting at the same desk for 50- 60 hours a week.

What does your ideal workplace physically look like?
Somedays it’s a café, somedays it’s a quiet room at my home, sometimes it’s a client’s vineyard, or Melbourne wholesale market at 3am, another day a corporate boardroom and very occasionally it’s the beach. This works best for me – not for everyone perhaps, but I get more done this way.

What historic events, values or philosophies have influenced you most to become the person you are today? How did they shape you?
My Mum died when she was 47 and I was in my early 20s. It was a huge dose of perspective and all of the clichés – don’t sweat the small stuff, don’t waste time, make sure people you love know you love them. In the year after Mum died I started doing stand up comedy and freelance writing (I had been a legal secretary before that). I’m still a careful person (prone to overthinking) but my desire to keep moving and growing outweighs my fears.

Given the world’s current political and economic situation, what’s your personal outlook for the next decade? What will be the main challenges for corporations and their leaders?
I think authenticity will be key – consumers and stakeholders will demand it. I created Agency Marou to help brands tell their story in a human voice. ‘Marou’ has lots of meanings – but for me it came about by squishing together ‘marketing’ and ‘journalism’. I was a journalist for a long time and when brands started having their own social media channels I saw an opportunity for authentic storytellers (what I considered myself to be as a journalist) to help brands connect with their audience. My selfish goal is to bring brands and consumers closer together so brands (and consumers to some extent) are more accountable. I wrote about sustainable consumption for a while and I think consumer demand for ethical production and reduced environmental impacts is growing. Once brands understand this demand and the value of customer loyalty, they will make more ethical and environmentally conscious business decisions. I think the challenges for corporations and their leaders over the next few decades (perhaps not the next one) will be addressing the many costs of and the viability of constant economic growth.

When you do you experience “flow” – the mental state in which a person is fully immersed in an energizing activity and is so focused that he/she loses track of time?
Generally between 10:30pm and 3:30am – but it could be anytime. If I’ve taken in enough information to start the creative process, and let it settle for a night (if I have that luxury) that flow usually arrives. (It can be forced if necessary, but the output requires a lot more editing.)

About the author

Lisa Mangelsdorf

I confess that I work to live rather than live to work. But when I can combine my passions into my work, I work best. This blog brings together discussions about one of my passions which is connecting people. I endeavour to fight the norm by chasing flexible working options and change seekers, hence my involvement with this blog. I'm fortunate to be connected with a global team at GAIA Insights. Retaining Gen Y within the workforce is an issue for most businesses across the globe. For help contact us because we know EXACTLY what they want from the workplace and we can help your business retain that key talent.


Leave a comment:

This website uses cookies for an easier usage. By using this website, you agree to the use of cookies. Furthermore, analytics are being used to enhance the user’s experience. This information might be used by GAIA-Insights to deconstruct the number of visitors and the browser they are using. At the bottom of the website you will find social media plug ins. Those plug ins are located on the website to redirect you to the respective social media presence of GAIA-Insights. No information about your usage of social media is being collected. For information about data privacy and how to change your browser's cookie settings, see our Data Protection and Privacy Policy.