Sending the lift back down

28th September 2017

The lady at the checkout is Alessandra Bellini, Chief Customer Officer of TESCO and the person who CEO Dave Lewis has recently appointed to restore the brand’s standing in the hearts and minds of its consumers.

It’s a huge (and I mean HUGE) job, but Alessandra approaches it with the same calm determination that singled her out amongst her peers when I was lucky enough to work with her on the Lever Brothers account at top London agency Still Price Lintas (RIP) many moons ago.

Now I’m working on a project to help reaffirm the power and relevance of advertising and marketing and to encourage young talent to join and stay in the industry.

As part of this, I’m asking industry heavyweights to share their advice when ‘Sending the lift back down’. This is what Alessandra had to say when I put a few questions to her recently:

What did you always want to be?

‘An advertising TV Producer, An Executive Assistant and a Supermarket Checkout Colleague … I guess my dream came true a few months ago at Tesco’.

What was your lucky break?

‘It all started with an exchange programme in Canada while I was a Senior School Student. That experience changed forever who I was and gave me a taste of the adventures I could have if I took the risk of working & living in other Countries. It also gave me the opportunity to learn English well which helped enormously at the start of my career when I was considered for an international post in the UK. Since then, I have been incredibly fortunate to meet people along the way who decided to take a bet on me. You Nick were one of those people and I am forever grateful for the chance you gave me many years ago.’

What’s the secret sauce?

‘Bravery, resilience and humility. Go for experiences and roles you never thought you could have. Be confident in yourself and others around you. Never give up. Whatever is sent your way is either an opportunity or a problem to solve. I have always felt enthusiastic about the roles I have had and positive energy is contagious’.

A word of advice…

‘A Basketball Coach once said to his players who asked what they should do to play in the higher league: be your best in your league, the rest will come. It’s more important to focus on how to perform and deliver, on how to be a respected colleague and manager than to focus on status or power. It certainly is more fulfilling’.

If you had the chance to do it all again…

‘I would cherish the good times more openly and dwell less on the dark times. I would be more open about my professional development and my ambitions. And, I would do everything again. Every step. Hindsight just gives you more perspective’.

What’s next?

‘More checkout experiences. Understanding our Customers. And helping Tesco serve them better… everyday’.