Brad Lambert: “They Told Me It Was Impossible And I Did It Anyway”
August 3, 2020 |by Candice Georgiadis
Courtesy of Medium / Authority Magazine
"Don’t surround yourself with “Cool” people, surround yourself with GOOD people. People who support you and your dreams, no matter how “crazy” they may seem. People who are there for you, not just during the good times, but the hard times as well. People who inspire you, due to who they are personally and/or professionally. People who are kind, to not just themselves, but everyone around them." -Brad Lambert
As a part of our series about “dreamers who ignored the naysayers and did what others said was impossible”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Brad Lambert. Brad R Lambert was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA so there’s no surprise why he got into the Sports Industry after graduating from North Carolina State University. Brad followed his passion for the Steelers and all things Pittsburgh and worked in that industry for almost 10 years. After working with his favorite athletes (Hines Ward, Lynn Swann, Willie Parker), top sports franchises (Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Jets) and global brands (Lagardère Unlimited, Hachette Filipacchi Media, Hershey, Barnes & Noble), he decided to follow his other passion, Film & Entertainment.
He moved to Los Angeles and hit the ground running with Robert Downey Jr. After about a year with the biggest name in Hollywood, he went to Warner Bros. Studio and managed their Digital Marketing campaigns for 2 years, winning 3 CLIO Awards during his tenure for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The LEGO Batman Movie, and KONG: SKULL ISLAND. For the last 3 years he has been an independent producer, talent manager and speaker, working with the top brands, studios, celebrities, artists and professionals in the entertainment industry — prominent collaboration partners include: Walt Disney Studios, Marvel Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, Gary Vaynerchuk and more.
In 2019 he worked on the Marketing Campaigns for 2 of the biggest movies of all-time, collaborating with Walt Disney Studios and Marvel Studios on their release of “Avengers: Endgame” and Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios for their release of “Spider-Man: Far From Home”.
He is currently producing multiple film and TV projects, managing talent and speaking all over the world (most recently, he spoke in São Paulo, Brazil).
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit better. Can you tell us your ‘backstory’? I’m a passion-driven guy. Ever since I was in high school I chased my passions and added whatever value I can around them so I could make them a part of my life. Being born and raised in Pittsburgh, I spent the early portion of my career in the sports industry, working with my favorite teams and athletes. I provided marketing, business, PR and content support; Adding whatever value I could to their lives both personally and professionally. After almost a decade in the sports industry (I started when I was around 16/17), I chased my passions out west to Hollywood, working with Robert Downey Jr. After my time with Robert and his incredible team, I went over to Warner Bros. and worked on the marketing campaigns for TV, Film and Catalog titles. After 2 years there, I’ve spent the last few years on my own, independently producing (film/tv/events), managing talent, speaking both here and abroad and consulting with the top brands, studios, celebrities, influencers and agencies in the business.
Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people? Right now I’m developing an un-scripted TV show with kindness at the forefront. The goal is to bring those in need a little happiness and in the process, help the viewers at home find their own happiness, empowering them to overcome their adversities or challenges and ultimately inspiring them to go out and be kind, because of the acts of kindness they just witnessed, and because frankly, they have the ability to do it too.
In your opinion, what do you think makes your company or organization stand out from the crowd? Speaking for myself, I pride myself on leading with kindness and I preach on the importance of “winning together”. I may be “young” in the industry, but I want to inspire and impact the next generation. My goal is to inspire them to achieve their goals, but also push them to choose “kindness” over everything and help others achieve their dreams too. We can all win together and there’s enough food at the table for everyone…the industry is hard enough that we shouldn’t be tearing each other down. We accomplish more when we’re working together and that needs to be the norm moving forward.
Ok, thank you for that. I’d like to jump to the main focus of this interview. Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us? What was your idea? What was the reaction of the naysayers? And how did you overcome that? When I was a freshman at NC State University, my friend Willie Parker (Pittsburgh Steelers running back) suffered a horrible season-ending injury, which cost him the NFL Rushing Title, resulting in him slipping into a pretty severe depression. I wanted to help…and do whatever I could to help get him to a better place, a happier place. I was around 17/18 years old at the time and he was a famous professional athlete. What could a kid like me do for a guy that basically has everything? I swing for the fence in every aspect of my life, there really is no in-between and I take that approach in everything…It could be a business opportunity, a personal goal or even dating. After thinking about what Willie loved and what made him happy, I had an absolutely crazy idea. I was going to help him meet his idol, Michael Jordan. Mind you, I had no relationship or connections to Michael and everyone said I was out of my mind…but that was the goal I set for myself and the negativity/doubt motivated me to bring this dream to life. After putting in the work, connecting with a few wonderful people, and staying persistent, Willie and his entire family met the legendary Michael Jordan almost 3 months later. Willie later revealed to me that this experience was the best moment of his life. This man has won 2 Super Bowls, had 2 beautiful children and THAT was the best moment of his life…It just goes to show you, how impactful and important a simple act of kindness can be.
In the end, how were all the naysayers proven wrong? :-) They all got to see the photos of Willie and his family with Michael Jordan…they saw the vision, the work I put in and the dream actually come to fruition. Let’s just say, they don’t instantly doubt my insane ideas anymore lol
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that? I’m happy you brought this up because I speak about it all the time. NOBODY gets anywhere by themselves. People who say “I’m self-made” aren’t being truthful, because at some point in their lives, SOMEBODY helped them. Whether it be a friend, co-worker or most obvious, a family member. I would not be where I am today or who I am today without the help of MANY people. My family has played a massive role in my life and has supported me every step of the way. My friends are always there to be a sounding board, support system and “hype” squad whenever I need them. Most recently, when I made my transition to Los Angeles, a friend of mine took a chance on me, “opened a door” and allowed me the chance to prove myself for an opportunity and show what I could bring to the table. Without that incredibly kind gesture and that “leap of faith” on his part, I would not be in LA or have achieved what I’ve done so far out here. He’s one of my closest friends to this day and I am so grateful for all he’s done. I make it a point to thank him consistently (every few weeks/months), because it’s the least I can do in return to show my genuine appreciation. At the end of the day, we have to be there for one another. If you have the opportunity to help someone out, don’t hesitate, just do it. Don’t worry about what you might/should get in return, that’s not WHY you’re doing it. Impacting someone's life in a positive way should not be something that you second-guess or “drag your feet” on because you just might change someone’s life.
It must not have been easy to ignore all the naysayers. Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share the story with us? Nobody wants to hear “you’re not good enough” or “there’s no way ____ is going to happen”. Early on, those things get you down. Through high school and college I really worked on my mental toughness and setting big goals…and guess what, I “failed” a lot. In those “failures” I learned a lot and “failing”/negativity began to not impact my mood/confidence like it used to. Since college, I was able to tune-out the “noise” as well as the people who would attempt to bring me down. If anything, it motivated me to prove them wrong…and I did. After the “Michael Jordan” Project, I did something similar shortly after for a girl who has cerebral palsy. I helped her meet her favorite music artist, American Idol’s David Archuleta and most recently, I surprised a 3x cancer survivor who loved Spider-man, taking him to the World Premiere of “Spider-Man: Far From Home”. With every success and “failure” you live, learn and grow. You gain confidence in yourself and your abilities and question yourself less and less. Dream big, set “outrageous” goals, put in the work and make it happen…As Les Brown said: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it you will land among the stars”.
Based on your experience, can you share 5 strategies that people can use to harness the sense of tenacity and do what naysayers think is impossible? (Please share a story or an example for each)
Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Nobody gets anywhere by themselves…
Challenge yourself and don’t be afraid to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing your limitations.
Take the time to celebrate your wins. Progress of any size needs to be recognized and celebrated. By doing this consistently, you’ll recognize the progress you’ve made, resulting in a boost of your self-confidence.
Don’t surround yourself with “Cool” people, surround yourself with GOOD people. People who support you and your dreams, no matter how “crazy” they may seem. People who are there for you, not just during the good times, but the hard times as well. People who inspire you, due to who they are personally and/or professionally. People who are kind, to not just themselves, but everyone around them.
If someone is telling you that you can’t do something, most of the time it’s because THEY can’t do it. Don’t let these negative “opinions” impact who you are and what you want to do. Use it as fuel, and keep moving forward with a relentless pursuit for your goals…because when you keep growing and winning, those doubters get more and more quiet.
What is your favorite quote or personal philosophy that relates to the concept of resilience? “Whatever it takes”…I actually have it tattooed on my left forearm. For those who don’t know, this is a quote from “Avengers: Endgame”; the Avengers were heading into their final mission to bring back everyone who was lost in the “snap”, Captain America gives his final speech saying: “This is the fight of our lives and we’re going to win…Whatever it takes”. I had the opportunity to collaborate with Disney and Marvel Studios on the marketing campaign for “Avengers: Endgame”, so that quote means something to me for multiple reasons. I’ve always been a guy who was persistent in my goals and desires, and no matter how difficult the goal may seem or what naysayers were saying, I would do whatever it took to make it happen.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. A big part of who I am and what I do is leading with kindness. I want to inspire others to do the same. For whatever reason, “kindness” has a weak and negative connotation to it. When in reality, it’s the ultimate strength. I want to make kindness “cool” again. It has such a viral effect and I think if more people were kind and were assisting others instead of asking others for things, the world would be a much happier and overall better place.
Can our readers follow you on social media? Yes! Connect with me on Instagram at @bradrlambert !
Thank you for these great stories. We wish you only continued success!