Being present in the moment
Mads Ulrick Holmstrup became CEO of a big TV production company at a very young age. His career has evolved around spotting talent and setting the right teams. Today he sits in several boards and runs a rosé store just to name a few things.
We met with Mads in his villa in Copenhagen. A beautiful 1960’s bungalow with a caring love for the original elements - from the oak flooring to the brass door handles. Original artworks praised the walls, and personal artifacts was showcased in every room.
A warm and welcoming atmosphere, this is a home of a man who cares about the details, and sets pride in being good company.
Here is what he has learned along the way, and what we can learn from him.
You became a director at a young age. What is the most important thing you have learned?
That the first years as CEO are difficult and tough no matter how hard you work, so you also have to remember to be present in the present and not just think about the next quarterly accounts or the next pitch. And then you have to dare to trust your gut feeling and sometimes lean into the opportunities that arise, even when it can’t always be counted on in the first place. And not least, surround yourself with as talented people as possible and trust them.
What is more important when making a career: Experience or attitude?
You get through life a little easier with the right attitude, both in relation to yourself, in relation to other people and not least in relation to your work. Experience is, of course, important, but it comes as opportunities arise to advance in one’s career. But opportunities rarely come if the attitude to work is not right. So if I have to choose one of the two, it has to be attitude. As director of Mastiff, one of your most important tasks has been to spot talent. Have there been any commonalities you can say about, among all the talented people you have dealt with?
I believe that talent comes with hard work and by always making an effort. Those who reach the farthest are usually those who are not afraid to take action when it is necessary and are not afraid to take chances and try themselves in new tasks. And also loyalty, skills and good company are essential to being able to build a strong team. Those with whom you have fun are often also those with whom you work best and can achieve the most together - and success is even better if you’re having fun at the same time!
What is the best advice you have received?
Always try to understand people’s differences, focus on what brings us together rather than what separates us. And behave properly towards other people. The TV industry is very small and you meet the same people over and over again. This really also applies in general - the world is small.
What advice would you like to give a 25-year-old version of yourself?
I think the advice would be about not worrying so much about what’s to come and being present in the moment. Nothing lasts forever and you can quickly be so busy with what the next ”move” is that you forget to experience and enjoy where you are right now. I’ve gotten better at that over the years and especially the past year.
What will your next adventure be about?
There is actually quite a lot going on right now. The rosé season is at its peak, so a lot of time passes with rosé.dk, which I own together with a friend. In addition, I also work on new things within TV and series production in DK and abroad. And then I sit on different boards and advisory boards, where I help startups with strategy, organization, operations and scaling, among other things. It is really exciting to use my many years of experience as a CEO to help companies succeed.
And finally: which rosé should we keep in the fridge for the long evenings of late summer?
I would recommend Maplier’s Abacus, which is completely unique. Only approx. 20,000 bottles per year and we can only get a limited number for the Danish market. It is perhaps one of the world’s best rosés and has won several international awards over the years. In addition to rosé.dk, you can only get it at a few specially selected restaurants on the French Riviera, Ibiza and Miami. It is a taste experience that, in my opinion, can easily compare with a good bottle of white Burgundy.
If you want something a little lighter, then Rozy Tattoo is eminent for the terrace. It is Rozy’s anniversary bottle and it is super delicious and fresh - a super summer rosé!