Antonio Leon de la Barra | Global marketer, Branding Specialist, Entrepreneur, Mentor, Coach

For the last 25 years or so, right across Mexico and Central America, Antonio has helped shape and guide the fortunes of many of the region’s most powerful brands – with his passionate energy, creativity, insight and his critical out-of-the box stratgeic thinking. Today he shares some of what drives him, what keeps him on-the-edge and how he has managed to remain ‘true to himself’ within the competitive, fast-paced world of global business.


antonio-leon-de-la-barras1About my Life Mission | Make a Difference


My Definition Of Success | Success for me means finding meaning and purpose in what I do. Achieving coherence between my values, my principles, my passion and my actions. At the end of the day, that what I do matters, that it has a positive impact on people´s lives and makes the world (even if it is in a little tiny bit) a better place.


I Am Driven By | Passion, curiosity and always wanting to do try new things. Things which have never been done before.


My Highlights | In my personal life I had to overcome many challenges. I had dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, but at the same time I had a very high IQ which made me skip grades many times. So coping with change, making friends and living a contradictory reality where in one hand I was very smart, but in the other I could not concentrate and get good grades, was really hard. So I am very proud for having made it all work, through lots of hard work, determination and the love and support of my family and friends.
In my career I feel very proud of having been one of the most senior Mexican marketers globally in Unilever, having started as a trainee that knew absolutely nothing about marketing. And in that journey having done what was thought impossible many times.


The Magic in me Originates From | My stubbornness, and just never taking no for an answer. Since I was a kid I believed, and I still do, that anything is possible.


The Difference Between Good And Great | Passion, purpose and meaning.


A Key Talent | Creativity


antonio-leon-de-la-barras2Principles, Values and Ideologies I Live By | Values are a tricky subject. Because I believe they are personal, they represent that which is important to you. And to be a value they have to be good, they have to build life. For me, love, friendship, honesty, dedication and generosity are some of my higher order values. I consider myself an existentialist. I firmly believe in the human race and it’s intrinsic force to do good. I believe in freedom and accountability as two sides of the same coin. I believe in human capitalism, and the obligation that corporations have, to look after their people, their societies and the planet. I believe in children as the super-heroes who will save our world from ourselves.


How I Use My Mind | I divide my world into the factual world – which is made up of the things that happened, from which I learn and from which I can mentor. And the possible world – the world of the future, where all is still to be written, where anything is possible. That is a space which requires curiosity, imagination and creativity. I think it was Disney who said, in order to achieve something, you must be able to dream it first. And then I plan. I draw a flight plan like a pilot. A straight line between where I am and where I want to go. I know it will never be that simple and that I will constantly be pushed off course, but having that plan allows me to return and eventually to reach my destination. Not having a plan is a plan for failure. And then I execute, flawless and impeccable execution….because the devil is in the detail, as we say in Mexico.
 Or like Mandela said, “Vision without action is just passing time”


antonio-leon-de-la-barras5Lessons I Have Learnt |
That family always comes first
That optimism goes a long way.
That no mater where you are, remain humble
It´s never too late to learn nor to change
To get over my mistakes. Learn what I can and move on.
That you are a spiritual-physical-rational being and all 3 dimensions need looking after.
To build meaningful relationships. They will make and keep you happy.
That suffering is unavoidable but it teaches us things


Dealing With Doubt | Firstly, I try to understand where that fear or self-doubt is coming from, to see if it is rooted on reality or if it is just my mind playing games on me. If it´s real, I take action, I work at whatever I need to improve to be at par. If it´s not real, just realizing it takes much of the stress away. And I am realistic, some things will always make me a little bit afraid and it´s good, it means I´m trying new things.


Resources I Use To Stay Inspired | I read, I write, I talk with experts on many fields, I pray. I talk with my wife, I talk with my children, my friends. I try to always study something new. I work on my sculptures, I exercise, I fly my remote control airplanes.


My Future Dreams And Ambitions | The same ones I´ve had all along. Be happy, do good, make a difference. Be the best version of myself as often as possible


antonio-leon-de-la-barras3The Best Advice I’ve Received | Never do to others what you don’t want done to you


Advice On Building Wealth | Follow your passion, don´t follow the money


I Am Inspired By |
My father
My mother (each in it´s own different way)
Fighters like Mandela or Gandhi who fought with ideals not bullets
Visionaries like Richard Branson who despite all adversity never gave up on their dreams.