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#32: Alec McNayr — Searching for Who You Truly Are

“I once got a standing ovation, and it kickstarted the darkest era of my entire life.”

is the Founder of Spotlight & Co., and former founder and COO of McBeard which was acquired by FullScreen in 2015.

He is an Entrepreneurial leader, storyteller, and builder of teams. Alec advocates for creative approaches to social media, humor as a leadership development device, and remote-working strategies. He was named to the "40 under 40" list for both AdAge and Pepperdine University.

Alec has also published a humor book, sold a pilot to ABC, was honored by the Webby Awards, worked for two failed dot-com companies, grew a company from two people to hundreds, and then navigated McBeard's acquisition by Fullscreen in 2015 (and then to AT&T/WarnerMedia in 2018).

Connect with Alec McNayr: 

Spotlight | Substack | LinkedIn | X

Recommended Books:

Quotes From The Interview

  • “I painted myself into a corner professionally. I didn’t like that I couldn’t be myself and so is it the nature of corporate business that paints people who are creative and odd and different in a corner or not?” - Alec McNayr

  • “I once got a standing ovation, and it kickstarted the darkest era of my entire life.” - Alec McNayr (Tweet This)

People Mentioned

Show Notes

  • [00:00:00] Introduction to Alec McNayr

  • [00:03:05] How Alec got started with digital marketing by day and performed at night 

  • [00:06:27] Choosing between being pragmatic vs creative

  • [00:08:00] What were you like at 10 years old?

  • [00:10:09] The hilarious way McBeard was formed

  • [00:13:10] Nokia becomes first client of McBeard

  • [00:13:48] Got introduced to 20th Century Fox and made a Twilight spoof

  • [00:16:57] Team grew from 2 to 150 people in 8 years

  • [00:17:49] Alec and Alan start another company together

  • [00:19:54] Getting a standing ovation kickstarted my darkest era

  • [00:25:19] Grappling with self-identity between being serious and being creative

  • [00:29:18] What would Alec go back and tell himself

  • [00:34:40] Redefining success

  • [00:39:50] How Alec encourages others to be their authentic selves

  • [00:44:19] Balancing between pride, humility, and confidence

  • [00:51:39] What’s been difficult and what’s been working in doing the inner work

  • [00:56:28] What do you hope to achieve with having a coach?

  • [00:59:48] What Alec is working on now

The Tension Podcast
The Tension Podcast is for those of us who’ve read every single leadership book and article that gives us just only one way to do things — but we’re ready to hold opposing ideas at once. It’s an exploration of where curiosity and wonder can take us.