He is not a megalomaniac nor a fantasist yet for every question he would make a dual answer. By introducing his two-sided self, Mounir Harfouche, chose not to be politically correct. He opens up with utmost candeur in this light-hearted Q&A. Get up real close and slightly personal with MullenLowe MENA’s CEO.
What gets you up in the morning?
ME: The kiss of my daughters before going to school.
The Other ME: Despite all the negativity, the stress and the challenges of life in general, and specifically in our industry, there is still a beautiful world happening out there. It is also our human nature and destiny to advance by living another day, by experiencing something new – good or bad – and by finishing the day with a sense of accomplishment. Intentions are always more important than results because they are measured by the now, while results are a long-term thing.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
ME: I’ll answer that question another year.
The Other ME: Advertising is the most enriching job. It combines planning, business, marketing, sales, finance, technology, creativity and knowledge in one role, while being exposed to every category possible, from banks to soaps.
Who do you ultimately want to become?
ME: A human being.
The Other ME: I want to become myself, the person that is the sum of all my experiences and values gained through the years.
What’s your motto in life?
ME: It is changing every day.
My other ME: I don’t believe in mottos, they don’t make sense. The more we evolve in life the more we start shaping new meanings and visions. Life is not a brand that stands for one purpose, it is a journey that is meant to change for us to change, hopefully for the best.
What keeps you in the game?
The other ME: The love of brands and people.
What keeps you up at night?
The Other ME: The fear of losing what is most important to me: What I create.
What would be your worst nightmare?
ME: A burger with no fries.
The Other ME: Events that we have no control of. Natural disasters, accidents, wars.
What inspires you most?
ME: The power of good.
The other ME: The power of good.
Who would you like to sit next to on a seven-hour flight?
ME: Any ghost will do.
The other ME: My next opportunity.
If you could live for one day the life of another person, who would it be?
ME: An astronaut looking at the world and contemplating how small we are.
The Other ME: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to experience pride.
If you could have dinner with someone, living or dead, who would it be; and what question would you ask him/her?
ME: Nostradamus. How much would the bill be?
The other ME: Of course, my late father. I won’t even speak, staring at him will be enough.
If you were to be reincarnated, what would you like to come back as?
ME: An ATM machine. I love giving money to people.
The other ME: Any of my daughters, to see me from their eyes.
If you were to change profession, what would you choose to do?
ME: A chef in Tuscany.
The other ME: The President of my country.
If you could choose one superhero power, what would it be and why?
ME: My wife. To dedicate every second of my life trying to raise the best human beings.
The other ME: The power of a Saint. To do the things people can’t do.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
ME: I’ll start a lottery business.
The other ME: It depends on the amount.
What would you like to be doing five years from now?
ME: Laughing at what I was doing five years back.
The Other ME: living 86400 seconds a day, rather than 24 hours.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?
ME: Inside the safe of the central bank.
The other ME: On a private jet with a destination to be confirmed after my second drink.
What is the one thing you wish you have designed?
WHO ARE YOU?
I am… Lebanese
I like… The Lebanon I have in mind
I want… to see it becoming a great nation
I have… not been happy with its soul recently
I wish... It can become the way I picture it
I hate…. what we have done to it
I fear… It won’t be livable anymore
I Google... its glorious history
I wonder... if we could be proud again
I regret... not being able to do anything about it
I love... its potential
I need... to belong to it
If I ruled the world... I will bring love and decency to every life.
I dream… of a peaceful world
My Favourite… (Dream Destination; Restaurant; Hotel; Meal; Quote; Book; Movie; Flower; Animal; Poet; Music/band; Painter; Heroes)
I can’t answer any of these questions. I can’t be single minded in any of them. There is never one favourite thing when it comes to experiences and emotions. I’d like to say that all of the below could be a million things if each one of them connects us with something valuable, like a moment, a thought, a lesson or an inspiration.