Episode 87:

Craig Barnes consults with owners of small to midsize advertising agencies to improve their people, processes and profitably. It’s the sum of a lot of experiences across 30+ years of owning and operating an advertising agency.

He learned early on that operating an agency was both rewarding and challenging and benefitted from seeking the counsel of others to help guide a path to growing his three-location agency.

As a 15+ year member of an AMI owner network group, Craig has fully lived AMI’s mission “to help agency owners increase their AGI, attract better clients and employees, mitigate the risks of being self employed in a such volatile business and best of all — let the agency owner actually enjoy the perks of owning the joint.”

While still involved with his agency, Craig now spends the majority of his time working with owners who seek AMI’s assistance to achieve their goals.

He has a passion for a hands-on, roll-up-your-sleeves approach to analyzing issues and developing actionable solutions.

An amateur chef, Craig enjoys cooking for family and friends and has a not so secret desire to spend part of the year in Italy. He’ll also gladly share recipes with you.



What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The key executives (#1s) group Craig facilitates for AMI
  • What makes key executives so valuable
  • Integrators: the employees that don’t want to be owners and just want to pull the levers
  • How we as agency owners make life hard for integrators by not letting go of control
  • Having an empowerment agreement with your #1s for setting expectations for who gets to control what
  • Setting regular meetings with your key executive that you do not break
  • How agency owners can know whether or not they’re ready for a #1 to take things over
  • Traits that make for a great key executive
  • How to compensate your #1s
  • The impact key executives are having on agencies by committing to goals


The Golden Nugget:

“We all have blind spots, and need somebody to help us see the big picture.” – @CraigSBarnes Click To Tweet


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