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Are You Rewarding Agency Employees the Right Way?

Pause for a few seconds and make a mental note of the five-to-ten most recent examples of how you are rewarding agency employees within your organization. In other words, who got a raise, a bonus, a promotion, an award or some other form of recognition for a job well done? In many organizations, perhaps even most, those honors go to people who achieved some tangible, measurable result. They hit their sales goals, signed a new client, or found some way to save the organization a few buckets of money. That’s all good, but it might not always connect in a positive way back to the organization’s stated values. When rewarding agency employees doesn't factor in the means that lead to the ends, they actually can become culture killers rather than culture builders. Tae Hea Hahm, the managing director of the venture capital firm Storm Ventures, once pointed out that “real culture” is defined by “compensation, promotions and terminations. Basically, people seeing who succeeds and fails in the company defines culture. The people who succeed become role models for what is valued in the organization, and that defines culture.” Performance is vital to success and growth, but values are foundational to organizational health. So, the challenge for Extreme Leaders is to increase the real value of things that are critical but hard to measure. Here are a few tips for doing that: ALIGN ON YOUR VALUES People often define their values based on their personal experiences and expectations. Your definition sustainability, for instance, might not be the same as someone else’s definition. So, it’s not enough to publish a list of things that are important to your leadership and your culture. Go a step further and [...]

By |October 16th, 2018|

How to Run an Ad Agency

Working at an agency means you get to hang out with smart, creative people all day long. It also means you’re dealing with a lot of strong personalities — imaginative, outspoken, and sometimes a bit too confident. When you step into agency leadership, you have to transition from collaborating with these personalities to managing them. Outspoken team members are always difficult to lead, but they present a special challenge in an agency environment, where you rely on their original thinking and courageous attitudes. When thinking about how to run an ad agency, reining in these personalities without breaking their spirits requires a delicate leadership balance. As an agency owner for more than 20 years, I’ve had the chance to work with outstanding talent, and I’ve seen my fair share of strong personalities. I’ve learned that nurturing creative thinkers requires a special approach. But with smart management and clear communication, both your strong personalities and your agency can flourish. Here are four ways to maintain control of your outspoken team members without dampening their creativity: 1) Invest in leadership training. A lot of agency leaders came up in the industry. Many landed their positions because of their creative and technical expertise — not their interpersonal skills — and have never had formal leadership training. This problem is magnified for young leaders. They’ve been praised throughout their careers for being outspoken and unafraid to take risks, so they may not handle disagreements as respectfully as they should. If the people below them are older, they may feel intimidated and project a false bravado to appear more confident. Sound familiar? Even if you’re a natural-born leader, invest in leadership training for yourself and your entire team. Communication and [...]

By |August 30th, 2017|
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