“I am a member of the team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.”
― Mia Hamm
I can’t tell you the number of excellent leadership books I’ve read over the years – probably in the hundreds. Of all the wisdom I’ve gleaned, this is the most important lesson I’ve learned: great leadership is only as good as the team you manage. Over the years my commitment to hiring the very best people for ChappellRoberts has paid off.
Trust your team. With 30 people on staff, it would be impossible to oversee everyone’s efforts every day, or even just the four other members of my leadership team. Success begins with trusting the leaders you’ve assembled and relying on their leadership styles to guide the rest of the team. This allows you to focus externally on cultivating new relationships in the community, and ultimately growing your business.
Lead together and balance. Creative industries require a degree of collaboration quite different from others. We tend to work as a team from the beginning of a project right through to the end: developing strategy, crafting the work and presenting to clients. This can be a challenge while juggling rapidly changing deadlines and deliverables. Having leaders who can work together with very different strengths that complement the agency overall is critical for the success of a project. While each of us serves a specific function with diverse expertise, when we work together seamlessly we become greater than the sum of our parts, ultimately creating the best work for our clients.
Cultivate your culture. The leadership team will always dictate the climate of your work environment and company culture—even if it is unintentional. Recognizing that your leaders are the role models all other employees look to when learning how to operate in the office is paramount. If you have a core value like “we view failure as an opportunity for growth” and you as a leader can’t seem to let go of a failure, it can create significant blocks for risk-taking and innovation within the organization. I continuously coach my leadership team on being ambassadors to our agency brand, living out our core values every day and instilling confidence in each of our employees.
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