Core values are the attributes we believe are essential to who we are as a company and the types of people we want to make up our team. Our list of seven was found by going through the ideal teammates and identifying what makes them special.
#1 — Champion mindset
There’s a tendency in our industry to settle for “done is better than perfect” to the point that being done to the highest quality possible gets lost in our industry.
Content production is so much about momentum, volume, and speed—all of which are good things—but there is something to be said about being the absolute best at your craft.
When you think about Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan or the people who are the best executers when it comes to business, they have an insatiable desire to be the best.
#2 — Belief in the team
This is the idea that no individual, team member, customer, or stakeholder is bigger than the team. It’s a belief that our team collectively can accomplish anything.
“No man is more important than The Team. No coach is more important than The Team. The Team, The Team, The Team, and if we think that way, all of us, everything that you do, you take into consideration what effect does it have on my Team?”
That’s the mindset that we need to have. We’re going to win as a team, we’re going to lose the team.
As we continue to add to the team and attract the type of talent and individuals we have in mind to add to the team, this is just going to get more and more self-fulfilling.
#3 — Bias towards action
It’s very easy to talk, hypothesize, or conceptualize, to have an idea and ask why you should execute it, but you shouldn’t stop there.
You need to will yourself to take meaningful action on that idea and see that action move forward. That is an incredibly important concept and value for our team members to have.
#4 — Lead from the front
Servant leadership is something we believe in wholeheartedly. It pulls off the idea that showing is greater than telling and is demonstrated by the leader going first and doing the thing to show that it can be done.
When you’re in a position of execution, you’re often being told what to do, so it’s much better if you see your leader on the front lines executing and then pointing to say, “That’s the expectation. I need to do that as well.”
As a leader, you should never ask your team to do something you wouldn’t.
Of our team of servant leaders, our technical lead has done exceptionally well in taking action and being on the front lines of things, something we can build on as a part of our culture.
#5 — Have the longest view in the room
The whole idea here is, when you are in a room of people (whether they be competitors, clients, or teammates), whoever has the longest view or timeframe has…
- The most patience
- The greatest margin for minute errors
- The ability to make the longest-term decisions in regard to investments
You might, for example, take on a project at less than your highest rate because you know you’re not in it for a year or a month, you’re in it for five or 10 years and you’re going to be able to leverage that work to get more work.
If you’re making an investment, it’s okay if you’re not going to see the return on that investment anytime soon because you’re looking at 10, 15, or 20 years down the line. Some would say even that’s a limited viewpoint.
Our industry gets so caught up in the tactics that are going to bring us leads tomorrow or bring us a sale in the next month (which are necessary) that we lose a longer view that can benefit both us and our clients.
#6 — Be relationally engaged
We are a small company, not a traditional agency and a lot of what we are great at is because we understand the people we work with and their businesses.
We don’t understand those businesses because we’ve spent decades working in them. We haven’t worked as truck drivers, chemical manufacturers, or logistics professionals, but we have spent heavy amounts of time talking with the people who do those jobs.
Being engaged relationally means understanding the people we work with: who they are, what they struggle with, the good and bad parts of their lives. It’s part of what makes business fun.
#7 — Be polymathic
We’re a small team and intend to remain smaller even as we grow. We’re not trying to be an enormous agency that can afford specialists in every area, so all of our teammates need to have multiple capabilities.
They need to be able to understand different areas of the business, multiple different areas of practice and they need to be able to also take action in each of those areas.
We have been blessed to find people who fit that description and it’s something that’s going to be important for us as we continue in the future.