I had an interesting day yesterday. After stepping out of a 3-hour lunch, plus planning meeting with clients, I noticed I had more than 40 text messages. I started going through them and realized they all had to do with the same thing: something *big* just happened in the industry – a big account change was unveiled publicly. That means while one agency is likely celebrating, the livelihood of many will be impacted at another. My heart skipped a beat thinking about the people that will probably lose their jobs soon.
Welcome to the agency life. This is a moment you experience differently depending on which end of the table you are at.
Moments like these test an agency's values, character, and integrity. For the agency that didn't prevail, how you communicate the news internally, treat your people, and handle the financial loss, whether it's long or short-term, will become part of your legacy. For the agency that won the business, how do you live up to ideas put forth during the pitch? How do you build meaningful, long-lasting client relationships? How do you inspire your people and instill a sense of internalized accountability? And how do you collaborate or partner with the agency that will soon exit this business with grace and diplomacy (this can be extremely tricky to navigate). Remember, the win symbolizes a promise – a commitment – that you will deliver better, different, and/or more.
None of the above can be done compellingly, or done well, without the right leadership attitude or expectation. This is where many agencies fall down, and many don't even know they are failing.
With that, I was extra excited to see the following video at 8:26 PM. Having just reached my first year at WE, this made me proud. Our agency works crazy hard for our clients, and we also work crazy hard to support our people and foster an environment that empowers their passions. It also reminded me why we do what we do every day, and why I am here. We are WE .