#ThursdayThoughts – Empowering People


 
 
One of the big things we’ve learned, and frankly, I’ve learned about myself, is we need to have emotional stability to be our best selves. And what I mean by that is you’re only really, really growing when you’re stretching yourself, and to stretch yourself takes a lot of emotional kind of pain. I think a lot of times, in fast-growing startups and companies, the reason why the culture gets so frantic and people get so burnt out is because emotionally, they’re being stretched because they’re being asked to do things they’ve never done before. They’re essentially having to get outside of their comfort zone. There’s something really powerful about getting outside of your comfort zone, but there’s also something debilitating about it. And that’s where the kind of keyword of balance comes in.

We believe here that people are more valuable than clients, and not in a negative way. But we believe that if we can keep empowering our people and focus so much on our people, that our clients are gonna get better results. Not if we focus on our clients and all their outcomes and all their outputs, and we forget about what generates the inputs. In other words, in marketing, your output is the sum of your inputs, and your inputs are the sum of your people. And if we want to be an agency that has an impact on our clients, we need to empower our people. We need to stretch our people, but not due to our structures, but due to our ideas. New ideas, challenging things we’ve never tried before. Stretching the limits of what people feel comfortable with, and one of the best ways you can do that is by making sure you have freedom in your daily routine. Because of that, we require people who work here to make sure they take at least an hour for lunch. As silly as that sounds, a lot of people at agencies don’t actually take the lunch they need.

An hour where you actually have a lunch. I want you to have an hour where you actually have your own time. Those two hours I get everyday are what allow me to be on inbox zero, have enough emotional control to communicate with people, and then not react to situations but proactively attack situations. Does that make sense to everybody?

We love for people to go off-site, actually get some air, get some moment, interact with each other, and then also take an hour everyday for yourself. Every person here has a Calendly link because we don’t want people to react to meetings, we want people to proactively schedule meetings. Which means meetings are something you have on your calendar when you’re available, not things that take up all your availability so that you can only do little ideas.

Okay, you have to use Calendly, and you have to have preset blocked out times. This is going to allow you to actually control, instead of people randomly like, “Hey, can you hop on a call right now?” If you’re just giving everything to everyone, you’re giving nothing to no one. Does that make sense? You’re just giving crap work to people because you don’t have enough emotional control to think big and stretch through your defaults.

The reality is if you don’t have time and space in your calendar, instead of being able to do big ideas which have big impact for yourself and for your clients, you end up having little ideas that have little impact for yourself and for your clients. And the way you know you’re in that little range, if you’re kind of trying to assess, “Okay, where am I at right now?” The easiest way to ask yourself that is if you keep falling back into your defaults. Here, we want to stretch our defaults everyday. I try to do this as a CEO, and I ask this of everyone, is, “What’s your default?” Mine, I’ll open up accounting, and I’ll just start looking at numbers mindlessly. Back when I used to do a lot more on the clients or on ourselves, I would just open up Google Analytics, and I would kinda just look at things, and really, all I was doing was I was delaying the big work that I knew I had in front of me, and it was just hurting me. It wasn’t stretching me. It wasn’t empowering myself. It wasn’t empowering the company. So one of the biggest things we want here is that people take lots of breaks, don’t have too many accounts, and then have the freedom to think big. Because big ideas with big execution can generate big results.

 

Garrett Mehrguth
CEO & Co-Founder
Twitter: @gmehrguth
LinkedIn: Garrett Mehrguth
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Music: http://www.hooksounds.com

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