“I would love to work there.”
I have said it.
You have said it.
If you run an agency at one time you said it.
We have all dreamt it. Longed for it. Envied it.
Myths were created about those types of ad agencies. When I worked at JWT Chicago which was a great place to work there were stories about the bonus day at Leo Burnett. Do they really raise the bridge on Michigan Avenue you asked? That can’t be true others would say. But it made everybody want to work at Leo Burnett and cash those checks.
So do you attract the best talent to create myths about your agency today?
I will tell you one thing. Those stories weren’t myths. They were true in the era of no social media. Then and today you can’t hype the best talent. They are as smart as you. They are young and in demand because of the today’s agency staffing model.
It’s not about the toys and the PR hype. It is not about the best places to work for articles. The cover of most magazines that are often embellished.. As honest Abe said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
I have looked at Foo’s Ball machines at agencies that have never been played besides by the moving people that carried up back breaking stair wells. We are a fun place to work they are intended to say but the silence of not being used is deafening.
I was cured of hype decades ago. I never really felt comfortable in an office that was too big for my needs. I always thought it was a shallow value.
You see in the New Normal it is about going home to see your kids or work on your App if that is that is your kid. I have to pick up my kids by 6 because my wife has a longer commute than me. And more importantly neither of us wants to work after we put the kids to bed tonight. We don’t want to glance at our e mails on our phones. You employ me. You don’t own me.
But really in the end it is not even about what time I go home. It is about you if you as agency leader. Do you have your act together? Do you hype your people? Or do you get it, own it and lead it?
Do you do the typical agency bait and switch? Hire people for one account and then come up your staffing plan the day before they arrive which is good for you and the client but not what you promised them. Is that inspiring, fair or ethical?
If your answer to complaints from your superstars that are pulled too thin is “You will just have to do a better job of managing your priorities” then you will not keep them. You don’t deserve to.
You see your “go to people” the “deck writers” the ones that “ get it” the ones that carry the majority of the work load of your agency do not want to be mules.
Soon the agency world will adopt the Silicon Valley model which is not how many places you have worked at but how good are you at accomplishing what we need. When it does many people will flee.
Yes in today’s New Normal agency world the best and the brightest can get a free lunch they have no time for, have access to a basketball court to that they have no interest in
In the New Normal exceptional people don’t want to be part of the proletariat. They want to work for leaders that can raise bridges.
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