17 Lessons From 17 Years in Business

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Today, Situation turns 17 years old. And while I’m over-the-moon proud of our work and proud about devising some pretty incredible digital marketing campaigns over the years, I am most proud of the culture that lives within the four walls of our agency.

So, as we celebrate our 17th birthday, I wanted to share some inspiration from what I’ve seen, heard and learned watching first-hand the amazing collective crew at Situation, our kick-ass clients and a forward-thinking strategic partner base that moves us forward every day.

  1. Thoughtful people make thoughtful companies. We consider thoughtfulness to be one of the many traits that will make someone successful within our agency.
  2. Flexibility is the most important employee perk. If your goal is to recruit for the long-term, create an environment of flexible policies that can shift with your employees’ needs.
  3. The power of the human spirit is remarkable. When you hire and nurture committed people, you’ll see some amazing acts of kindness shine in unexpected and unprompted ways.
  4. Believers create good. The power of believing creates a compounding interest that’s at the core of all innovation and gives it momentum. If you don’t have that around you, progress will suffer.
  5. Growth hurts, but it’s good for business. With new faces and new processes, growth can be challenging, but it adds imagination and manpower to actualizing some amazing ideas.
  6. Business can be personal. We are all human and deal with human issues, and it’s important to foster an environment of passionate people who focus on humanity more than policy.
  7. Values are not created, they are identified. The people in your organization and the actions they take everyday frame the standards of your company. They mirror what you believe in.
  8. Everyone likes a free sundae. While foundational benefits are necessary, so are fun ones like sundae bars, pizza days, in-office massages, and show tickets to make employees feel valued.
  9. Our community can be just as important are our employees. When caring people come voluntarily together, they can really make a difference for the greater good that affects us all.
  10. Social media can further motivate employees. Lately, we’ve really been touting our employees across social vs. the company’s feats and it really speaks to what we cherish most: our people.
  11. The feeling of winning is more important than the trophy. Awards are great, but when the people behind them feel proud and celebrated — that’s a true win for the business.
  12. A smile, compliment, or simple hello goes a long way. It’s amazing to see the natural friendships formed when the environment in which we work places value on respect for one another.
  13. Agencies can thrive without buzzwords. We all talk about ourselves with pizzazz, spice, and trending phrases like “trailblazers” but truly thriving means creating work that speaks to that.
  14. Diversity is not a buzzword. This is something we recognize, consider incredibly important, and have made it a major priority to work on over the next year.
  15. Change can be intimidating but is good for the growth. Over the last year, we’ve increased our efforts in things like training and associations to grow the agency’s opportunities from the inside.
  16. Time is best spent loving what you do. Bottom line, great work comes from great people. Find people who love what they do, that want to do it here, and are around others who feel the same way.
  17. Everyone loves a good list. Well, at least for me, I can say I enjoyed writing this one — 17 years in the making!

Birthday, or any day, it’s important to express gratitude towards the people who make your organization successful. So, to my staff, thank you for the pleasure of leading you for 17 years, and onto 17 more.

Originally published on AdForum, May 8, 2018

Written by

Founder, Situation (www.situation.nyc)

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