When I founded Rock Candy Media in 2009 in Austin, it was because alarm clocks give me severe anxiety and I needed to be my own boss. I knew I needed to build a group that would challenge each other to do better, and building a team that can succeed in a field like advertising requires both intense creativity and intense discipline. If you’re wildly creative but can’t make a deadline to save your life, it’s not going to work. Likewise if you hit every deadline but everything you do looks the same. It took me a long time to find the right way to build a successful marketing team (one that has each others’ backs), but I thought I’d be nice and spare you guys all the trial and error that I had to go through. Here’s five things I’ve learned about building a successful advertising team.
1) People can change, but I don’t believe their character does. They either have it or they don’t.
2) I’d rather hire the person that grew up liking to people watch versus people who spend all their time in the library. It says something about the person — you have to be genuinely interested in studying human behavior to really get marketing
3) When I hire someone, I hire them to change my mind. It tells me if they’re going to be able to drop their ego for the client (or help me drop my ego).
4) Life’s too short to work with anyone uncool. If they’re uncool to your team, it’s never going to be worth it.
5) It took me a long time to get that I treated people like the Lloyd to my Ari, because I naively thought “Why can’t they just do their jobs?” Six years later, it dawned on me to just invest in tier one people and handle the small stuff myself, because the more people you have between you and your top tier people, the less they get to know you. Your people have to know you to be loyal to you.