Since 2009, I’ve said, “Give me a strong work ethic and character and I will invest time in grooming someone to know the RCM way.” But more importantly, why I started my business, why I care about our clients and why it is a huge responsibility and I’m very upfront about the company culture.
I am not one for degrees. I believe those who belong in advertising share one trait: curiosity. I remember sitting in NorthPark Mall in Dallas after school (this is Dallas people, with the old money eccentric people) and just study what kind of people bought what. It fascinated me, this type of behavior.
I look for curiosity and I look for passion. But I have to say on the year that we’re in the spotlight after my entire team’s contributions, I am having a problem with turnover for the first time (where it’s not just one person leaving for a ‘character’ issue I never saw coming) but it has been multiple. And believe me, they get the buy-in, just like our clients got before they became clients.
I literally say two things probably once a week: a) you can have a boss that keeps her cards close to her chest, or b) you can have a boss who is direct about what she expects and is direct about who/why people get a raise or get to lead a team at RCM. Pick one—that is a personal decision I cannot make for anyone.
The second thing is: we are an all-retainer agency. We are here to grow with our clients, and earn our keep. RCM is somewhere you will never even have a chance to look at a clock. But do you have a way higher shot at feeling at ease about job security? Hell yes. But I say, feel free to go for less work at an agency where they have all their eggs in one basket and have to let people go if they lose the account. Again, pick one, I will never be offended if someone is straight with me, but if you don’t speak up it will become a character problem due to our company culture.
We just had to let someone go, and I’ll never forget when we gave a specific example why it was not in the client’s best interest to do or not do something he was supposed to communicate, he said: ‘I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes.”
This is an atmosphere where teamwork is encouraged every day. This is an atmosphere I have purposefully created where I tell everyone I have so many bosses, because each client is my boss. And I do not lie. Let me say this again, when people fail me under my company name, I have lied. And I do not lie.
See the conundrum? Then employees ask why I don’t take time off. When things seem off, I just can’t. I’d rather not have the anxiety.
So now, I can only hire for work ethic and a sense of responsibility. Also, I want to make sure my employees know that I don’t need to be liked, but I damn better well be respected.