Being the leader of our agency has given me the incredible opportunity to work with some of the most talented and dedicated people around the world. And over time, I've come to understand that what makes a team tick isn't just the thrill of a new project or the buzz of innovation—it's also the subtle but powerful dynamics between team members and their leader. That's right, I'm talking about me; hopefully, any leader wanting to make a difference within their organization will read through this brain dump I call a blog. So today, let's chat about what team members want from their employers.
Bring in the New Business (But Make it the Right Kind)
My team loves it when we land a new client. We call them 'client partners' because it's more than just a transactional relationship to us. When we secure a new project, the collective excitement is contagious, and each team member feels they had a hand in bringing that business in. We all have skin in the game, right? It feels like a group win, especially when a client comes through organic means or a referral. But remember, it's not just about landing any new client—it's about finding the right partners who respect our time, team, and talent.
Defense! Defense! (We Must Protect This House)
My next point is that my team wants to feel defended. They want to know that their work and efforts are valued not just by me but by the clients as well. Nothing can deflate a team more than an irate client, and it is my job to step in if things get out of hand. If a client steps out of line, they expect me to step in. And that's fair. After all, a harmonious relationship is vital for productivity and morale. The truth is, it's easier to replace a client than a dedicated, hardworking team member. I will never shy away from defending our team's dignity, which is non-negotiable. They will appreciate and respect you more for it.
Trust Us, We've Got This (Do Your Job, Mr. CEO, and We Will Do Ours)
Okay, confession time. I've been guilty of being that CEO who jumps in midway through a meeting or project and muddles things up. Hands up if you've done the same. What I've learned—sometimes the hard way—is to trust my team. Once they understand the vision and mission, they don't need me hovering over their shoulder. Let them do their thing! I've recently handed over our Monday 'All Hands Meetings' to the team so they can grow as leaders within our agency. It shows trust and allows them to be thinkers, not doers. My role? To coach and guide them, not micromanage.
A Little Appreciation Goes a Long Way (Show Some Love and Empathy)
This is a big one, guys. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. And while verbal affirmations are great, remember that appreciation extends beyond the 'great job' comments. Encourage your team to take time off. Celebrate their life milestones. Give them the space to restore themselves, recharge, and be with their families. A happy team member is productive, and a little care goes a long way.
So there you have it. It might not be a definitive list, but it's a start. What it comes down to is simple: a team wants to feel empowered, respected, defended and appreciated. As leaders, it's up to us to make that happen.