WEIGHING OPTIONS: Take a Deep Breath and Grow (Part 2)

Growth should never freak agency management out. The process should follow procedure. Ideally, one should set goals to gain a certain amount of clients by  a particular date – to increase revenue before that date comes about.  Even if one feels settled and comfortable, that clients are increasing and staff is solidly on board, there is trepidation. It is a feeling that courses the silent caverns within us.

When I hear the procession of footsteps heading to the door, I hope it’s a pizza run. People leaving an agency can make you feel deader than Mo Green. I’ve learned that personnel movement is common in agencies. Sometimes it’s because the worker feels that they are part of a rudderless ship, going in circles to nowhere. Often it’s for the chance to be more creative or make more money. It’s also an opportunity to grow for agency and staff.

I cannot fault, nor can any agency head blame whatever motive is present. Our job as creative heads is to develop and maintain the agency’s culture. The culture should be one where the chief achievement Is to exceed previous work – of course at the pleasure of the client.  There is great satisfaction in that.

Agency head has two responsibilities to the staff. One is to keep a flow of work of coming in. Salaries and careers ride on it. The other is to respond to the concerns and needs of the staff. In other words, be honest.  I tell my coworkers to be honest about where they believe they stand with CDM. In return I do the same.

I am proud of the fact that the only people I’ve fired occurred only after they came back for more rope to hang themselves. In the interim, I am offering counsel to get them back on course.  I would never willingly deprive a man or woman of a job – derail their career – albeit brief. That’s growth of the personal kind.

It boils down to the silliest thing.

If a coworker decides to leave, cut the lights off when you leave. Don’t burn the bridge because the saddest thing is when goodbye is final.

That’s also maturity – and growth.


Bernard A. McNealy, President


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