Few emotions top the feeling that you get when sleepless nights pay off in new business, or when you nail a pitch and the client can’t contain their excitement. Those are the moments that make you realize that this is what you’re meant to be doing. But there’s something that feels better.
That feeling of accomplishment when someone you’ve hired nails the pitch or signs a new client. That’s when it really hits you that you love what you’re doing. Creating a team that can make amazing things happen doesn’t have a clear road map, but it’s also not some secret formula that’s impossible to achieve. There are a lot of factors, but we feel that these three stand near the top.
Trusting the people that you hire to make decisions gives them the confidence they need to really grow in their role. Sometimes that means letting them fail, and then trusting them to use that experience to better inform their future. When you teach someone how to drive a car, the best job you can do is to provide them with all of the knowledge they need to succeed. And then you have to let them get out on the road and prove to themselves that they can use that knowledge the right way.
Finding Leadership Worth Mirroring
Each team ends up reflecting the emotions and mindset of their leaders. When there’s a firestorm of work and multiple deadlines are looming, the team with a calm leader is going to perform best. We’ve found that successful leaders are able to create expectations for employees, find the right people to build the team, and are able to establish the trust that’s so important. And keep in mind, managers and department heads are the people that represent you when you’re not in the room, internally and externally.
Finding Real Culture
Don’t be confused with company culture and the cliche “culture” of free snacks and ping pong tables. It’s not something you can intentionally create. Not to say snacks and games are a bad idea. If it gets employees together then it’s a positive thing. But the diverse personalities you bring on will combine with the expectations that your leaders set to create your culture. That way, if there’s a year-long work from home session, the fabric of your company doesn’t get ripped up because there’s no in-person happy hour. When a new hire comes in and they can’t tell the different between people who have been there two weeks and two years, then you know the culture is strong.
There are a lot of reasons why we love what we do at Swarm, but these three have helped us build a team that trusts each other and learns from each other. At least once a week, the entire agency comes together to celebrate the accomplishment of someone else. Whether they crushed a pitch, exceeded the client’s expectations, or helped an overloaded coworker, we acknowledge their accomplishment together. This positive reinforcement creates a loop of trust, leadership, and culture that the agency lives for.