What’s in it for we? Find greater reward with a focus on WE, not ME.

Published October 23, 2015 6:37 pm by Jamie Goff

If the force is with you, you understand the draw to agency life. It is unpredictable and exciting, and one day is never the same as any other. Which makes me wonder why a list-making, linear-thinking, left-brainer like me would feel so drawn into a career that guarantees daily disruption, eternal juggling, and longer lists at day’s end than its start. Perhaps it’s the people—and the collaborative environment that comes with agency life. And whether or not you work at an agency, there’s something to be said for maintaining a focus on the team at large. These nuggets might provide some fresh perspective on how to be a team player—and why it’s more important than being an individual competitor.

  1. Control the controllable with tight-knit collaboration. After 11+ years at LoSasso, I can testify that no matter how well mapped every last detail seems, or how padded every deadline is, you will be dealt wild cards pretty much every day. And while they can’t be anticipated, they can be easier to deal with when your team operates as one.The devil’s in the details is a saying for a reason. And when you’re in the driver’s seat, it is imperative for your project/ campaign/program’s success that you account for all team members’ roles and how they affect the extended team. Put your Team Captain hat on, because every team is comprised of different perspectives, and it requires a leader to facilitate discussion, finalize decisions and orchestrate execution.
  1. Give credit, take blame. This one resonated so strongly with me when I first read it that I wrote it on a Post It and put it on the board above my desk. It’s been there ever since, and has become an anchor point in my thought process when navigating complex situations. In the spirit of eternal self-improvement, I recognize that giving credit and taking blame are seemingly small actions with big impact. This mantra reminds me that the best resolutions come in the form of forward progress and collective gain, not self preservation.My agency culture is rooted in its PACT (Passion, Accountability, Creative Insight, and Team-Focus), and requires each employee’s commitment to living the PACT. Since the introduction of this concept, and its integration into our performance reviews and professional development, it has given me the clarity to make decisions and navigate situations with a much deeper focus on the group as a whole. It’s refreshing to be surrounded by colleagues who share this mindset and dedication, and it creates a stronger sense of community.

The next time you’re feeling frustrated by a left-field request or redefined project scope, take a deep breath and don’t forget why you chose to get on this roller coaster. Make decisions and take actions that will bring your team together in the end. Because there’s power in numbers and you’ll find a much greater sense of accomplishment when you think more about the WE than the ME.