At the start of the year, I challenged each one of our associates to come up with three words that they would focus on in 2011; three words that would give them direction and a reference point for things that they should be accomplishing professionally. I did the same thing. My three words are Appreciate, Inspire and Market – AIM.
Over the past few months, I’ve kept these words on my desk and I look at them every day. As I sat and thought about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I realized that this was a good time to reflect back upon AIM.
I have a lot to be thankful for and I am truly Appreciative of my family, my friends and those who do good things for others. In business, I appreciate our clients who trust us and partner with us to help them build their businesses and their brands. Thank You for our relationship. I appreciate our associates who are dedicated to helping our agency be successful, whether that be the Account Supervisor who strategizes for our clients, the Creative Associates who come up with great ideas and visually effective ways to execute them or the Account Manager who keeps all the details under control and projects moving. To all of you, here’s a special thank you for all you do. I know I don’t tell you this enough.
In my role as President of our agency, I believe it’s part of my job to inspire my associates to be not just good, but great. In our business, good is not good enough. I hopefully inspire our staff by challenging them, encouraging them and empowering them. And, I am truly inspired when one of them goes above and beyond to do something great. That might be working lots of extra hours without hesitation to meet a deadline. Or, it might be jumping in to help someone else out, even though it’s not their job. Or, it might be producing some extraordinary work on a specific project. I am inspired by lots of different things. To recognize inspiration in our organization, we created the Inspiration Award this year to recognize associates for it. In addition to a hundred dollar bill and a thank you note from me, they get to display the traveling Inspiration road sign in their office until the next person comes along and earns it. I hope that inspiration is becoming part of our every day culture.
Another part of my responsibility is to help Market our company. New business is the lifeblood of a dynamic organization, whether it comes from existing customers or from new ones. This past year, we have taken our business development efforts to a new level by making more direct contacts with potential customers, by participating in more industry events, by employing social media more frequently to help prospects get to know us and like us and by utilizing direct mail to generate leads and reinforce everything else we’re doing. We’re also trying to be more proactive with current customers by taking them ideas that they can incorporate into their marketing programs to help them be even more successful.
So what about you? What are you focusing on this year and how is it working? More importantly, what or who are you thankful for? Are you telling them often enough?