Ad Agency Quandary


I recently spoke with a senior media person who has over a decade of solid career growth with a major agency. While discussing her career she confided that she loved and respected her boss but, has no loyalty to the agency. I was shocked as it’s an agency everyone, once upon a time, wanted to work for and many did after toiling as un-paid interns.
What happened? She reflected on the job parts that were once fun – mentoring, teaching and helping others advance their careers. But, that’s before the agency “over-tightened” their financial belts due, perhaps, to razor-thin compensation agreements, overly aggressive demands from corporate HQ to “send more dollars home” or, simply management more concerned about making their yearly bonus at the expense of filling a couple of seats to relieve the pressure of those clocking in more than 8 hours a day.
It seems management forgot work-life balance is real. Family first is a fact. And, when loyalty leaves the building clients are sure to follow regardless of “great fee” arrangements.
Has the time arrived for management to go on an internal listening tour?


Brands Need Good Leadership

Leadership 1.0

Brands. There’s a lot of talk about brands, branding and the importance brands evolving.
Take Taylor Swift. Hugely successful ingénue country singer who successfully pivoted her brand to main stream vocal Phenom. Like Ms. Swift generations have names and identities and are brands that evolve.
For example, Baby boomers are associated with a rejection or redefinition of traditional values. As a group, baby boomers were the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to the era in which they arrived, and were among the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time.
Let’s look at today’s punching bag generation – Millennials. I know some, some are my children and in the course of my work – recruiting, I’ve interviewed my share. Most don’t deserve to be defined with the negatively charged commentary commonly described by the press.
In my opinion the Millennial generation is at a brand cross-road. One direction leaves them on the current controversial path. The other path amplifies all that’s good about a generation that trusts, believes in giving back and cares deeply for family. What’s missing, I submit, is leadership of substance to stabilize the generation’s brand and take it to its rightful place.
So, Millennials what are you waiting for?

Don’t Fear Good Executive Recruiters


Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Good recruiters aren’t dangerous, likely to cause pain nor do they pose a threat. So, why are so many hiring managers reluctant to engage the services of recruiters?

Is it the “fear” of admitting they can’t do everything by themselves?

I’m convinced it has more to do with time and money. They don’t take the time to consider how much recruiters add to the bottom line focusing only on the recruiter’s fee – something they and their management view as a cost or expense. But, if one does the math it’s money well spent.

Take, for example, the revenue lost while the job remains unfilled. Add the cost of the hiring manager’s time devoted to filling the position – time taken away from attending to her/his primary responsibilities. The sum is considerably more than a simple fee and grows dramatically with each day the job remains open. One might factor in the cost of morale as others are tasked with picking up the organizational slack and its impact on current customers.

So, come on hiring managers, quit dragging your feet because some bean counter says recruiters are an expense and call us! No fear. We promise.


My wife spent her entire career working for two companies (25+ years with one) and has always been appalled by the lack of security in the media industry and the logic-defying reasons the industry uses to fire people. It wasn’t always that way. When my partner and I started at The Wall Street Journal back in the 70’s, there was a reasonable expectation one could spend their entire career there. And many have done so.

Today I see resumes with five jobs before the age of thirty. And, in most instances, it’s no big deal. But, before you think this old guy is going to go off on a rant about millennial job hoppers, I want to address the issue from a different perspective.

Why do people feel compelled to change jobs so often?

I’ll go out on a limb and say that the idea of loyalty, ON BOTH SIDES, is long gone. Employees have no loyalty to their employers because they don’t believe the companies have any loyalty to them. If employees are treated as a hired-gun commodity, why is it surprising to employers that they act that way?

We speak with a lot of people these days, particularly those working in traditional media but also the digital folks, who are very, very frightened about their future. Technological advances, corporate mergers and shortsighted management decisions all add up to one conclusion – there is absolutely NO security in media sales today.

If this is keeping you up at night and you’re open to considering something entrepreneurial (that means they can’t fire you) we have something you will find interesting. Is it worth a ten-minute conversation? If you’re reading this, you know how to get a hold of us. Let’s hear from you.