Chapter 15 - Be a Parent & Teacher - Investing in People for the Greater Good


Good leadership can sometimes look like good parenting, doing things for the selfless goal of making things better for those we serve.

Bill Hunt, founder of Back Azimuth, was one of my favorite interviews. He likened growing a business to growing a family. If you have one child, you have substantial resources, hands, money, love to have a big impact. The larger your family gets you either get help or things go by the wayside.

Being honest about how much you can commit, to children or to projects or to team members, depends on acceptance of the reality that growing a family or a business includes a change in dynamic that requires new thinking, new people and new resources.

Rand Fishkin, Founder and now Wizard of Moz, moved his consulting business to a SaaS model with the great and growing platform which includes some important research tools for digital marketing. When his company reached a certain size, he passed the CEO torch to a very bright and capable Sarah Bird whom he knew embodied some of the necessary skills of growing a 100+ person company demanded. He assumed the role of evangelist and "wizard" for which he is perfectly suited. This kind of "parenting" is full of selflessness and love for what we create.

Your team, whether agency or in-house, is like your family, with all of its' dysfunctions and joy, imperfections and excellence. The happiness, not just the skill, of those in your employee is important to long-term digital marketing success. What is happiness in the job? It's been defined as "work that is meaningful and done in the company of people we care about."

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