When everything feels a bit uncertain, staff and clients want you to give them some confidence.
This is a key part of your role if you're going to take advantage of my advice that things are looking up for agencies. You have to earn the confidence of the next level of clients, and ensure your team has the confidence to step up a level.
Poor leaders try to create confidence by just being upbeat and telling everyone it'll all be fine. That may appear to work on the surface, but inside (and perhaps in private conversations) people will doubt it.
Great leaders grow confidence in the people around them, like a gardener grows plants — through careful nurture and attention to all the conditions it needs to thrive.
In your agency that confidence will grow from:
- Trusting you as the leader to 'tell it how it is'
- Seeing the possible future you are all working towards
- Knowing what is expected of them
- Knowing and trusting the processes the agency runs on, and uses to deliver client work
- Trusting each other's skills, commitments, and support
- Feeling a steady rhythm of progress — a cycle of thinking, trying, learning and improving — that builds momentum towards the possible future
When the outside world feels unsteady, and when you're asking your agency to step up, it's even more important for you as a leader to focus on ensuring these things are in place, and being nurtured, in order to grow confidence.
If you develop this confidence within your agency, those on the outside such as clients and potential recruits will be able to feel it and see it in the way your team behave. So begin by growing that confidence within.
P.S. Members of our advisory board programmes have a briefing in November's board pack on how to discuss and shape their thinking to put this into action as part of a strategy to get their agency to 'look up'.
Don't hire me
Hey, I'm Steve Parks. I've been an agency founder and then board member for years, but now recommend you don't hire me.
That's because, instead of just sitting on two or three boards, I want to help as many agency founders as possible.
To do that, my Convivio colleagues and I have spent the last year working to create the Virtual Advisory Board.
- The Agency Leaders Playbook is the place to turn when you need answers and ideas as an owner and CEO. The missing reference manual on how to run a healthy agency business.
- The Monthly Board Pack give you the agenda, guidance on running the meeting, and two briefings to run productive discussions and workshops on key issues. That way you get a steer on what to be thinking about and discussing at high altitude in the agency.
- Agency Radar helps you see what's ahead that could affect your agency and its clients, so you can prepare for risks and see the opportunities.
- Office Hours gives you a monthly chance to chat with me and other agency founders to discuss, get a steer and get support on what you're currently thinking about.
- Plus there are workshops, book summaries, and more.
It's like having an incredibly supportive non-exec, but at 10% of the cost — because it's spread across more agencies.
It's £225/mo, with no long-term commitment. It'd be daft not to try it eh? :)