This phrase stuck with me from an enjoyable and thought-provoking conversation with respected agency leader turned non-exec director and coach, Nikki Gatenby, this week.
She said most of the problems agency owners face are essentially us punching ourselves in the face. We know what we ought to do but we don't do it. We know what we ought not do but we keep doing it. We know where the problems are but we don't go and deal with them.
The result is we keep feeling pain, but we don't know how to stop it.
All it takes is a bit of outside perspective — either a coach, an advisory board, or some simple prompt like this message — to make us step back, take a look, and realise that the source of the pain is actually in our control. (Hint: as the CEO, it's all in our control, one way or another)
We just have to stop punching ourselves in the face.
So what things in your agency are causing you pain this week? If you think about them a moment, are any of them down to you punching yourself in the face? Well, maybe this is the week to stop doing that.
Notable this week:
- Paul Bellows, CEO of Canadian digital agency Yellow Pencil (and former Convivio podcast guest) wrote a frank post on his struggles with implementing OKRs. My colleague Joe has been researching how various companies and experts use OKRs, and the in-depth 'What Works' report will be out for Convivio members this week.
- VC Karen Klein has some useful tips on how to actually spin the great resignation round in your favour.
- If you run a digital agency, the Bureau of Digital has their Owner Summit coming up, with remote-access streaming tickets still available. It's a blast, with a bunch of lovely founders being really open and supportive with each other.
- The Wow company's Benchpress survey of UK agencies is open now. By taking part you get a report showing how you measure up against the average (and the best), with tips on how to improve.
We're about to pass the first 100 subscribers to this newsletter. It's uniquely for agency owner-CEOs and has only been going a short while, so I'm quite chuffed with that. Thankyou for being a subscriber.
I'd really like to spread the word to give a dose of inspiration and insight to more agency founders each week.
Please do forward this to other founders and tell them to subscribe, spread the word in agency networks, or send me a few sentences (to my email above) about why you find it useful that we can use on the signup page. Whatever you can do to spread the word would be much appreciated.
As you know by now, this is a no-spam newsletter that is all about being useful. So let's be useful for more people! Thanks :)
Convivio provides a framework and tools for leading a healthy agency.
We curate the Agency Leaders Playbook, for all agency CEOs, and programmes to provide advisory boards and implementation support and coaching for agencies between 10-30 people, and between 30-75 people. Tame the chaos, be more proactive — and love leading your agency.