This week our Managing Director of The Interactive Team, Gilles Baudet, is taking a very well deserved break. Naturally on Friday about a million things were popping up, but as my colleague Stacey pointed out, the holiday wasn’t just for Gilles, it was for his family, so it went ahead – much to his wife’s relief no doubt.
Now, even though The Interactive Team is very much built around Gilles own ability to drive the business forward, it doesn’t stop just because the boss is away. In the meantime the Glasgow HQ is being handled by one of our Campaign Managers, Joel, who, pending promotion will be launching our branch in Birmingham.
I grabbed Joel for 5 minutes inbetween his duties and asked him what its like stepping up to the plate, and shouldering the responsibility of running the branch on his own, this is what we discussed.
“Its exciting, it gives you an opportunity to prove yourself” he said instantly.
Wasn’t he scared of the responsibility, I wondered out loud.
“No, Gilles has been personally training me for a while now, so I’ve learnt what is expected of me and what it takes. He wouldn’t have left me in charge if I couldn’t do it.
The biggest challenge while Gilles is away is being prepared for everything – but I’ve learnt to have a plan A, B, and C because in this business there’s always something that can happen.”
This goes back to that old adage – proper preparation prevents – well, you know the rest. It’s a hallmark of this company to be hyper prepared. We have a Dropbox full of learning material to help not only our Events Team, but our Management Team too. With daily management meetings and training sessions, it is beyond crucial to be prepared for every question, every outcome, every possible thing that could happen. We work in the moment, live data uplinks mean live decisions, which equals live results, results that directly effect our clients – and our customers too, and so without proper preparation anything could happen.
“When you’re running an office,” Joel says, “its important to set the tone, and the bar, high so people know what your standard is – when people are looking to you for an example they’ll do 70% of what you do right and 200% of what you do wrong”
Whether I agree with those statistics or not, he has a point – and I don’t like those odds.
“Everything you do has to be above and beyond of normal standards,” Joel says of coping with that responsibility. That sounds pretty tough I say, “doing all the easy things correctly, that’s the hard part,” Joel laughs.
While Joel might have been having a laugh, again, he has a point. Leadership is a myriad of smaller tasks that goes together to make a larger whole. While each task in and of itself might seem inconsequential or be fairly easy or simple to perform, each action has an impact on the people around you, and each one has to represent The Interactive Team at its best.
With that kind of responsibility stacking up I wondered what Joel’s goals for this week were, personally and for The Interactive Team.
“I guess what I’m most looking forward to is proving to Gilles I’m ready to open the Birmingham branch” he replies.
The Interactive Team operates on merit-based progression, so this is the exactly the chance a Campaign Manager can use to earn a further promotion.
Professionally Joel’s goals for the week were concerned with motivating the Events Team.
“I want to show people you can achieve your goals, whether they’re your own performance, or financial – I’m going to lead by example.” Joel continues, “it’s easier than you think to progress in this business if you just set your goals and achieve them step by step every day.”
As someone personally trialing different ways to hit my goals I dug a little deeper. How does Joel go about hitting his own goals?
“You know, you’ve got to facilitate your pathway to hit your goals,” he paused.
“I prepare every single day. I’m ahead of my day by getting up earlier so I have more time to do what I’ve got to do, I’m focused because I go to bed early,” Joel finished.
My mind leapt to last weeks experiment in ways to wake up earlier, and the advice was consistently, start as you mean to go on, ie go to bed early to wake up early (you can read more of my morning routine experiment here).
“And I always have back up plans” Joel smirked.
So the key lessons from Campaign Manager Joel this week will be to lead by example, to take care at every step so they add up to a good whole, and if you want to hit your professional and personal goals to prepare for every outcome.
For the rest of the week I’ll be continuing my goal setting and visualisation experiment I started here – if you have any advice or want to share your own experience head on over to our Facebook company page here.