What is success? I think about this question often. In many companies it is some financial goal, to beat the competition, to become the largest or the best. What does that mean? Against what metrics? That is not a vision nor does it demonstrate something of particular importance to others. It is an insular view and in my humble opinion really hard to get behind as an organization. At iFrog, our vision is not about ourselves, but about the industry and clients. Our vision states “we will disrupt the industry and create a sustainable competitive advantage for our clients.” However, we also aim to completely reimagine marketing technology so we can wholly transform our clients’ businesses.
Why do some teams come together and others pull apart? I think the answer to this question is really twofold. First, if your organization does not have an overarching vision that the staff can get behind, it is very hard to get “the team” to pull together. I have seen organizations make cost cutting their primary objective and while it is important to manage the balance sheet, that can’t be the vision of a company. I would argue that the issue with that particular company was a vision and leadership void. In an organization where leadership cares more about numbers than people, then you lose the hope of teams coming together and everyone is in self-preservation mode.
Rather than endless cost cutting that usually consists of layoffs for lower level staffers and is a constant drip, consider having everyone at all levels make a shared sacrifice for a period of time together. Staff responds to that transparency and group sacrifice and the team comes together. In April, during the COVID-19 pandemic, iFrog had to cut costs and I asked for a shared sacrifice for pay cuts. Our senior team took the biggest cuts and were the last to get their pay back. While people did not like taking cuts, they respected the shared sacrifice and transparency. Many leaders totally miss this notion and then are confused why teams do not come together.
Hiring the right leaders is second. At iFrog, we take great pains to hire leaders whose focal point is on giving and not taking. They must be obsessed with our vision of building a transformative company that helps our clients run their businesses. We empower leaders that think of others before they think of themselves. Being senior executives is not a college of cardinals, it is not a group who gets all the rewards and yet makes none of the sacrifices. Honestly, I call bull on that type of leadership. As the leader of iFrog, our leaders make the first and greatest sacrifices to protect our team so they can do outstanding work.
Leadership takes courage! It means standing up for something, not becoming complacent or simply going through the motions. It means protecting those you work with. It means being committed to a vision and a roadmap for your company’s success. It is bigger than a balance sheet, sales targets and short-term thinking. Great leaders are about their people and their clients first. In fact, at iFrog we love our clients and our staff, and it shows in everything we do.
As always, please don’t hesitate to hit me up 24/7 at firstname.lastname@example.org.