Tag Archives: teamwork

A Simple Word About Team

You can only hope to build a team who appreciates what team is about. Who knows that they only have to be their best selves to contribute. Who see the strengths in others around them. Who knows their day to shine will come as long as they push for greatness every single moment. Who believe in a common cause. And will do whatever they can to achieve it. Who has each others’ backs. Who genuinely likes each other. And holds each other accountable. On their terms. In their way. Outside of being told what or how to do it.

Teams work together to work. To solve problems. To function. To make greatness.

Teams can function when any one person leaves because the team is not about one person. It’s about the whole.

When your team can function (even thrive) in that scenario, know that you have an excellent team. Relish in it. It’s special.

The Team Behind the Launch

If you’ve ever launched something, be it a product or a campaign or a website, you know these things:

  1. It’s a lot of hard work, emphasis on hard
  2. It never goes as planned, regardless of good or bad planning
  3. It takes a team and on that team must be a leader and a quarterback, not necessarily the same person
  4. It’s a grind


All of this work, leading up to the launch, is hardly glorious and most of the times, filled with challenges and problems to solve. It is typically the hardest work you’ll ever do when you’re in the business of making stuff.

It’s never easy.

So, what can you do? Breathe. Relax. Focus. Think clearly. Support one another.

Assuming you have a team who wants it just as badly as you do, everyone understands the urgency and the stakes.

Have each others’ backs. You’re all a team. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be stressful times and perhaps a fight or two. But in the end, there’s no one to fight harder for than your team.

Friday’s 4-1-1, Tips for Pitching Style

11th Screen | The Interactive Out-of-Home Blog

Do you spend a considerable amount of your time pitching new business?

If you’re anything like me, there’s probably not a day that goes by that you don’t have pitch someone a new idea. But new business is kind of a different monster. I think a lot of the same principles apply to simply pitching ideas and pitching pieces of business, but today, I want to focus on new business pitches. Whether you’re going at it alone or with a group, here are some tips that might help make your pitching more successful.

Let your ego go – if you’ve gotten as far as pitching, you’ve obviously got the tools to get you in the door. Whether that is a phone call, a note, a written proposal – there’s something about you and your offering that has put you in the position to walk in that door and pitch. So, as soon as you start the pitch machine, let your ego go. Leave it at the door. You will need to make concessions and compromise throughout the process in order to bring forward the best story for your potential client. There is a point in the process, as early as the initial outreach, when it stops being about you and starts being about them. Personal egos typically cloud great solutions.

The aggregate is more powerful than 1– this is certainly the case as a team. Each person on that team should bring something that others do not. Therefore, each person working together, contributing their part, should bring together 1 solid story. If you’re not pitching with a team and you’re going at it alone, bring others – friends, colleagues, mentors, trusted advisors – in along the way. Bounce ideas or stories off of them. Get advice. Pitching is a process that results in a story with a particular shape to it. I’ve found that shape to be more powerful when multiple people have their hands in shaping it vs. 1.

Identify strengths & turn them loose – sometimes roles on the pitch team are defined by actual roles within the organization. It can be assumed that the most senior person on the team should take the lead in the pitch – open, close, drive, etc.. That might not always be the case. Perhaps that person is best to bring the positioning to life. Or to tell personal/relevant stories. Or to bring to life creative ideas. As early on as you can, identify the strengths of everyone on the pitch team, assign roles, and let them rock it out. To be clear, this is not a divide-and-conquer approach. It is simply intended to let people shine at what they’re best at. If you’re going at it alone, really focus and spend time on those components that play to your strengths. Don’t ignore the others, but at the same time, don’t compromise anything that could give you a really good chance to win the business.

Passion could be the silver bullet – I’m overstating the idea that there is a silver bullet, I know. But I don’t know that there is anything more powerful than passion. If you can tap into your own passions and those of your team members, do everything you can to get out of the way and let it come through in the pitch. People in the room can feel passion. It’s infectious. And you want to work for clients who get jazzed by that. What are you passionate about? Can you bring that forward?

“Duh” – Keep it simple – there is usually a specific ask that you are pitching for. Is it to brand or rebrand a product? Is it to create a communications plan? Is it to create a specific solution? More often than not, that’s exactly what they want. I think that we, in agencies, like to read between the lines and interpret what clients really want, based on what they are and/or are not saying. Start with answering the specific ask. And beyond that, in every facet of the pitch, ask yourself, am I telling, showing this in simplest way? Simple does not mean not well thought out or elementary. Simple simply means simple.

“Uh-huh” – What do you want to be remembered for? – as soon as you walk out of that room, after the pitch, the client is going to remember you for something. What do you want that something to be? Answer this early on and let it be your guide throughout the entire process.

In the end, clients want to feel comfortable that you and/or your agency has the experience and the ability to do the work. You’ve got to show that to them. But they also want to partner with a team they can see themselves working with. This comes through in personality and passion. It’s not just the brains that will help you win, it’s the heart, too. Don’t underestimate the heart.

Now, go win some business.