Jenny Taylor — President & Chief Growth Officer
Did you know that The Festival of Enormous Changes at the Last Minute is observed every year on December 30th?
Some people may panic when they realize that there are only two days left in the year. Some may have a sense of guilt, dread, regret or disappointment because they feel like time has run out and “life happened”.
For me, being an optimist, this day is one of hope. It reminds me that there are still two days left in this year. Changes can still be made and resolutions from this past year can still be resolved. It doesn’t have to be monumental. Pat yourself on the back for completing your first workout routine, taking the first bite of a healthy meal, beginning an assessment of where you are today and where you want to be tomorrow.
Be kind to yourself. There is so much more in store for us.
2022 continued to be tumultuous at a personal level as well as for my business and the clients we serve. I continued to travel on the path I set last year to evolve my business, and to grow, learn, imagine and improve!
This year was one of definition. From job descriptions to work instructions, we strengthened our framework.
As a leader, I believe consistency, open communication and transparency are fundamental to creating a positive culture. As a strategic marketing communications agency that plans to scale, defining expectations and processes provides a structure for each team member. Knowing that thoughtfully created resources exist contributes to providing a caring and constructive onboarding experience where a new employee knows where resources are and can begin contributing effectively. By inserting new employees as seamlessly as possible into the existing team, the team as a whole has an environment where everyone can feel secure enough to create freely and efficiently.
Building the right team is always a leader’s biggest challenge. There’s no recipe for repeated success when you know that each person who’s added to the mix changes the team’s chemistry. And it seems the impact of one person is profound when the team is less than ten. When it works, it’s remarkable proof that the sum of the total is greater than the sum of the parts.
Through many interviews and use of tools provided through my Vistage peers, I learned more about how to go beyond what’s on paper. I learned how to ask about what candidates want and need and how important it is to ensure that their wants and needs align with my plans for the company.
TIP: When excellent oral and written communication skills are required for a position, one of my directors likes to ask if the candidate enjoys reading. She feels that readers, compared to those who prefer visuals, are more likely to be articulate, organized and thorough when writing, and thoughtful when speaking or presenting. And they are better proofreaders.
To be honest, I continued to test the bounds of flexibility and found that I am indeed, infinitely resilient. Although Able has already defied statistics for the survival rate for small businesses — we celebrated our 14th birthday this month — there were headwinds, whitewater and churn to navigate.
Part of my success as a small business owner is that I’m capable of doing any job in the agency. Over the years, I’ve found that there are periods where certain types of positions simply don’t have appropriate applicants and other times we are overflowing with fantastic candidates.
Either way, with those defined job descriptions and work instructions, I wore many hats this past year. I filled in for what was needed, and led by example as I helped to train new employees so they could be successful here.
We also continued to lead our clients on their transformation journeys. I am grateful for my wonderful team, our incredibly supportive vendors, and our fantastic clients. In all my years, I am thrilled that we currently have such a diverse set of clients who have put their trust in us to help them position their organizations and brands. Take a look at our portfolio and explore samples of the integrated campaigns we accomplished this year. They are a testament to what creative results led by strategy can be.
I continued to experience personal and organizational growing pains — sometimes it seemed like there was a lot more pain than growth!
The past few years have made it clear that one thing we must count on is change. We’ve all dealt with the unthinkable and many of us have learned to pivot and adapt when the unexpected occurs.
In my experience, it is possible to transcend circumstances. My advice, especially to others in a leadership role, is to seek out help and share your knowledge and experience with others. For myself, I am mindful of being human. It’s okay to acknowledge how I feel and to reach out for support so that I can recharge and practice being my very best every day.
Today, let’s enjoy and celebrate The Festival of Enormous Changes at the Last Minute. Let’s reflect on the past with no regret and instead consider those past actions and experiences as lessons. Let’s look forward to what the future may bring. Let’s join together and celebrate the year that’s about to end and the year that’s about to begin. It’s the perfect time to define plans, improve our leadership skills and transcend where we are today.
I am grateful for each of you and wish you health, happiness and prosperity in the coming year.