This post is a slightly different approach to how Spitball typically blogs. It’s straight from the account team’s heart. You’ll find no statistics, data or case studies. Sometimes impactful moments in the workplace can be mistaken as routine, but not any less remarkable. Under current circumstances we need to think about things differently, both professionally and personally, and draw motivation, inspiration and encouragement from typically untapped places.
Kristin (Account Director): My epiphany was when I took a moment to reflect on the past year of activity. You never get the full picture of anything until it has passed. It’s an exercise I try to make time for amongst the chaos of the everyday. Whether it is growing from mistakes, noting successes, laughing at blunders or wishing for more, there is learning at every turn. But more importantly, looking back should only be done to help shape how you move forward, which is something I try to challenge myself with often. I never get stuck on the past and often ponder what I could have done better or differently. The outcome will never change. Watch the movie Titanic over and over and it will still sink in the end, guaranteed.
However I recognize that it’s far easier to preach than practice. Admittedly, I did find myself hung up on a recent experience that I felt I could have possibly done things differently to change the outcome. I couldn’t shake the sting and there was a ripple effect in how I conducted my work, which was not as strong as I know I’m capable of. The feeling of defeat was difficult to move past and I kept searching for that moment of where I may have misstepped, where things could have been different. It was weighing down heavily on me. Until I paused and really thought beyond myself and my experience…
Tara (Account Executive): As someone who joined the team over a year ago, I had my fair share of missteps while trying to communicate with the team, and even sometimes to the client. As Kristin mentioned, the only way to overcome these blunders are to accept them as learning opportunities. A common phrase we all know is to “move on,” but what better encapsulates the mindset I try to embody is not to “move on”, but to “move with”. Any mistake I make I have to accept as a lesson learned and move with that learning to become more equipped in the future. It’s the only way we can continue progressing.
While progress is a great feat, many times growth and putting yourself out there, feels very uncomfortable. I have struggled with this feeling because I put a lot of responsibility on myself to make sure all members of my team feel confident in a process I helped put in place. If I do not implement an efficient process, I fall short of my role and, therefore, become less confident in my ability. This feeling occurs more often than I’d like, but when I reflect, I realize this feeling of discomfort is an absolute necessity for successful progress.
As account managers, we serve innumerable roles across multiple functions (we won’t bore you with the details). Keeping internal and external communications in sync is paramount to project success. The better you get at the role, the easier it is to turn on auto-pilot. A client has a request that we flip to the respective internal team. They produce the work for client, the client provides feedback, the team revises (sometimes many times over) and we send the final product back to the client. Pretty straight forward.
But when you take the time to understand that process on a more human level, you can truly appreciate the indestructible strength of our team. They are able to seamlessly respond to asks with remarkable creativity, strategy and planning. Think about it, any piece of feedback from a client is essentially a criticism of work. And there are times when the rounds of comments can be intense. To be able to endure and continue to think beyond the initial thought and come back with even stronger ideas is truly inspiring and something that our crew does better than any team I’ve seen or been a part of. They often do not have the convenience of time to sit and dwell in the past, nor get stuck on it, not even for a minute. And in some cases, they need to respond in the moment with a solution.
There is no end to their creative juices; the never ending flame that burns in all of them to continually produce amazingly smart work is something to be noted. It’s amazing how far their minds can stretch.
On the account side, we don’t typically have client feedback/critiques to our own work and so we’ve drawn inspiration from the strength, creatively and rapid-fire thinking of our extended team. Over analyzing what you could have changed won’t erase the past, the focus should be more about how you will make it even better in the future.
So from two Account Managers to their supporting teams – THANK YOU! You are rock stars and inspire us daily in ways you may never have thought of and this is our love letter to you. And to everyone, else we challenge you to find moments to reflect. They are worth every minute.