Iâ€™m delighted that Maura Lafferty has agreed to join Firebrand. She previously worked with Grayling and ran her own agency.Â Maura was connected to me through a mutual friend (thanks Alison) and came armed with a business plan based on social impact. Sheâ€™s bright, articulate and full of hustle.
Look at the messenger, not the message
But hereâ€™s something surprising. During our initial conversation, Maura reeled off a list of other firms she had approached – all of them said no. The plan was robust but the comms industry is awash with opportunity today. To me, the message didnâ€™t matter – the messenger, though, was a different story. Anyone who had the conviction to approach 15 top-ranked agencies pitching their idea, undeterred and enthusiastic was someone I wanted on the team. I canâ€™t think of a single client who wouldnâ€™t want that tenacity on their side.
As it happens, we are planning work with social impact clients – ones who are making a difference. Thereâ€™s an opportunity for tech firms in the Valley to connect more with their community. The best tech companies have a soul and those are the ones top talent wants to work with. Maura was right – sometimes despite rejection, you need to keep on the course until you find someone who believes in you.
A mindset, not just a skill set
I donâ€™t plan to profile everyone we hire. Hiring is an everyday occurrence in companies across the land. But I do think sharing the thought process as you put together an initial team is valuable. Youâ€™re not looking for units of production or worker bees. Youâ€™re looking for a mindset, not justÂ a skill set. People who can see what you envisage and want to join you on the path to that mountain top. They donâ€™t care whether you have an onboarding process or about the 401k match. AÂ formal job description is just a constraint for initial team members. They want to do important work with meaningful clients – to make a difference through their work and with their firm.
So to Maura – welcome aboard and thank you. I believe in you, and am thrilled you have committed to Firebrand. Our path is unknown, itâ€™ll twist and turn and no doubt be steep at times. But the journey will be fun and I promise the views will be worth it!