Friday, May 30, 2008

A New Mission

Instead of only providing a monthly critique of insipid decisions in the digital media world, it dawned on me that I had to do more. But I was missing a catalyst, a rationale for posting more frequently. Well, today I am freshly inspired.

I'm announcing a new feature to the blog - "Affirmations for the Digital Amateur". Why am I embarking on this effort? After almost 15 years in online marketing and media, I felt it was my duty to supply much needed guidance to the truly clueless in our space. Who are these hapless souls? Not the junior-level staff members busting their collective asses every day. No, the beneficiaries will be the Directors and VPs granted ownership of some piece of digital P&L despite not having any experience in the field and amazingly are asked to manage a staff. Enjoy.

Affirmation for Friday, May 30th -The Right Way to Build Your Team

  • Your team is a reflection of you, so build your team in your own image. As such, you want to aim for incompetent sycophants. Getting someone who is either worthless or a toady will suffice, but the real trick is landing staffers who display strength in both traits.

  • Avoid hiring people who've actually worked in your same industry. What insight or value could they possibly provide? All information on the business, no matter how banal or trite, must be filtered through you. Play the wild card. For example, if you need a seasoned consumer e-commerce Telecom veteran, what better source than a B2B chemical company to fill the role?

  • Conversely, having ambitious, experienced talent on your team will only slow you down. With their work ethic, and history of delivering results, naturally you'll feel threatened. Do your best to marginalize their impact. If they're smart, they will find more compelling work outside of the intelligence-sapping environment you've built.

  • If these interlopers continue to make progress in spite your ineptitude, then every communication to them from you should be a lie. Dishonesty is the only way to maintain your relevancy to the organization. Take credit for their innovations. Hang them out to dry with other internal departments. Promise to go to bat for them, and then bad-mouth them to anyone who will listen, even after they've left your team.

Next: Picking the Right Vendors - The Objective Way to Advance your Education