How not to screw up running a healthcare shop

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As we begin our fourth decade at AbelsonTaylor, I think it is finally time to come clean, and share the real secrets of how to run an ad agency successfully.
The first secret is simple: Be lucky. Napoleon knew that only “lucky” generals won battles. The same is true for agency owners.
Time and time again, we added staff that amazed us with their abilities. Time and time again, happy clients switched brands or companies, decided that they wanted to work with those talented people again and hired us without a pitch. That continues to happen to this day. It happened 27 times in the last two years, in fact.
I am living proof that Machiavelli was right when he said that half of your destiny is controlled by fortune.
For the half that is within your control, I have always figured that the best way to keep from screwing up your good luck is to set up some rules that are easy to remember. Here are mine:
1. Cherish the work. Great work always trumps a great vision statement.
2. Anyone who thinks you have cheated them will tell
at least 50 of their friends.
3. There are two sides to every story, and if you don't listen to both, you'll be wrong half the time.
4. Life is too short to work with people who treat others badly.
5. If it looks like an ad you have seen before, don't
present it.
6. Pitches are games of chance. Never bet more than you can afford to lose.
7. Never hold it against someone who quits the agency.
8. The best new business guy
is a happy client in a new job.
9. If you don't offer your staff growth, training and new experiences, someone else undoubtedly will.
10. Any time you are tempted to sell your agency, call three people who have. The temptation will pass.
It's been a great 30 years in a truly great industry. I am lucky to be a part of it and lucky to be able to work with more than 400 of the best agency folks in the business on 60 of the best brands in the world.

Dale Taylor is chief executive officer, AbelsonTaylor

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