Adrenaline Is a Key Ingredient to Success

Small Agency Diary: How to Get Everyone to Work in Unison

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Bart Cleveland Bart Cleveland
You've probably read stories about people who have used superhuman strength to save themselves or someone else from certain doom. It's true that people are able to do things, such as lifting a car with their bare hands, because adrenaline shoots through their body in such a way that their muscle fibers contract at the exact same moment. At least, that's what The Science Channel says. Believing you can do something is more important than physics. In a crisis, superhuman strength can happen automatically. However, many examples of superhuman feats happen with a determined will and effort.

Imagine if we could apply this phenomenon to our business. If an agency's staff could work in unison, it would have an incredibly positive effect on its innovation potential. If adrenaline causes superhuman capabilities to happen, what would act as the adrenaline to cause the same to happen in our agencies?

I think an example of this type of occurrence happened during this year's Olympics. The U.S. men's swimming team literally willed themselves to victory over the French. As Jason Lizak, the swimmer who made up a half body-length lead on the final leg, said, "I guess I just wanted it more." Why did the U.S. team want it more? Earlier, one of the French swimmers told the press his team would crush their American rivals. Does your agency have a "French" competitor? If so, use it to fire up your team to dig a little deeper and do what no one gives them hope to accomplish. In the sentiment of U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps, use the "trash talk" as motivation to prove everyone wrong.

Another adrenaline injection could be administered by creating an audacious goal that challenges your agency. Once the goal is decided, keep it in front of your group as a continuous reminder that they have something special to accomplish. Give it a scary deadline. Give accomplishment a reward. Do whatever you have to to get your people to stretch beyond their perceived strength.

The lack of high-quality work in our industry is due to the opposite operation of the agency. When people and departments are working independently of one another (and in many cases against one another), greatness is impossible.

Too much of what we are doing in this industry is an example of hoping for superhuman strength rather than using a determined will. We are full of excuses for our poor work that shift the blame beyond ourselves, yet they hold no weight because we all have competitors that have the same obstacles and still succeed.

The greatest challenge for agency leaders is to successfully inject the proper adrenaline into their agency. We must examine what our employees need most and then supply every opportunity for them to succeed. Day-to-day business can be distracting, but we must not forget that our success tomorrow will be greater if we act on the belief that we can do something superhuman today.
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