5 rules to live by at a new job

November 7, 2008

1. Never under estimate anyone (they can probably teach you a few things).

Throughout my career I’ve learned from everyone.  Of course you’ll learn from the CEO, the COO, and the CMO.  I mean keeping your eyes and ears open, and learning from everyone around you.  I learned a great lesson from our office manager Michele Burke during my years at Epic Advertising, back when it was still AzoogleAds. Michele has the uncanny ability to bring levity to any situation.  When we first started at AzoogleAds, Chris Mentzer, Brett Lofgren and Myself sat in close proximity. The beginning days at AzoogleAds were uncertain, and stress filled.  When things would heat up, Michele would invariably walk over from her station at the front desk to pick something up from the printer and make a comment in some new accent she’d just created, getting everyone to crack up.  

Life’s short – laugh a little.  Thanks for that lesson Michele.

2. Listen

Recently I read a book that offered a great note on interrupting people.  In the book the author stated that when you interrupt someone, you’re indicating you think what you have to say is more important than what the person speaking is saying.  Listening is how we learn.  Listening and truly hearing is how we can be a better friend, colleague, husband.  The more I listen to the team at Miva, I guarantee the more successful the entire team will be.  I’m certain that the harder I listen, the more nuances about the business will arise.  I’m dying to dig in and hear what everyone has to say.

3. Speak the truth

I’m obsessed with business audio books.  Because I spend a great deal of my time on metro north commuting to and from the city, it’s my preferred method of entertainment/self improvement. My eyes are usually too tired to read (after staring at a computer screen all day).  I also find that I can plow through a few books a week this way.  Recently I was listening to a book that discusses six sigma. The essence of six sigma is – be truthful in business.  Analyzing your company from a point of truth is invaluable. Understanding the reality of any situation is the only way you improve. Embracing your situation, addressing any issues head on, and moving forward is the only way you grow. We must be truthful to ourselves, our loved ones and our colleagues.

4. Write lucid succinct memos

I struggle with this one, but it helps a great deal. Resist the temptation to ramble. That’s what blogs, and friends are for.  When communicating with your colleagues/bosses write as succinctly as possible.  Don’t complain, don’t waif.  Get to the point, offer solutions. Your colleagues will love you for it.  Their time is just as valuable as yours.  Don’t assume that they need to hear about how you took a full week to aggregate the information your sending. Just tell them what the information is, how it can be leveraged to help make their life easier, and hit the send button.  

5. Compete fair and square

There’s no room for game playing in business.  Some people approach business with a war room mentality. I understand the parallels, but that this doesn’t make it acceptable to cut corners. Give people the opportunity to be fair, and truthful and they will be.  Articulate that you are open to hearing about truth and that you reward good work.  Fairness will become a part of your corporate culture.

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Epic Advertising Appoints Rob Wilson

September 23, 2008

In an interesting twist, my former employer Epic Advertising (former AzoogleAds) has appointed Robert Wilson Senior Vice President and General Manager, Europe. It wouldn’t be so interesting to me if Rob weren’t my boss here at zanox, up until a few weeks ago. Yikes.

I wish Epic Advertising the best with their new hire. Robert Wilson is one of the best in this business. Rob has laser focus that can cut through the clutter. He has an ability to execute that I’m certain Don Mathis and the rest of the team at Epic Advertising will be thrilled to support. Rob is certainly the right guy for the job, and I see him fitting in well to culture that the Epic Advertising team has fought so hard to cultivate.

This is a definitive move for Epic Advertising, who up until now have not made any major moves abroad. This indicates to me that they see huge potential in EMEA. I’m thrilled to see this move, and excited to see what unfolds in the coming months. The move supports my theory that major US business HAS to move abroad to not only survive but thrive.

See the PR Wire below:

Epic Advertising Appoints Rob Wilson

Former Zanox and 24/7 exec appointed to lead company’s European business

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Epic Advertising (www.EpicAdvertising.com), the New York-based online marketing leader, announced today that it has appointed international online marketing veteran Rob Wilson to the position of Senior Vice President and General Manager, Europe. Mr. Wilson will be based in London, England, and will start his new post on October 16, 2008.

In his position at Epic Advertising, Mr. Wilson is responsible for the further development and general strategic oversight of the company’s European-based businesses. He will also oversee all operational facets of the European-based division, including office expansion and staffing, as well as strategic oversight and P&L.

Prior to joining Epic Advertising, Mr. Wilson served as Regional Director for the US and UK markets for Zanox, a performance marketing company headquartered in Berlin. During his tenure at Zanox, Mr. Wilson maintained full P&L responsibility for the company’s English-speaking markets, and was critical in growing the UK market dramatically within a year. Additionally, Mr. Wilson championed several operational improvements including implementation of a revised set of Key Performance Indicators and a management restructure, while also leading a project team for the company’s Search Engine Marketing business.

Prior to Zanox, Mr. Wilson held several notable posts during his career. Most recently, he was the Managing Director, Europe for 24/7 Real Media, possessing full P&L responsibility over its European businesses. Previously, Mr. Wilson was the Director of Editorial & Customer Operations, Europe, for Yahoo! Search Marketing, where he was responsible for the creation, growth and continuous management of YSM’s European operations center. His impressive career also includes positions with Lexmark, One Direct and Guardian Direct Insurance. Mr. Wilson graduated with Honors from the University of Teesside in the United Kingdom, with a BA in International Business IT.

“Rob brings over a decade of experience in international business, sales, marketing and operations to our company,” said Don Mathis, CEO of Epic Advertising. “He has effectively combined strategic management skills with a proven track record of innovation and the rapid development of online and media businesses. He is a perfect fit for our company as we build upon our European presence and continue our journey towards being a dominant global player in the online marketing industry. We are fully confident Rob will help to lead this area of our company’s expansion and we’re excited to have him on our team.“

About Epic Advertising:

Epic Advertising (www.EpicAdvertising.com) is a global online performance marketing company that provides advertisers with measurable Internet advertising impact. Leveraging proprietary and patent-pending contextual and behavioral targeting technologies, and the over 35,000 publishers in its highly-acclaimed Azoogle Ad Network, Epic provides its advertising partners with performance and direct response marketing services, media planning, branded marketing campaigns and a targeted, worldwide online reach.

A pioneer in both the online performance marketing industry and in Internet advertising integrity assurance and compliance, Epic Advertising brings an intense focus on achieving the highest ROI yield for its advertising partners via transparent display and search consumer traffic. Epic scales its solutions by leveraging vast quantities of data, enormous internet reach and unparalleled industry expertise.

The company has achieved several industry accolades, including being named an AlwaysOn Global Top 250 Company as one of the top private companies in the world, a comScore top-50 ranking in internet reach (Ad Focus, July 2008) and being named a 2008 Inc. 5000 company.

Epic Advertising is headquartered in New York, with offices in San Francisco and Toronto. The company is privately held and backed by private equity firms TA Associates and Stripes Group.