No, I’m not talking about the list of five celebrities you could sleep with regardless of your relationship status. I’m talking about the five people you’ve met or worked with professionally, that if you started your own company, you would hire.
For new professionals just starting their career, it might be their current squad of coworkers, or friends they made in school. For seasoned professionals, it may be the best-of-the-best – those people you’ve been in the trenches with and can depend on in good times and in bad.
For me it’s:
- The Financial Pro who doesn’t live in a spreadsheet. They see beyond the numbers and understand the opportunity of investment, but keep grounded in reality. A true partner in building business and recognizing value.
- The Strategist with an incredible academic pedigree who sees the world through an objective lens. Intellectually curious. Life-long learner. Intuitively knows what makes people tick emotionally and rationally. Knows brands, marketplaces and business like no other. Becomes the unwavering voice of the audience and the brand.
- The Creative Director who is a student of the world. Music, sports, arts and culture are the paints used on a human canvas. Creating art where there was none. Compromises on occasion, but stands up for their work. Truly motivates people on a profound level. Understands the business value of their craft.
- The Producer who knows how to get anything done, and if they don’t, they find a way to work in the white space and engineer not just solutions, but opportunities. They understand all the elements of experience and partner well with the rest of the team to make dreams become reality.
- The Relationship Builder – not the traditional rolodex-toting schmoozer. Good-in-a-room, but more importantly, good-in-life. The person who clients come to when they have both opportunities and problems. Their hands are dirty. They are part of the process from beginning to end and beyond. They drive relationships and business naturally and organically.
- BONUS: The Partner. I’ve been fortunate to work with a few clients throughout my career who I can depend on (and who depend on me) to advise each other on this journey. Marketers who have followed me from agency-to-agency and I have followed from brand-to-brand. This is where the magic of breakthrough strategy and creative have met tangible business results. The kind of people who will call you on the weekend to talk about an idea that might have nothing to do with what you’re currently working on together.
These are in no particular order, and of course there are many others. I’ve found keeping the list to five or six (or even fewer) really helps you think about who you value the most (and who values you) in any given situation. Whether it’s starting a company, planning a social activity or surviving the zombie apocalypse. 🙂
The names of the above have been held in confidence to protect the innocent. But you know who you are guys. Thank you.
Finally, who would put you on their “Laminated List”? Whatever your craft or vocation, in my experience, striving to fulfill and exceed the value expected from your role, and building life-long relationships with the people you touch will lead to a fulfilling and successful career.