Do you know Gay Gaddis? The author of Cowgirl Power—How to Kick Ass In Business and Life, Gaddis started T3 in Austin in 1989. Today her son, Ben Gaddis, helps to run the agency which was purchased in 2019 by California-based LRW Group.
“The partnership with LRW Group gives us the ability to scale and take T3 to the next level while maintaining our unique culture,” Ben Gaddis said.
Gay Gaddis, who recently stepped down as CEO, now paints, writes, and speaks, plus she rents out her spectacular Texas Hill Country gallery and event space. She is a lady to hear from, and that’s precisely what “Stan Talks” from the Stan Richards School of Advertising at the University of Texas has arranged.
Gaddis, who says she has hired more than 1000 people, makes five key career suggestions in the video. They are:
- Be curious and self-motivated
- Meet people where they are
- Understand the client’s environment (invest the time to truly understand their business)
- Learn your strengths and focus on the things you do well
- Be positive and be nice
Will these things get you hired today? Possibly. Provided that there is a job available and it’s a good fit and you have a record of impressive accomplishments and people to sing your praises, along with an ability to fit in and improve the team’s performance.
For Best Results, Add Your Intangibles Together
I recently asked two other advertising professionals what qualities they look for when they hire. My friend, Katherine Hollar Barnard, founder of Firesign in Kansas City said she looks for “Light in the eyes. Hustle. Spirit. Levity. Scrappiness. I can teach you how to write a press release. I can’t teach you how to care.”
David “Adland” Jones said he looks for four things. “Hunger, honesty, creativity, and humor.”
I will add a few shreds of hard-earned advice to the mix…Be brave. Be resilient. Be calm in the face of fire. Be extraordinarily patient, and develop a keen understanding of your fellow human beings. Also, keep learning new things—not just about advertising technique and craft, it is important to learn more about people. Because effective communications are connection points between people, and between companies and causes and their customers and supporters.
To make these connection points or nodes work, you need to first find the areas of shared interest between parties. When a communicator or brand is able to truly connect with another person, and help them feel something, learn something, or do something new, a bond is formed. It is a loose connection at first. True and lasting interest builds over time. Which explains why it’s the day-to-day job of smart communicators to keep shaping and sharing the story in new but consistent ways.
We can now add endurance, adaptability, and juggling to the list of necessary skills needed to work at the top of the ad biz today.