CULTURE INCORPORATED: VAYNERMEDIA
“… you need to make someone feel comfortable to talk about their needs, their wants and their dreams …” Gary Vee
Gary Vaynerchuk (or Gary Vee) of www.vaynermedia.com isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but he does have an unmistakable energy and drive, and an enviable business record. In the first 7 minutes of his latest DailyVee video (from about 1:55) he pulls together his take on culture and why it’s important. We’ve distilled the key points for you:
1 on 1 on 1 CRM
Gary calls his connection with his employees, 1 on 1 on 1 CRM; you need to do what motivates each individual. It’s not school, it’s not one size fits all. Some want work/life balance, some want more money. You can’t put everyone in the same box. What you want changes with time. As he puts it, when you’re 22 you want money, when you’re 32 and crushing it, and you meet the man of your dreams or you want to be a stay at home dad …
His tactics for connecting with his people include 5 and 10-minute meetings, and regular breakfasts with 6 people from across the company.
“I’m always trying to move the needle to make me more accessible and human and real. You have to genuinely want a relationship with them … that is the actual answer to the question.”
The Rickey Henderson Rule
Gary cites “The Rickey Henderson Rule” as a driving force behind his philosophy – growing up, Gary was a regular at baseball games. Rickey Henderson was player heading for the dug out who winked at Gary Vee as he sat in the stands. Gary became his biggest fan from that interaction and bought everything he had. As we say, significance is the doorway to the soul. And at that moment, Gary felt hugely significant. That’s the connection he tries to make with each of his team members. They matter.
The concept he brings to life is that you need to make someone feel comfortable to talk about their needs, their wants and their dreams. When you do that, they will find you to talk about their issues rather than simply going to find another job to fix the issues.
He uses 5 minute meetings to “create context” – to get an idea what town they grew up in, what sports team they support, what dreams they have.
“Saying hello in a 5 minute meeting leads to hello in the elevator, which leads to hello in the holiday party, which leads to actually coming up to you with an issue. “It’s about building an actual relationship. When you don’t become a faceless CEO, a head of this, a head of that, you become Gary or Emily or Rodney. It becomes totally different.”
Does this take time and money? Yes, but as Gary says, you’ve got to love your unbillable overhead. Because that’s when you have continuity, you have a team and you have longevity. It’s made VaynerMedia the fastest growing agency in the US, if not the world.
His parting advice? Do 1 or 2 unique things each year to keep the culture fresh. He introduced unlimited holidays one year. Another he introduced a mandatory 3 week minimum holiday.
“It’s not tactics, it’s religion. If you actually care about your people, you will win.”
To move the needle and change the culture of your organisation takes consistency of thought and action – and genuine caring. But you can create one that will hit the ball out of the ballpark, over time. It’s worth every minute and dollar invested.