“I have always looked for ways to grow my career, but more importantly, the careers of others.” - Tom LeBeau (pictured right)
Have you ever sat in your seat and wondered, “How did I get here?”
I have asked myself that question numerous times over the past 20 years of my career. What are the keys to the success that I have had? The simple answer is “teamwork.” I have been blessed with the privilege and opportunity to work with some amazing staff–most much smarter than me–who have made me the person I am today, both personally and professionally. It’s the people I have surrounded myself with who deserve the credit. They have made success possible for every project, agency, and firm I have ever worked for. The only thing I have done is try to lead in a positive direction while believing in and empowering individuals to achieve things they never thought possible.
I often think of Urban’s former CEO and current board member Ed D’Alba’s quote, “Forward vision must look in all directions if that vision is to be meaningful.” Considering it, what does Urban look like in five years? How about 10 or even 25 years? What does that meaningful forward vision look like to you? For me, it looks nationally and entails taking the Urban culture and foundation of “Excellence” to new clients across the country. It looks like the expansion of Urban services across all business lines into emerging markets like Texas, California, Colorado, Washington, Illinois, Florida, and Georgia.
Yes, I have a big vision, but like Ed said; if that vision is to be meaningful it must look in all directions. I have always looked for ways to grow my career, but more importantly, the careers of others. Forward vision presents people with new opportunities and confidence in their ability to make a positive impact on the team’s success. I believe the very definition of teamwork is the capability to comprehend and recognize the diverse strengths and abilities in a group setting, and then apply them to develop a cohesive solution. That’s why we’re assembling a core team for the Texas office. A core team that will help us look in all directions with a meaningful forward vision. My job is simply to empower the team to be great and do great things, while giving them the space and tools to do their job.
What does Urban look like in five, 10, and 25 years? Well, let’s just say you need a good pair of sunglasses.
“My mission is to please our clients and take care of my team, thereby creating a positive and everlasting connection with them and the world around us.” - Al Scala (pictured left)
What are we in the business to do?
I will never forget the summer in college when I worked at a car dealership. I had just finished my sophomore year at the University of Pittsburgh and wondered what the future would hold. I worked for a Dodge dealer selling as many used Darts and Aspens as humanly possible. About two months into it, I realized I wasn’t selling cars; rather, I was providing a connection to dreams, to opportunities, and to possibilities. For me, at that moment, it was a paradigm shift–one that has guided my career to this day.
What are we in the business to do? We are not selling services. We are selling connections–transformative connections of people to people and communities to communities. My mission is to please our clients and take care of my team, thereby creating a positive and everlasting connection with them and the world around us. When you create these meaningful connections, you not only increase overall profitability but build solid and lifelong foundations.
With close to 500 employees and a small but growing presence in California, how does Urban set itself apart from other consultants with similar skillsets? We will only thrive when we please our clients and employees–everyday–and make good on our pledge to offer the highest level of expertise possible.
Our business strives to help clients achieve their vision. We aim to be their weather forecaster, not their reporter and be thought leaders who provide the highest quality customer service possible. That, I believe, is what we are in the business to do.
Jim Collins, the author of “Good to Great”, suggested one needs to get the right people on the bus, the wrong ones off the bus, and then figure out how to drive it. People are our most important asset. They create our identity and culture by incorporating the best aspects of what Urban represents, and that culture permeates from coast to coast, including here in California.
Our mission is not evergreen. As we grow on the west coast, our mission and intent may change to keep us on track and thriving, lest we become stale or irrelevant. Our goal is to continue making valuable connections that ultimately turn client visions into realities and to always remember what we are really selling. That’s what I believe we are in the business to do, and that’s why I will never forget the smile of that teenage kid with the keys to his first car, unlocking the door to life’s endless possibilities.