Value of values

The Value of Values

Given the times it seems appropriate to lean back into some of the unique aspects of Metal Toad's work culture that I've had time to observe. In my role as Director of Accounts I hold space in both sales and account support. In many organizations these activities are split, sales being seen as a key revenue driver and therefore, prioritized over account support.

Metal Toad is a bit different and I believe that difference is captured by our values, the first of which is to BE HELPFUL. Now, I've written previously about espoused vs lived values and the difference between them. But to recap: espoused values are the ones you talk about. Lived values are, of course, the ones that are inhabited by an organization day to day. What's great about Metal Toad is that our lived and espoused values are, in fact, aligned.

This translates into a better client experience. 

I'm looking to help support my clients business goals, business processes and known KPI's. When trust is involved, my clients understand that I do, in fact, want to help them and that it takes many forms. It can be supporting their analytic needs with real insights to ensure strong visibility through their reporting structure, it could be recommending a best in class tool that will save them money, it could be listening better to what is driving a technology request and discovering a better solution (headless CMS is the future!) in all cases, it comes back to reminding myself every day that my job is to help.

This was PRE-COVID and nothing has changed for us. I read our old tagline when I started here, 'we live by a different code' to be a cheeky reference to the fact we are, in fact, a company that builds products. But as I've grown and thrived, I've internalized this line to mean something else, we internalize ethical behavior. Our entire organization leans into our values. This provides a bedrock of certainty in uncertain times and means that we're better prepared than many small businesses to weather the storm.

For my clients, and there are many, it means that I'm less focused on near-term profit than I am about seeing them succeed. This is a distinction that matters. We are running a business, but sales isn't a dirty word. If we see client growth through the lens of our values, sales becomes a product of actually helping organizations solve their challenges, while also becoming friends. That's the job, organizations may enter contractual agreements but in the end, people do the work, shoulder to virtual shoulder. 

So when you consider your providers, and you're reviewing responses to your bids, consider for a moment, the values that underpin the companies. You might notice that living by a different code has more value than you realized.

Date posted: April 7, 2020

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About the Author

Jonathan Mills, Director of Accounts

While he was in born in South Carolina and educated in New York City, Jonathan considers himself a Westerner in both practice and spirit. Jonathan learned the value of hard work as a commercial salmon fisherman in Alaska and real-time crisis management as a content producer traveling the world with Paris Hilton.

Over the last fifteen years Jonathan has focused on growing revenue and clients for a number of Los Angeles based advertising and brand agencies with a focus on the automotive, entertainment and technology sectors. His clients have included some of the worlds most recognized brands. At Metal Toad, Jonathan's focus is creating and nurturing client relationships and is happiest when working in a values - driven organization.

When he's not at work you'll find Jonathan on the sidelines of his son's soccer game, driving his Fiat Abarth on a mountain road or working on his next screenplay.

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