The UK saying claims that two things which may not appear to go together are like “chalk and cheese,” and Rebecca Honeyman and Greg Mondshein say this is a much better leadership construct than the American “two peas in a pod.”
It’s not that, like oil and water, two things won’t mix, it’s the nuanced idea that you might not think a particular combination is an obvious good match, but in fact it turns out to be. And the alchemy of two unlikely components mixing into something great is a model that occurs more frequently than we might imagine.
The success we’ve found at SourceCode reinforces this alchemy (and the obvious superiority of the British command of the English language!). Our agency understands that success does not rely on the strengths of one ingredient, the creamy excellence of cheese, for example, but also on the technical brilliance that is chalk.
All kidding aside, there is something to be said, we think, for recognizing that an agency leader needs to be genius at all things client, but also excellent at operations. At a brand-new agency, the importance of each of these talents even more critical. Blending of skillsets is part of the alchemy, we think, that has helped us be successful.
We have experienced explosive growth in our first two years which is obviously great but as a new agency, we struggle between “yes” and “no” and learning to be better at making, and sticking with, the right decision. Alchemy alert-hearts and minds are instructive metaphors for navigating decision-making challenges and keeping both happy is the best path forward. Greg likes to say that winning is elation for him, it’s oxygen; Rebecca works to make sure that hopes and dreams remain guiding principles.
Ultimately, when we reflect on our two-year journey so far, and look to the future, understanding the creativity and growth that comes as the product of unlikely combinations is worth keeping in mind, and the evidence threads through everything we do.
To hear more, listen to Becky and Greg’s episode on the Agencies of the Future podcast: