What we’ve learnt in 21 years

Thoughts-

From humble beginnings to last year celebrating our 21st birthday, we feel blessed to have been around so long. We’ve witnessed industry-wide changes and taken some pretty big steps ourselves across both our Melbourne and Sydney offices.  

So, as we reflect on 21 years in the creative services industry (and growing from PR alone to an integrated PR and creative agency), we’ve compiled a list of lessons we’ve learnt along the way – some of them inspired by our incredible team of employees, past and present.

And oh look, there just happens to be 21 of them… 

 

Here are the 21 lessons we’ve learnt (and are still learning at times): 

 

1. Make decisions – indecision just keeps you treading water and stops progression.  

 

2. Take the time to hire smart – one great hire can accelerate the growth of your business and change everything.  

 

3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – this is how you learn, improve and grow. Former Leftie Carla Carafa inspired this lesson. 

 

4. Don’t be afraid to change lanes – the most successful Lefties are those who have said yes to new opportunities to grow, diversify and evolve. That entrepreneurial spirit and relentless curiosity is what the business was built on. Former Leftie Tom Walters inspired this lesson. 

 

5. Wear different hats and walk in different shoes – look at things from different perspectives, whether that’s your clients, your colleagues or an audience you’re targeting for a campaign. Current Leftie Ruby Gill inspired this lesson 

 

 

6. Experience is everything – be good to deal with and get the basics right. The fundamentals of a service business can’t be underestimated. 

 

7. Healthy hustle – sometimes you need to work in mini sprints, with all hands on deck, to get things done. Former Leftie Jess Howard inspired this lesson. 

 

8. Do what’s reasonable – be decent and do what makes sense, not just what’s in the contract. 

 

 

9. Ban the word ‘assume’ – know the answer or talk and ask questions until you have it.  

 

10. Attitude matters – you can always teach skills, but not attitude and enthusiasm. Former Leftie Sarah Pinch inspired this lesson.  

 

11. Diversity is critical for success – new skills, new backgrounds and new kinds of people are essential for growing and keeping the enjoyment in what you do.

 

12. Cut the BS – honesty and transparency always win. Everyone is human, so own your mistakes and identify how you’ll make things better. Current Leftie Mike Doman inspired this lesson.  

 

13. A desire to learn is crucial – whether it’s new skills or about your clients, learning is essential to success and a growth mindset. Former Leftie Tabitha Mathews inspired this lesson.   

 

 

14. Adopt a growth mindset – to do this you need to be open to feedback and give constructive feedback as a gift in return. 

 

15. Trust your gut – if something, or someone, feels a little off, it usually is. Trust your instinct.  

 

16. Don’t be afraid to let clients under the hood – in a true partnership approach, it’s OK to show them ideas or strategies as they are forming. 

 

17. Connect with your audience – data and insights matter but at its core, our work needs to resonate with the heart as well as the head. 

 

18. Consultants are paid for their opinion, so give one – whether it’s an honest appraisal of spokesperson performance or a third-party perspective, your opinion matters.  

 

 

 19. Plan, plan, plan – plan for every scenario. A fast and effective communications response can mitigate any long-term reputational and financial impact on a brand. Current Leftie Jess Williams inspired this lesson.  

 

20. Look two steps ahead – it’s all well and good to know what’s happening next week, but the vision of what could eventuate in 3-6 months is what really moves the needle.  

 

21. Commit or get out – you can’t deliver something great if you’re only half in.  

 

There you have it. 21 of our best. But do you know what’s even more exciting? There’s still so much more to learn. And as we look to the future, we’re excited by what’s yet to come.  

 

Want to know more about us? Check out this article on our Founder and CEO, Caroline Catterall.