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Agency Culture: Look Inside RT

I've been asked quite often, "How would you describe the culture at RT?" It's a great question. A question I get from college students eager to learn the ins and outs of agency life. A question I get from prospective employees as they evaluate if RT may someday be the spot for them.

But while it's a simple question, it's just not a simple answer.

How do I describe the culture at RT? Culture is how we feel when we walk in the doors each day. How we feel about our teammates, our surroundings and the work we are engaged in. I've never hesitated to answer the question, but while I probably eventually got to the point, I find myself rambling to describe it. To answer this question in a couple of succinct words is a challenge.

So when I wanted to come up with a stronger answer to this question, I asked my fellow RTers - "How do you describe the culture of RT?" And here is what I got back:

We are people who thrive on seeking out opportunities, not having them handed to us along with a big title and an office with a mahogany door. We work hard. We are scrappy. No one, and I mean no one, ever utters the phrase "that's not in my job description". Everyone here is creative and will go the extra mile because we simply don't believe in a cookie cutter approach to the way we do things.

There were several words that resurfaced time and again in the answers. Passionate. Friendly. Committed. Smart. Creative. Supportive. Genuine. A list of stellar words, but not all encompassing of who we are. We aren't perfect. At times, we are messy and unpolished. We are proud, but mellow. We are a team full of opinionated creative thinkers who can't all always get our way.

We are a couple of floors of people with strong opinions and definitive points of view. We are proud of who we are and the family we represent. And like a family, we will push each other's buttons. We will speak our minds, but only because we want to make everything we do exceptional. We have our good days, we have our bad days, but in the end, what we care about is simple. We care about the quality of our work, we care about each other and we care about what's best for our clients.

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And what's even better, we try to have as much fun doing that as we can.

So while I may still ramble the next time someone asks me to "describe the culture at RT," I have a few more phrases in my back pocket. And maybe this gives a few of you a small peek behind our doors. And if you want to see more, well, the door is always open.


Inspiration at work: Paralympics & International Women's Day

As we celebrate the opening of the Paralympic Games, I am struck by the perfect coincidence that tomorrow is International Women's Day. The theme of IWD for 2014 is "Inspiring Change."

 

Amy Purdy

 

In January, I met Amy Purdy, a U.S. Paralympic athlete representing Team USA in the boardercross event. After losing both legs below the knee, her spleen, both kidneys and the hearing in her left ear due to bacterial meningitis, Amy challenged herself to achieve goals that would be difficult even for those who hadn't experienced such trauma. Along her journey, Amy became not only a three-time World Cup gold medalist but a model and motivational speaker as well. She's one of the top adaptive snowboarders in the world and in 2005, she co-founded Adaptive Action Sports, an organization that was an instrumental part in getting her sport - and that of other adaptive athletes - into the Paralympic Games this year. Her influence grew in 2012 when she gave a TED talk about "Living Beyond Limits."

I had the honor of working with Amy on By Definition, a campaign that RT produced for The Hartford, a founding sponsor of the Paralympic Games since it's inception 20 years ago. The Hartford's Ability Philosophy - "We passionately believe people want to live active, productive, independent lives" - is personified in the creative. The Hartford believes in focusing on what people can achieve, not their perceived limitations. Paralympic athletes like Amy live that philosophy to the fullest. I was particularly moved by a quote in her TED talk, "You become truly disabled when you choose not to overcome your obstacles." This is the first year that snowboarding makes its debut as a Paralympic Games sport, due in part to Amy's organization. I think it's fair to say that Amy has inspired change not only in herself, but in her entire community and the world as well.

The point isn't that you have to be famous or an Olympic athlete to inspire others. As I look around at the people I get to work with each day at RT, I realize how fortunate I am to be surrounded by so many amazing women. Outside of the impressive work they do here, they have passions and interests that make the world a better place. There are small business owners; one is a florist, another runs a highly successful Etsy shop. Others are speaking on panels about diversity or technology. Artists, aspiring inventors, a cabaret singer, and even a marksmanship instructor - each one shows me that within each of us lies the ability to contribute to the diverse and rich global network of women that are ensuring a bright future for every girl.