By Hayley Hendrickson, Intern
At Hoffman, we believe that it’s the people who make our teams truly valuable, and it’s the trust they cultivate that makes us successful as an agency. As we continue an exploration of our values, we turn our focus to Accountable, which emphasizes the importance of not only carrying out our many roles and responsibilities, but also taking ownership when obstacles surface or things go awry.
Let’s dive into what accountability means to our Hoffmanites.
Steve Jursa, Executive Vice President (U.S.)
Accountability is one of the agency’s core values and is fundamental to our success. To me, accountability means that everyone in the agency, from Lou to the newest intern, understands their role in making the agency successful. If problems arise, and they do, it’s up to each person to raise their hand and ask for help. It’s also incumbent on other team members to be equally accountable in providing assistance. In fact, all the agency’s core values — accountability, trust, care, etc. — are likewise important because they are all intertwined. You can’t have trust, for instance, without accountability. I hold myself accountable to many different constituents every single day by giving them my best counsel, my best work, making myself available to answer questions, solving problems, and taking the time to acknowledge the great work our people do day-in and day-out.
I see accountability applied in my teams in big ways such as when we land an interview with a business publication for a client’s CEO, and in less grand ways such as providing twice-per-week media coverage reports to clients. It’s easy to let little things slip when people get busy, but that’s not what I see happening at the agency. People hold themselves, and their teammates, accountable for all tasks, big and small. Responsibility can be shared, but accountability rests with the individual. I’m a sports fan, and there are lots of great quotes about accountability that come from the sporting world, but here’s one of my favorites. Sure, it’s a bit cliché, but I really think it’s true, and I see it every day in action at The Hoffman Agency: “Good teams have a coach who holds the players accountable. Great teams have players that hold themselves accountable.”
Shingo Nomura, Vice President of North Asia (APAC)
I believe accountability is the basis of professional services as our job is to provide solutions to our customers’ problems. It is our responsibility to convince clients of the services we provide, then explain how to achieve their desired results. Accountability is also essential for building a relationship of trust with the client. We must always serve in good faith as losing integrity can have a negative impact on our quality of service. Accountability is closely tied to setting expectations. Controlling expectations always starts from listening to the needs and thoughts of clients, which is why my teams are always professional and sincere in responding to client demands.
Jennifer Yoder, Account Coordinator (U.S.)
When I think of the word “accountable,” responsibility immediately comes to mind. Accountable means that in whatever I choose to do, I understand and accept responsibility for it. I think that accountability is mission-critical to Hoffman’s success. Everyone who works together at Hoffman shares the same level of accountability for their work and for each other on a daily basis, and it shows in our quality of work. We take responsibility for not only our own success, but the success of the team by collaborating and sharing insight. On a personal level, I’m accountable every day for my actions, assignments, performance and how I support my teams, which directly affects our clients. I believe accountability is a service, and service is value.
Stephanie Yang, Deputy General Manager (APAC)
To me, accountability means taking ownership, following through and bringing results. Accountability is key to our success as we serve as account teams. Without accountability, we would not be able to bring results to the clients. I follow the OKR rule — know the objective and bring key results to everyday work. Also, I ensure everyone is accountable by letting them take ownership. Luckily, our teams know their role and are willing to take ownership, so that work can get done efficiently and adequately.
Mark Pinsent, Managing Director (EU)
Accountability is about taking ownership and responsibility. Doing so means that you’ll be given credit for a job well done and learn even when things don’t go so well. The outcome of being accountable is growth and development. The desire to take on responsibilities and being accountable for their delivery is the foundation of the work we do. I think it can be reflected in the smallest things from hitting a deadline on a client report, to more significant aspects of our work, like standing up for a strategy you’re recommending to a client. I see accountability from my teams all the time. Anyone who puts their hand up to take on a task, however small, and then makes sure they deliver, is showing a willingness to be accountable, as is anyone who is happy to admit that they dropped a ball.
Justin Gillespie, Senior Account Director (U.S.)
Being accountable is a core value for the agency, and it is a concept that I live by. The way I see it, accountability has two parts. First, if you make a mistake, own up to it. We’re all human and mistakes are inevitable. What’s important is that we learn from them and don’t repeat them. The second part to being accountable is knowing when a project is assigned to you, it’ll be done on time and done well. This doesn’t mean that questions won’t arise along the way or that the project will be “perfect.” But it does mean that you’ll take up the responsibility to ask questions when you have them, and your quality of work is on par with your level of experience.
Accountability is absolutely fundamental to our success. As the saying goes, you’re only as strong as the weakest link. If a specific team member isn’t accountable, it takes time and energy from the team that otherwise could be applied to other activities. Hoffman is filled with a bunch of amazing people that don’t want to let their team down, so they will put in their best effort to deliver high-quality work on time. At the same time, when obstacles occur that might make it impossible to get a project done on time, our teammates are there to step up and support each other — and ultimately, to push projects across the finish line.