As of yesterday, Portent officially has a President and a CEO, and they’re separate people.
Why? Why would I bring in a business partner after all these years? That means I have to share the glory of running my own agency!
Ian takes a brief pause to laugh, but bites it back before the giggles turn hysterical.
It’s not that complicated
Actually, it’s a no-brainer:
I can’t do it alone. Just so you know, I was physically incapable of writing that until I turned 42.
First: For Portent to grow past its current great-but-there’s-more phase, we have to change our ways a bit. I can’t do that on my own. Steve, our new President, will move us in some great new directions culturally and from a marketing standpoint.
Second: I need more time to write, design training and work on the tools that can help us scale. Without those three things, I can’t teach the team, I can’t build our reputation, and I’ll probably lose whatever shreds of sanity still remain under my fingernails. Ironically, though, as we grow I get less time to do those things. With a great President, I can put my attention where it’s best for Portent.
Third: Where I’m a seething, swirling black hole of despair, Steve is a positive guy—an optimist. He brings diplomacy, media smarts and professionalism to balance my sometimes House-ish rants and my marketing nerdiness. We complement each other extremely well.
Finally: This remains my first job in management. I see the next 2-3 years in Portent’s life as key to whether this becomes a company that lives beyond its founder, or a company that works great as a salary earner and then goes away. The latter isn’t a bad thing, and I’d be totally content with it. But the former is the brass ring.
I’ll write more about the thought process that took me here tomorrow.