Nick Powills: Cut the Deck Before You Believe the Story
Nick Powills: Cut the Deck Before You Believe the Story

Access to information is the highest it has ever been – it’s up to you what you do with it.

In today’s world, arguably more so than at any other point in our world’s history, the validity of a story should be questioned. Why? The credibility of the story is no longer in the hands of journalists – rather, it’s in the hands of the entire public.

Scroll through Facebook or LinkedIn and you will be hit with tons of information. Life stories – like new babies, marriages, milestones and celebrity-sightings along with news and advertising. It is nearly impossible to distinguish the difference between them all.

But it’s not just the high volume of content that should force the cutting of the cards; it’s the fact that some people lie and that so much in this world is believable. I think this is a problem in politics. I think this is a problem with people genuinely wanting to be good people. I think this is a problem of pressure – in the world’s largest fishbowl full of popularity contests.

Lies are the new truths.

With your friends, I will leave it up to you as to whether you cut the cards or not. I, as a human, have trusted first and cut the cards second. Truthfully, this has gotten me in trouble. From a business standpoint, you better be willing to cut the deck to come to your own conclusions. And chances are, you will.

It’s easy for me to use examples of others – so, in business, I will use my own to show you how I would approach it.

Google “No Limit Agency.”

The first hit is our website. Who owns the website? We do. Therefore, we control the story. Do we believe it is our truth? Do our current clients? Hopefully, the majority of them do. But for our former clients, a percentage of them would likely say no.

The second hit is Glassdoor. What do I see? A majority of people who work here love it and a majority of the people who don’t hate it. The deck has been cut for prospective employees. They can see the good, the bad and the ugly of potentially joining a company like ours. To me, our ugly is not bad.

Just a few months ago, one of our critiques stated, “For the most part there was no collaboration and management would put off important client calls because he didn't want to raise their expectations. There was no onboarding of employees or a process…”

My replies to this are:

  • No collaboration: We literally have meetings on the calendar to drive inner team collaboration, our leadership team meets every Monday to collaborate on team morale, successes and growth and we have “wins” to pull the agency together.
  • Management puts off important client calls because he (I assume me) didn’t want to raise expectations: We do weekly, bi-weekly or monthly calls, have quarterly check-ins and deeply want to know if we are doing the right things on the account – I believe this person just didn’t learn how we work.
  • There was no onboarding of employees or a process: We send out a training schedule before someone starts, training lasts three months and we brought on a VP of People and Culture to onboard the staff – I would call that a process.

Now you have to cut the cards. There is my view, their view and the right view – somewhere in the middle.

There are other “bad” reviews that label us a pitch house. Um, thank you. We want to secure awesome press for our clients – and will push you to hit fair marks to benefit them. No, this isn’t going to be a place where you get to sit at a desk and play Candy Crush.

The next three hits when you Google “No Limit Agency” are Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, which are all full of controlled content, even in the comments (the value of the delete button).

You see, there is plenty of information, but, you need to come to your own conclusions.

The good that comes from this shift in credibility is that it forces us to be more research-minded. We “Google” things. We ask our friends. We read reviews. Our brains don’t simply believe the journalist; we come to conclusions on our own – about politics, people and business. Access to information is the highest it has ever been – it’s up to you what you do with it.

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