In Chapter 14 of 19 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, social media ad agency CEO Mike Germano notes the valuable advice he gets from speaking with entry-level hires, typically recent college graduates, who have worked less than a year at the company. This helps him stay connected and focus on the little things shaping company culture, mission, and values. Mike Germano is co-founder and CEO of DUMBO, Brooklyn based social media advertising agency Carrot Creative.
Erik Michielsen: At this moment in your life, where are you seeking advice and coaching? Mike Germano: At this moment in my life, I have found that the advice has been a lot more valuable from people who've been within my company for only 6 months, and who are just out of college and who are very young, I've been finding that advice to be more valuable than some of the veterans out there, because the younger people who I guess look up to me as older, their boss, they're willing to kind of -- the questions that they're asking, I can see how they're perceiving my actions. And so then it becomes very valuable to me because I can say, this is how you're perceiving what I'm doing and that wasn't the nature of what I was actually trying to do. So it's interesting you look at this and you don't know our -- you know, you haven't known me for 8 years, you know? And grown up with me like some of our other employees, you know, you're only there for a year and you're interested in A, B and C, well that, I can see why this fascinates younger employees, I need to make sure that that something I look at. Because when I talk to maybe more established companies, they seem to just be trying to tell me how to maximize my money right now, and sell out, and do these other things. And that to me is not what I'm trying to do. And they just feel that once you hit a certain year mark, you should be trying to make as much money as possible, and do this and that -- and that's not what my values are. That's not where I believe my exit, if you will, is. So I'm still trying to hone how we deal with our employees, so talking to the new people instead of the people who are maybe much older -- and they're gonna give you advice on how to run your business, but in terms of as who I am at the core of what I'm trying to do, I find the most rewarding to be the people who've just gotten to kind of know you and your workplace.