Resilience. Change has been a constant at R+K, and will continue to be. But that’s true for any firm in any industry. What sets R+K apart from others is our innate need to persevere and thrive through that change – the good and the not-so-good. Steve and Van weathered through economic cycles; hard-charging, strong-willed talent; and client reorgs; always with the belief that if we just work a little smarter, things will come out in our favor. For the most part, they have. And when they haven’t, they showed us how to pivot and find a new path forward.
Tenacity. I cannot even begin to recall how often we worked through new business pitches or a client restructured its marketing team again, and I would hear Steve say, “We’ll power through it.” He wasn’t suggesting that we use brute-force and awkwardness to achieve our goals. Rather he was telling us that as a team we can push through to our desired destination.
The concept of tenacity through teamwork is foundational to how we operate today and well into the future. We continue to seek tenacious collaborators who jump onboard and make this journey we call marketing more productive and exciting for all of us.
Maverick Spirit. Steve and Van demonstrated, encouraged and rewarded maverick spirit long before John McCain’s Presidential bid in 2008. What started as a scrappy little shop with one client and the greatly debated four or six employees, is today a fully integrated agency with a dozen clients and 55 employees. Yet, we have never lost touch with our fiercely independent origins.
R+K has always been at its best when we break free of preconceived notions of what agencies do and don’t do, and we run our own race. Now, when we prepare for a new business pitch, I frequently channel my inner Van and Steve, but with my gear-head spin of “we won’t get very far driving from our rearview mirror.” This notion, of knowing who your competition is and daring to break from the pack and blaze our own trail, has been paramount to R+K’s turnaround post-recession.