From the Desk (and Mind) of Marc Landsberg

A Deviant Kind of Place

I’ve been in a lot of meetings lately, during which people are asking the same question of me.

“Why does socialdeviant exist? What’s your elevator pitch?”


It’s quite a loaded question, but after 28 months, worth an answer.

Whenever anyone asks me the question, my answer is unambiguous.

We exist to build the world’s kindest company, full stop.

To be a great, great place to work. Kind, composed, flat, and fast. Limitlessly curious, relentlessly focused on creating value for our clients.

Relentlessly focused on being the best possible place to work – to refine and develop one’s skills, talents, and ambition.

The legacy I’d like us to leave, when all is said and done, is just that.

Nothing more, nothing less.

We’re not trying to solve the world’s problems. 3rd world debt, global warming, ongoing gender and race bias, are thorny issues perhaps beyond our reach.

We are, instead, just trying to build a superb place to do some amazing work, and learn as we go.

A place where you collect skills and experiences, not titles.

A place where you are valued for not only what you can do, but who you are.

A place where you are pushed to do your best, and given every opportunity to show what your best is.

A place where you are heard, whether it’s how to approach a client problem or what to put on the pizza each Friday.

A place where every idea is taken seriously.

A place where we lead with purpose, not with ego.

A place where we always assume positive intent. A place absent any malice.

A place where we do our level best every day. Where that’s all we ask of ourselves. Do better, every single day.

A place where we all chip in, where no job is too big or too small.

A place where we help each other, and genuinely cheer for each other’s success.

A place where we care…about our work, about our clients, about doing the right thing, about each other.

A place that is free of judgment.

A place where mistakes are ok. A place where we laugh at ourselves, and from time to time, each other.

A place where there is little wasted motion, misspent energy, or ill-spent time on things that don’t matter.

A place that more and more, plays our own game, at our pace, with our rules. A place that doesn’t worry about what the other agencies are, or are not, doing.

A place that doesn’t over-think things, but the things we do think about, we think hard about.

A place that embraces everyone’s full brain – in fact, requires you to bring your left and right brains to work, and use them to their fullest capacity, every day.

A place where our culture isn’t defined by our Thursday night softball league, or slogans on our T-Shirts, or off-site team building exercises once a year. A place, instead, that is defined by the way we treat each other, and our clients, day in and day out.

A place where culture is a behavioral operating system vs. a set of principles laminated on the wall.

A place where we say please and thank you, and mean it.

A place where we over-communicate, put our cards on the table, and listen intently.

A place where, as smart as we are, we take no pride in being smarter than our clients. A place that understands we’re only as smart as our ability to be understood. And as smart as we are, a place with an intense bias for action. Think less, do more.

A place that always wants to deliver the goods for clients, and when we fall short, listens to the feedback and tries that much harder to get it right.

A place of constant, honest self-assessment.

A place, in short, that is truly deviant. Our kind of deviant.


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