8.8.18 (Three Infinity Signs to Power BOCA)

BOCA just had its first ever senior offsite and retreat. It was fabulous. We’ve had annual company meetings and all that jazz, but we’ve never truly stepped away from the noise of the city.

There is real beauty when you’re able to breathe and reflect about your company and yourself as a leader.

These are the questions we pondered and tried to answer and will continue trying to answer:

  • How can I be a better leader?
  • How can the team work better together?
  • Are we building a culture of greatness?
  • Are we servicing our clients to our fullest potential?
  • How do we ensure we are delivering great product and stellar results for our clients?
  • Are our employees happy? Are they learning and growing?

The list of questions — questions that will make BOCA better and make us as leaders stronger and more strategic — could have gone on and on, but this group of queries captures the zeitgeist of the offsite.

We decided to go to the Bodega Bay Lodge. As the owner of BOCA, it was personally important to me that our team get out of the intense energy of San Francisco and go to a serene location grounded in nature. It was beautiful. Epic views of Bodega Bay and the hills surrounding it. A beautiful beach that was filled with driftwood that people turned into art sculptures.

We also hired communications coach Jennifer Kammeyer, who works with leaders here in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and beyond. She does a lot of work with the VC community as well. Jennifer has been in my life since I started my career. She is an incredible leader herself and a mentor to me.

During our full day at the retreat, we started the day in reflective mode. We talked about possibilities versus expectations. We shared our strengths and our weaknesses. We learned about each other.

Why is this important?

Someone’s weakness can be another person’s strength, making them a great match. Maybe two individuals are total opposites that work on different teams but ultimately will benefit by because their skills and strengths are complementary. We discussed living in a world of potential and realized potential. Everyone has some sort of potential they offer, a productive peak that their skills and innate abilities might allow them to reach. Yet, not everyone realizes this potential, for any number of reasons. It was truly a self-reflective exercise.

Our leadership team learned a lot about one another and ourselves. It was wonderful to see this group become more enlightened about themselves and each other.

We then transitioned from our reflective, self awareness-driven state into the business-focused part of the retreat. The question we posed to ourselves and attempted to answer was: How can we impact the business in a positive fashion? We reaffirmed our mission as a team and then discussed the company’s four key cornerstones:

Always Provide Outstanding Client Service

Customer centricity is at the foundation of our clients’ missions. BOCA shares that drive to ensure our clients feel supported and confident in our collaboration. BOCA provides relationship-based, long-term engagement as a trusted advisor in meeting clients’ business goals.

Produce High-Quality, Goal-Driven Product

The power of earned media is undeniable yet considered difficult to measure. We help our clients understand their progress in accomplishing their goals by measuring results of campaigns in a variety of ways. We work together with our clients to product tangible metrics and measurable results.

Treat Employees Like #1 Customers and Encourage Growth

We can’t accomplish the other three pillars unless BOCA employees are working together in a welcoming, encouraging team with a shared goal and vision. BOCA creates a challenging, supportive and educational environment with respectful, transparent communication that fosters an awesome career path.

Demonstrate Measured and Rapid Company Growth

BOCA has a defined plan to reach financial goals through client retention and account expansion.

We’ve operated throughout our history based on these ideals but we never put pen to paper to formalize them. It was inspiring and motivational to operationalize what we have been doing for years and it really connected all of us to a broader mission and vision.

We brought back our cornerstones to the office and put them up on a wall so the entire company can start to understand and live them. Now, BOCAteers (what we affectionately call a BOCA team member) are aligning themselves with our senior leaders, each of whom owns a cornerstone, to make sure we are tactically developing the processes and approaches that are critical to embedding each of them into everything we do for our clients and for our agency.

By working against these Cornerstones, we will become an even greater agency and a stronger team.

With great respect,
Kathleen Shanahan
BOCA’s Founder

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