Javier Kudo

Digital marketing and growth hacking consultant

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In order to commit

You want to excel, you want to break-through, you want to achieve great things, and it looks like they are finally giving you the chance to do it. Great! Except, be cautious of the shadow cast by your own ambition because it can hide imminent risks that will blindside you once you are in knee-deep.

Ambition is great when it serves a good purpose. Personal growth, wealth, and happiness are some areas where it can help you gain momentum and keep your priorities straight. However, you can’t let it become the only driver behind your decisions.

When I got promoted to a managing position I knew I had been given a great opportunity. I knew I was green, and I knew I had a lot to prove. But I also knew what I was bringing to the table and was determined to succeed. In my eagerness to take the chance I missed the opportunity to lay down some conditions that would help me do a better job.

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The context to perfom

A few years ago, many advertising agencies found they were falling behind in digital media. What most of them did right away was hire a digital director and a small team for them to lead and bring in new business. Years later, most of these teams were disbanded, reorganized or had most of its members replaced more than once. What failed?

As managers, we constantly hire talent to lead new projects or solve different problems. Just as often, we do not have the knowledge or expertise to understand the problem completely, hence the need to hire someone who does. However, many managers expect the new guy to figure things out on their own. They sit back and wait for results and when they don’t get them, they blame the new guy. But is it his fault? Most likely, no. It is his responsibility but only to the extent he was clear about what he needed in order to do his job. Prior to that, it’s the...

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20 signs you are dead weight

You no longer have a place in your company. You still have a job, but not a place there anymore. As soon as you recognize the signs you can do something about it: try to change, get help, quit, take time off, or anything that can prevent your reputation and personal brand to be negatively affected by this situation; because, despite appearances, being dead weight is not really a character flaw but a personal condition that can be avoided and, if necessary, overcome. Ask yourself if any of these descriptions apply to you.

1. You are bored. Yes, work bores you. There is little or nothing new and you wish you were somewhere else most of the time.

2. You are not required to do anything different. Maybe other people are. Maybe nobody is. However, management seems to be oblivious of your existence and hence, nothing new crosses your path when it comes to new projects or tasks.

3. Nobody...

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You are responsible for your own incompetence

Can’t speak a language? Can’t use MS Excel? Can’t tell if what you are wearing to work is appropriate? Can’t keep up with the latest tech trends? Well, while it might not be your fault, it certainly is your responsibility.

Not knowing is not an excuse

The only person in the room who should care that you do not know something is you. Owning up to this is powerful because it forces you to address the issue but also makes you play to your strengths. While you figure out the things you need to work on, you can rely on what you do best as well.

Do not expect anyone to give you a free pass just because you are you. Nobody should care but you, and you should do something about it.

Failure is part of the process

You have results to deliver but results are not instantly produced just by clicking on a button. The work process is what changes as you develop new skills and expertise and a big...

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Your first 3 decisions as a boss

You’re the boss now. Congrats! Now get to work…

When you first come to a leadership position you have to face very explicit challenges: job objectives, team expectations, quarterly goals, etc. Your boss could be very clear about these. What she or he may not be so clear about is how they expect you to tackle these challenges. Or, even worse, try to help you by setting out a basic agenda of procrastination with answers like “Don’t worry about that yet, focus on this instead”, or “We’ll see to it soon”, and “I really need you to see how things are done here first”. These are all very well intended but for the new manager, they could also be very misleading.

Decision #1: Engage. This is not a drill. This is not for show. This is you jumping off the plane into the battle zone. Your parachute is your “new guy” label and your boss’ trust and support. If you relly too much or for too long on...

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On being a productive boss

In some business fields, as you gain more responsibilities and influence, your job stops following a fixed pattern of processes and tasks and starts to focus on more abstract deliverables, such as strategy, team management motivation, new ideas, change, innovation, etc. What they don’t tell you about this shift is that it requires that you adapt your way of measuring results as well.

For the first half of my career in advertising, I worked as a designer and art director, and as such, my deliverables were very clear: communication ideas, designs, presentations, etc. It was easy to know when one was done and it was time to move on to the next. Task after task I knew how much work each had taken and I could challenge myself to do more, work faster, and get better results.
When I was put in charge of a team, I started dealing with other people’s tasks. Managing their schedules and due dates...

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