In the company of giants (and Russian dolls).

We have an opening for a visual and graphic designer on the William & Mary Creative Services team. As we recruit to fill the position I’ve been thinking a lot about what matters when I make a hiring decision. There is an excitement around bringing on a new person because we are looking for an individual with skills, experiences and talents we don’t have. As a team, we always want someone who is better than we are. Someone who can challenge us to work and think and create differently. A few days ago, when drafting a blog post about the book Ogilvy on Advertising, I was reminded about this dead-on piece of advice for building a great organization. Here, David Ogilvy writes about the importance of leadership in running an advertising firm but I think it applies to any organization.

When you are appointed to head an office in the Ogilvy & Mather chain, I send you one of these Russian dolls. Inside the smallest you will find this message: ‘If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs, but if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, Ogilvy & Mather will become a company of giants.’

All this talk about organizational development reminds me that I haven’t read the book Good to Great. Ordering it now.


Author: susantevans

Susan T. Evans is director of corporate and foundations relations at the College of William & Mary. She is a proven strategic leader with deep expertise in advancement, communications, brand management, marketing, digital strategy, technology, administration and organizational development. She is known for creative and strategic approaches to challenges within higher education, nonprofits and business.

One thought on “In the company of giants (and Russian dolls).”

  1. Susan,

    Great example and fine words to live by on the recruiting/hiring front! I couldn’t agree more. I know some of your team at Creative Services and you’re obviously already practicing what you preach :). Good luck on finding your next giant. BTW, you’re in for a treat with “Good to Great”!


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