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Getting Naked at CLM

I just finished Patrick Lencioni’s business hit, Getting Naked. While he’s written other titles, this was my first rodeo with him and GN didn’t disappoint. Positioned as a business fable, the book discussed the power of vulnerability and its importance in business, as in life. The concept of “naked service” was a central theme and was framed as humility, selflessness, and transparency for the client good. What really hit home was how Lencioni outlined the fears account folks like me face every day. Ok, maybe we don’t think about them every day, but we think about them a lot. It was like he crawled into my mind and read my thoughts.

These fears all intertwine and tangle together, but a strong account lead can maneuver around and overcome them. Lencioni shared how.

Fear of losing the business

Shut down the fear of losing the business by consulting with clients instead of selling at them. Share the absolute truth, warts and all, and when setbacks happen, own yours without hesitation. Always care.

Fear of being embarrassed

Slay the fear of being embarrassed by actively staying engaged with your client. Ask questions, even dumb ones, and drop the ego. Own your mistakes when they happen and be yourself. Nobody’s perfect, so don’t pretend to be. Be real.

Fear of feeling inferior

When it’s time to tame the fear of feeling inferior, it’s all about getting your hands dirty. Work hard for your client and shoulder more weight when called upon. Take responsibility even when you don’t have to, be humble and like any relationship, stay honest and realistic.

Strong leaders defend against all three. Master these fears and you’re well on your way to building client trust and loyalty.

Before closing this post, I’d like to share that over my four months as a CLMer, this agency truly embraces the concept of getting naked with clients. Looking back at my 20 years in advertising, I can honestly say CLM is my first home where this naked service approach was implemented and followed across every department. Yes, even the creative side of the house. Vulnerability produces an incredible sense of freedom, which in turn, inspires new ways of thinking and doing.

Josh Mercaldo | Dec 7, 2018