The Motivation Secrets of 8 Successful Business Leaders

David Angelo, Cchief Creative Officer, David & Goliath
Photo (C) Jeff Clark

David Angelo

Chief Creative Officer, David & Goliath

A s the name suggests, Los Angeles-based marketing agency David&Goliath embraces a "challenger mindset." Founded by Angelo 14 years ago, the company has created notable work for clients like Kia Motors, NFL Media, the California State Lottery and Universal Studios Hollywood. But even with all that success, Angelo is constantly thinking up ways for his 150 employees to challenge their "daily Goliaths." Internal programs like The Defiance Club--which sent one employee to the Philippines to document his experience building dwellings for the homeless (he had requested help overcoming his "selfishness")--align with Angelo's marketing strategy of open and honest messaging. "People who can craft the best connections and stories, and who use a mindset as a source of inspiration and conversation, are going to be the ones that prevail," he says.

On how company culturecan spur growth:
Before you can ask clients to live their brand, you have to lead by example. Unless you are willing to own it, consumers won't believe in you. From our advertising to the articles I write, we embrace our "brave" philosophy so everyone knows what we stand for. It gives us a clear path to realizing our potential.

On inspiring clients to change:
Everyone wants results, but clients often don't want to go through what it takes to change the way they think. We sit down and help them crystallize who they are and what they stand for, and we show how other brands--and our own--have been brave enough to take on challenges, and what the rewards are.

On knowing when to move on:
When I interview potential employees or vendors or clients, I always tell them we are not for everyone. I can't motivate someone who is lazy or evil. Relationships require casting the right people, those who share the same mindset. Only then can you create something great.

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Jennifer Wang is a staff writer at Entrepreneur magazine in Southern California.

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This article was originally published in the October 2013 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Best Motivators in Business.

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