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For This Marketing Company, Success Comes From Its Team of 'A-Players' By promoting from within and staying true to its values, Abstrakt Marketing Group has grown to be one of the largest agencies in the St. Louis area.

By Andrea Huspeni

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Courtesy of Abstrakt Marketing Group

Every year, we publish the Entrepreneur 360 — a list of the 360 most well-rounded companies in America, based on an evaluation of impact, innovation, growth, leadership and business valuation. Our 2019 list debuts on Oct 1. In advance, we're checking in with some 2018 honorees, including the one below.

Defining itself as a full-service business growth company, St. Louis-based Abstrakt Marketing Group has more than 300 "A-players" to help drive its success.

What is that, exactly? "From interns to C-Level, we hold each of [our] team members to the expectation that they exhibit these five core competencies: attitude, awareness, ambition, adaptability and accountability," explains CEO Scott Scully. "We've found that if [and] when team members master them, they can be successful in any position and have a direct impact on our client's business growth."

This strategy not only helped Abstrakt become one of the largest marketing agencies in the St. Louis area but also to land in the top five of the 2018 Entrepreneur 360 list, a ranking that looks at five metrics — impact, growth, leadership, valuation and innovation — to determine business success.

Related: See the Entire Entrepreneur 360 List Here

Entrepreneur caught up with Scully and talked to him about the importance of creating a powerful team, how culture plays a role in success and what work-life balance means to him.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

How do you define success?

For us, success is growth. If our team is growing, the company is growing in our products, processes, revenue and profit. Our company promotes 90 percent from within, meaning continuous growth opportunities for our team members become essential for the growth of our overall business.

How important is your company culture, and what do you do to build a strong one?

You can't be in this business with poor company culture; growth simply won't happen. Culture is a major pillar of our company's success. Our team members are our service; the work they provide our partners is challenging. We want to provide an environment that is enjoyable, where they can find balance and reap rewards for their contributions. The energy and the passion within our A-players have really defined who we are as a company. Our team roles have catapulted so many team members into leadership positions, and I believe it has created one of the best work cultures in the country.

How do you define your leadership style and what can others learn from it?

I'm transparent with my team, and I push them outside of their comfort zone. However, I am conscious not to ask anyone to do anything I wouldn't be willing to do myself. Transparency has really helped to build trust within our organization. We remind our team members regularly that leaders are all simply playing a role, just like them. Leaders should want to lead because they have a strong passion and desire to help others grow — to help them get to new heights personally and professionally.

Andrea Huspeni

Founder of This Dog's Life

Andrea Huspeni is the former special projects director at Entrepreneur.com and the founder of This Dog's Life.

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