HAPI’s Mission Statement: The Importance of taking out the trash.
My first job in advertising was an internship that didn’t pay. The boutique agency located in Troy, NY – the Tri-City city on the right side of the Hudson – consisted of only six people. While I helped with small tasks no one else wanted to do, the nice people at Smith & Jones never once asked me to take out the trash. Nor was I expected to take out the trash in my job as Special Events Manager for McCann Erickson Events Marketing, working on Cherry Coke/Sega and Exxon. And as my career advanced and my job responsibilities grew – from Junior Copywriter to Copywriter to Senior Copywriter to Associate Creative Director – I was never expected to take out the trash. In fact, no one who worked for the agencies ever took out the trash.
So it’s ironic when I opened my own business that, in addition to all my new roles, I began to take out the trash. It is a responsibility some believe to be beneath that of a company principal. To me, the act became emblematic of the underlying value system I want embedded in HAPI’s culture. We are an agency without ivory towers or egos, where everyone is expected to chip in regardless of title and task. Taking out the trash keeps HAPI’s moral compass pointing in the right direction.
When companies hire HAPI, they don’t get flash. They get a group of professionals who can successfully execute larger and more complicated branding initiatives, but who are never above helping out with the minutia. At HAPI you will never hear someone say, “that’s someone else’s responsibility.” Everyone here contributes. Everyone is held accountable. At the Olympic level, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are determined by imperceptible degrees of extra effort. I want HAPI to represent the gold standard for trust and reliability. That means creating a culture of “can do” people who appreciate the significance of helping out with the smallest of tasks, like taking out the trash.