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Tony Weisman

Who I’m Giving Thanks To This Year (and it’s not to my “employees”)

This month, DigitasLBi placed in AdAge’s annual “Best Places to Work,” ranking as a top ten company. It is particularly rewarding because over half of the companies in the top ten list had employees of 100 or less (Digitas work force hovers around 2,000 in the United States). This suggests to me three things:

  • First, it is possible (expected, recognized, and cherished) to have an entrepreneurial culture that fosters creativity at large companies; they are not reserved for the scrappy startups alone. “Large” can equal and should celebrate the feisty, the creative, and the individual.
  • Second, recognize proudly, celebrate loudly and shout regularly that people are equally valued for the work they do, as well as who they are (character, passions, dreams, vulnerabilities). One of my favorite moments is when I discover randomly—in the elevator, waiting for a conference call to start, en route to the bathroom—a dollop of extraordinary about one of my colleagues. I have collected hundreds of portraits of many people at DigitasLBi; these portraits are just as much about the work they do and dream, on and off the clock.
  • And third, people associate with principles (not processes and paperwork). Earlier this year, for one week in March, we dropped the letters “d” and “g” from our name (in response to the public opinions from Dolce and Gabbana), adopting “_i_itas” in a stand for diversity, tolerance and modern families . The response from our people was overwhelming. Their company made a stand, and in turn, they stood with their company.

With this, I am grateful for my family, our friends, our collective health and happiness.

I’m also grateful for the “_i_itas” family.  And the many faces and facets that make them extraordinary people, versus corporate employees. And today, I thank and recognize our extraordinaries, our…

…veterans who call our agency their work home, the dedicated moms and dads shlepping to and from birthday parties and soccer games, our quirky off-off Broadway producers, our VR tinkerers, our soon-to-be NY Times best selling authors, our advocates for adolescent transgender acceptance, the pumpkin carving experts, the part-time ballet dancers and yoga instructors. Our “big brother, big sister” volunteers, the weekend DIY’ers, the leisure canvas painters, and landscape artists. The marathon runners, the foodie Instagramers, after-work-agency dodge ball players, the cooking enthusiasts, Saturday night stand up comedians, the cross-country Harley-Davidson road warriors. The record-breaking rock climbers in search for the next peak, the late evening poets, the early morning “to do list” makers, the Alaska Salmon fishermen/women, the quiet planner with killer vocals, the mad scientists and musicians, the award-winning BBQ grillers, the just-shy-of-getting on Jeopardy scholastics, the food shelter and soup kitchen volunteers. And those who are a blend of all, many, and other. You know who you are.

Here’s to being better and being interesting — in and outside of work.

Tony Weisman

Tony Weisman

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NORTH AMERICA AT DIGITASLBI

Tony sets the strategic course and vision for the agency’s largest region, with clients across financial services, retail, automotive, and entertainment industries. He is also the agency’s champion for culture, diversity, and talent.

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