Q&A with Director of Agency Services Mickie Lara
For the month of December, we got to sit down with Mickie Lara and learn more about her and her role as Director of Agency Services.
What do you do in your role at Elevation?
As the Director of Agency Services and Strategy, my primary role is the leadership and management of the Agency Services team. This includes the Design, Content, Web/Digital, PR and Traffic teams. I also assist with some of the research and strategy projects we do but primarily I am focused on the team and the quality of the work we are producing.
Tell us about a typical day in the life of Mickie
I usually wake up around 5:30 and start my day with a big cup of coffee. Most who know me know that I love coffee and it’s a highlight of my morning for sure! I typically make some breakfast for our son Jackson and get him up and going. My husband takes him to school most days so once they are out the door, I have a little quiet time for checking emails and getting ready for the rest of the day.
Once I’m at the office, we start with our daily “stand up” meetings with each department to make sure we have a handle on all of the projects and activity for the day. After that, my schedule is a bit different every day but likely includes several internal meetings on different projects and lots of opportunity for collaboration and problem solving which I love!
After work, I head home for some dinner and downtime at home with my boys and if it’s still light out, I love to go walking. I am a definite podcast enthusiast so on the way to or from the office or when I’m walking, I am always listening to one. My husband has asked me how I can “cram more into my brain?” but I can!
What do you find most rewarding about your role?
I really love connecting people and ideas, it’s actually what I am wired to do, so working with the team on the variety of projects and challenges that come our way is energizing. The most rewarding though is when I feel like I am helping to create a workplace where people really want to be and when I see them having success in their various roles.
How did you choose this career path?
I started college majoring in Finance because that seemed like the thing to do. It didn’t take long to realize I had no desire to do that (maybe not the best planning…) so I switched to Marketing.
It seemed like a much better fit for me and way more fun, which it has been! It took a few jobs and years after college to land at what I really enjoyed doing and that was working for an agency.
I know this may make some parents very nervous but I firmly believe that it is difficult for most kids who are 18 years old and headed to college to really know what they want to do with their career. Some do, but for the rest of us, I think it takes a bit of trial and error to land on what we really enjoy doing.
What does true leadership mean to you?
I’m going to lean on the leadership work I have done over the past few years and some tools I’ve used to answer this question. The first component of leadership is knowing yourself to lead yourself and then to lead others.
Strong self-awareness is key to understanding our own wiring and tendencies in order to be intentional about recognizing and changing any patterns that we need to in order to lead others.
This leads me to true leadership which is about calibrating support and challenge and fighting for the highest possible good in the lives of those you lead. Understanding which of those (support or challenge) is needed most at the time, and how to provide that, is what creates a culture of empowerment and opportunity and that is exactly what I want for anyone on my team. There is nothing I enjoy more than helping others to reach their full potential.
What do you think makes Elevation stand out as a trailblazer in the B2B marketing industry?
I think it’s a combination of the commitment to focusing exclusively on B2B marketing and the expertise that develops around that kind of specialization, along with a process that includes research and strategy as a starting point for any client or project.
We have taken an approach that allows us to really understand the client’s industry, any associated challenges, and their goals before we develop the messaging and any tactics around that. It has resulted in a much more strategically aligned and targeted approach for our clients that is executed by an experienced and collaborative team.
If you won the lottery what’s the first thing you would buy?
What a great question! I was just thinking about it this week and decided that I would buy a house that has been completely redone and furnished in my style (think Joanna Gaines in a mid-century) on a nice sized lot with lots of trees, a mountain view, and a pool that is close to my son’s school. That’s not specific at all… After that, I’m going for a personal chef because I hate to cook but love good food!