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How culture became my career journey compass

The Indelible Mark of Great Culture

Once you’ve experienced a workplace brimming with a vibrant and engaging team culture, there’s simply no turning back. This truth has echoed throughout my career, whether on the front lines of dynamic corporate teams or in the heart of altruistic volunteer groups.

The lesson is clear:
a great team culture not only enhances the workplace environment but also elevates the customer experience.

It’s a vivid reminder that people thrive in settings where camaraderie, support, and mutual respect are the norm, not the exception.

However, fostering such a culture is not simple. It is a deliberate act of leadership. Vision and strategy, while critical pillars of any successful organization, must incorporate a strong cultural foundation to truly resonate and be effective. Without this, even the most meticulously crafted strategies can falter—culture can indeed kill strategy if it’s not nurtured or aligned with the organization’s goals.

I first experienced this level of cultural leadership at eTeamSponsor, with Sean Connors and Randy Coddington. It was there I first experienced a multiplier culture—a culture that challenged every leader to empower their team members to be greater than the sum of their parts. These cultures are built on values of effort, coachability, and team growth, traits that are fundamental to a thriving workplace.

Reflecting on various teams I’ve been part of, I’ve realized that even when great culture is not the norm, its elements, driven by passionate individuals, try to break through the surface. However, they often struggle against leadership’s visions and strategies that don’t prioritize a healthy, nurturing environment.

Without a healthy culture, the best strategies can falter.

First impressions and lasting impact

A job or so later, my journey led me to Blackhawk in mid-2023 when I was exploring partners to aid a private equity portfolio’s marketing efforts. From the get-go, Blackhawk stood out—not just for their expertise, but for their palpable energy, sincerity, and the rare blend of confidence paired with humility. They were committed to helping us win from our first interaction, consistently bringing their A-game and resolving issues with remarkable efficiency. Here was a team that acted with integrity and a genuine spirit of partnership, mirroring the best of what I had known.

Core values resonate in great culture

Core values can not just be words on a page; they must be lived by a team every day at every level. Leaders like Johathan Windam at Blackhawk inspire and embody these values, which include Love, Trust, Truth, Leadership, Ambition, Loyalty, and Humility. These principles made me feel more than a client; I felt part of a collaborative team. This deep alignment with Blackhawk’s culture and values—where customer focus is not just a tagline but a genuine promise—made my decision clear.

Joining Blackhawk: A New Chapter

As time passed, the opportunity to become more than just a client of Blackhawk presented itself. I saw a chance to contribute to a team that values quick results, regular touchpoints, and proactive strategies—all underpinned by a commitment to customer satisfaction and excellence in digital marketing. Since joining, I’ve witnessed firsthand that the culture I admired is indeed the heartbeat of Blackhawk. Every team member, every strategy, every client interaction is infused with our core values and a relentless drive to help our clients win.

Thank you, Blackhawk, for welcoming me into this exceptional culture. It’s more than a job; it’s a community where we are all committed to not just meeting expectations but exceeding them. We are truly blessed to work in an environment that prioritizes growth, support, and success—for each other and for our clients. 

Culture is indeed a strategy, and at Blackhawk, it’s the best one we have.

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