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Jun 20, 2019

Today on Just the Tips we have someone who has an amazing story to tell. Most people in marketing have figured out how to pitch themselves as having an amazing story, but Alex Membrillo is the real deal. Going from being on welfare to owning a booming marketing business and being named to a Top 40 Under 40 list by Georgia State University, Alex’s story is incredible. He’s a humble guy, but we got it out of him on this week’s episode.

Building a strong culture

Alex has created an amazing culture at his marketing company, Cardinal, by doing something some entrepreneurs feel uncomfortable doing: trusting people. As he says, their team is pretty small, so they have to trust that everyone is comfortable working autonomously. So he gives people a long rope and allows them the space to work, and as he says, if that’s not what they’re comfortable with, “they walk themselves out of here.” And because he can trust those people, he can be much more forthcoming about how the company works and what the financials look like.

Working with millennials

While many business owners complain that millennials are “lazy,” Alex says he’s found that working with younger employees just means understanding their values. And millennials want to be a part of something, they want to feel like they’re making a change, and they want to know that their work is meaningful. So if you understand that mindset, says Alex, then you don’t have to write off an entire generation. Also, you may need to be ready to have a flexible workspace, where employees can work remotely.

Millennials are just more outspoken

A lot of what Alex discusses on this episode about working with a younger workforce isn’t new. The things millennials want in a job: meaning, flexibility, respect; are things that nearly every worker wants but has never wanted to ask for. Millennials are just asking for it. Alex talks about how he met someone at a coffee coop and learned about their org structure and how that informed the creation of his own unique organizational structure at his company. You’re going to want to hear about how he set up his company on this week’s Just the Tips.

Upending the org chart

Alex has completely eschewed the standard org chart that most CEOs create, with a top-down structure. Instead, he says, he considers himself there to help and listen to the employees of his company. Of course, he has to make final decisions, but really he’s there to serve his employees. So how do you do that if you’re coming from a more typical structure? Alex says it’s all about slowing things down, and letting your employees know that you’re going to start listening more. You need to hear this episode of Just the Tips to hear how different Alex’s approach truly is.

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:01] Alex’s incredible story
  • [5:03] Building a strong culture
  • [6:35] Working with millennials
  • [10:25] Alex’s unique approach to an org chart
  • [14:35] First steps to upending your org chart
  • [17:21] How the tribe self-selects
  • [19:00] Being transparent about the financials
  • [22:16] Dean asks an all-star question

Musicfor “Just The Tips” is titled, “Happy Happy Game Show” by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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