Strategic Disconnect

In the ultra-competitive agency world, where innovation and commitment drive results, finding the right balance between passion and strategic downtime is essential – and by no means easy!

Referring to the controversial agency pitch, marketing comedian and Creative Director at Gravity Road, Rob Mayhew is quoted as saying “I love my job, but it’s ridiculous” – and sadly, he’s right. Some 50% of agency staff report experiencing signs of burnout and one in 10 are even quitting their job due to the stress of the heavy workloads and pitching. But it got me thinking about how to switch off from work when you love what you do. Beckon is personal for me and there are many things I enjoy about it: Helping clients design and build their marketing-led new business plan.


  • Getting inside their agency proposition and making it relevant to the right clients
  • Giving the team the power to engage with clients and have meaningful conversations
  • Working closely with the senior leadership team to embed and drive the new business plan forward
  • Working with pitch teams to understand what makes clients tick
  • Going beyond the brief and winning new clients for them

I’ve built a fantastic team and I pour my heart and soul into my business. But like so many other founder/owners/CEOs/MDs, the challenge lies in optimising commitment without compromising efficiency.

What tactical approaches do you take to disconnect from work while ensuring sustained business growth? I’d love to know.

Meanwhile, here’s what I think needs to be improved/changed:

  • Don’t ever lose sight of your passion. It’s the lifeforce of every thriving agency. It propels projects forward, fuels your people and feeds their inventive thinking. Channelling that passion strategically is crucial, so harness it as a tool to drive productivity and innovation.
  • We’ve become defined by perpetual connectivity. The pressure to maintain a constant online presence is unhealthy. Emails, client demands, and project deadlines can infiltrate personal time, blurring the lines between work and life. Look after your people. Acknowledging the impact of never-ending work on productivity and business sustainability is the first step towards effective time management.
  • Establishing a healthy work-life balance requires a deliberate focus on operational boundaries – and this can be especially hard for a Founder/Owner – as I know! By clearly defining working parameters for yourself and your team and communicating them to clients and collaborators, you promote a culture within the wider agency that values and respects personal time. Creating this framework gives everyone the space they need to enjoy a healthy and sustainable work environment.
  • Strategically disconnecting from work involves more than turning off your computer at the end of the day. It’s about creating mental and physical space to recharge your creative energies. A well-rested mind is better equipped to tackle the challenges of running a competitive agency. Don’t risk becoming one of the statistics mentioned at the top.

I’d love to know how you marry positioning your agency for sustained growth and long-term success – and knowing when to switch off.

Get in touch if you want to share some ideas, or DM me on LinkedIn Emma Thwaite Beckon Founder