On this episode, Dr.G is joined by Leerom Segal, the co-founder and CEO of Klick and author of the best-selling book, The Decoded Company. His story is anything but usual. Against all odds, he built Klick over 20 years from a scrappy technology company to now one of the world’s largest and most sought after independent creative health agencies. But calling it an agency doesn’t do it justice. They are out to change the world through the relentless pursuit of awesome.
In this episode, we discuss his unlikely rise through grit, persistence and continuous hustle to build one of the most envious companies, his determination to succeed by outworking and outsmarting his competition, his unusual practices to attract the best and brightest talent, and why most organizations today are struggling to adapt because of outdated leadership models.
All this and more on today’s episode. Now, That’s Unusual.
About Leerom Segal
Entrepreneur, humanitarian and philanthropist Leerom Segal is the co-founder and CEO of Klick Health, the world’s largest health agency. He has been named to PROFIT Magazine’s Hall of Fame as the youngest CEO to lead a PROFIT 100 Company and earned the titles of Ernst and Young’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Business Development Bank of Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year. Segal is also co-author of the bestselling book The Decoded Company: Know Your Talent Better Than You Know Your Customers.
His story is anything but usual. Segal launched his first company at age 12 and was named CTO of Motion Works Group by the time he was 16. Klick launched in 1997 as a scrappy technology company. Under his leadership, it has grown to be one of the world’s largest and most sought-after independent creative health agencies. But calling it an agency doesn’t do it justice. They are out to change the world through the relentless pursuit of awesome.
Known for his unconventional business method, Segal utilizes a data-driven, talent-centric approach to management at Klick, and the company has been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Global Company to Watch, as well as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies, 50 Best Employers, Most Admired Cultures and Best Workplaces. Through the Klick Foundation, he and his fellow ‘Klicksters’ have donated over $1.6M to a wide range of charitable initiatives around the world.
Key Interview Takeaways
If a company can get the culture right, success comes naturally. When talent thrives, clients are happy and they reward the business with loyalty and growth.
Embark on the ‘relentless pursuit of awesome’ by asking how to inoculate against the status quo and to build a culture where people understand that whatever greatness was achieved yesterday, it’s no longer good enough.
Give talent an intelligence advantage through personalization. Leadership at Klick realized that successful apps take time to understand the customer and personalize based on individual needs, yet businesses remain beholden to one-size-fits-all solutions. They developed their own operating system, Genome, to make tech tools function as a coach and eliminate elements that weren’t saving time. This allows data to act as a ‘sixth sense,’ aiding in decision-making rather than informing after the fact.
Team members need more time in a ‘flow state.’ To achieve high productivity, Klick rejected email because it is “a great way to let others reprioritize the day.” By drastically reducing internal email, staff has more time to work uninterrupted.
Ecosystems will prevail over hierarchies. At Klick, decision-making doesn’t move up and down the hierarchy. Even promotions are democratized so that team members have more control over people they are going to be working with.
Focus on the client’s best interests to achieve long-term success. Klick rejects the traditional agency model because it focuses on optics rather than outcomes and preserves inefficiencies for financial gain. Segal contends that when there is an alignment of interests between the client and the agency, everyone wins.
“You can’t solve today’s problems with the same thinking that created them.” Klick endeavors to evolve via true research and development. Segal recommends creating mechanisms to stress test ideas so that if they do fail, it doesn’t happen at scale.
“Pessimists look smart, but optimists get rich.”
Learn More About Leerom Segal