Laura Petrolino

Business Lessons from the Spin Sucks Trenches

By: Laura Petrolino | August 22, 2016 | 
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Business Lessons from The Spin Sucks TrenchesIn just about two months, I’ll have been a part of the Arment Dietrich/Spin Sucks team for three years!

THREE YEARS!! I mean holy crapola.

I knew investing in those Zoolander mind-control devices I found at Target would be worth it (because goodness knows that’s the only way I’ve tricked Gini Dietrich into keeping me around this long….well, that and the fact that whenever she fires me I just ignore her and refuse to leave).

A Career of Learning

Everything I’ve done in my professional career has no doubt made me a better person and better professional.

Both the success and the failures (especially the failures).

But I’ve grown as a professional and a leader more in the last three years than I can even really grasp.

When I talk to prospective Arment Dietrich or Spin Sucks employees, I point out two aspects of working here that I think are most special:

  1. The endless learning and professional growth opportunities; and
  2. The ability to control your own career path and future. The sky is the limit if you are willing to put in the work to make it happen.

To me these are crucial and a part of why I love being part of this team so much.

This week several of the members of our team are going to share business lessons they’ve learned while working at Arment Dietrich/Spin Sucks. So to start that off I’m going to list off a few from nearly three years.

Business Lessons Learned

  1. Culture is crucial. Many organizations give it lip-service, but far fewer really follow through on hiring and cultivating a productive culture. Do it. It makes all the difference on both the micro (individual work product, team moral, employee happiness) and macro (productivity, business success, client success, business growth) levels.
  2. Know when to push and when to pivot. One of my favorite posts from Gini is about the importance of knowing when to pivot in business. It’s stuck in my mind ever since and I always try to really step back and decide when I should keep pushing through (which is often the default mode in my bullheaded nature) and when to look for other alternatives. This is a science (hello data) and an art and I think something you constantly work on. But if you look at the best known and most iconic business leaders out there, one thing you’ll see consistently is their ability to know when to pivot.
  3. The real difference between being a leader and being a manager. There is so much to be said on this business lesson, it definitely warrants it’s own blog post. I’ve learned so much from both Gini and Randy Hall on this topic. And, in the process, a lot about myself and the tendencies I have which prevent me from being the best leader possible. And I think that’s a big part of the secret is understanding yourself and the fact that often, the very traits that have made you a successful professional are what prevent you from being a successful leader.
  4. Delegation isn’t weakness. Hello my name is Laura and I’m a recovering non-delegator. Why—prior to my time here—was I a compulsive non-delegator? Well many reasons:                                                                                                                              
    • Lack of trust in the team around me.
    • Not having the right team in place.
    • A lifetime of just doing it myself because other people wouldn’t or didn’t do it well enough.
    • Feeling badly to ask others to do work (even if it was work that was really their responsibility to do).
    • Being a control freakazoid.

But when you don’t delegate you create numerous problems, especially when you work with a team of really amazing, capable people (as I do now).

  • You make them feel like you don’t trust them.
  • You disengage your team.
  • You end up doing stuff you shouldn’t be doing and thus end up overworked and not working on the things you should be doing to your best capacity.
  • You don’t grow as a professional
  • You can’t scale.

 A Week of Lessons

So those are just a few (this post could be a novel) or the business lessons I’ve learned during my three years here.

Over the next week, you’ll hear more from our team, but I’d also love to hear from you.

What business lessons have you learned from each other, and the Spin Sucks community as a whole?

About Laura Petrolino


Laura Petrolino is chief marketing officer for Spin Sucks, an integrated marketing communications firm that provides strategic counsel and professional development for in-house and agency communications teams. She is a weekly contributor for their award-winning blog of the same name. Spin Sucks. Join the Spin Sucks   community.