On Leading a Creative Team & Cultivating Culture: An Interview with BryteBox’s Managing Partner Brad Wells

As we wrap up a stellar year, we sat down with Brad Wells, BryteBox’s Managing Partner, for a lively discussion about his unique perspective on leading a creative team. It’s no secret the BryteBox culture is out-of-the-box, from trilingual clients to a hybrid, multi-time zone team of specialists. Read on to learn how intentionally cultivating culture has led to dynamic growth for our individual team members and our clients’ exposure in the marketplace. 

Culture is such a Herculean topic! Let’s go there. How would you describe the BryteBox culture in your own words?

The short and long of it? People. There is no BryteBox culture without its people. And our people lead with empathy. Sometimes that plays out with one team member being proactive to help another team member in their work or personal life. Other times, it’s as simple as a checkup on someone to see how they are feeling. Our relationships go way beyond work!

Another aspect of our culture that I see and appreciate is the shared value of optimism on our team. This optimism permeates everything we do – from leaving a supportive emoji on an Asana task to an encouraging word or shout out during a team meeting to the tone of our content writing or strategy development with clients! It also positively influences how we approach any sort of challenge or difficulty, whether individually or as a team. 

You’ve said that creating the BryteBox culture hasn’t always been conscious, yet there is a definite ethos our clients notice and share in interacting with our team! What are your thoughts on a leader’s role in creating and/or facilitating culture? 

I think it’s important for a leader to have a strong vision for how the organization and its people will treat others and build relationships. And, part of the leader’s responsibility is to truly live and embody that vision as an example for others to follow. For me, personally, my highest intention is to conduct myself in such a manner that allows me to have a completely clear conscience. The golden rule of “treating others like you would like to be treated” is paramount, a driver for me. If you choose to deeply adhere to this (and nothing else!), you’ll probably have a pretty easy time creating an ethos that is inspiring and, more importantly, morally and ethically just. Essentially, if you create or adopt a principle that is easily understood and nearly universally applicable, it’s a lot easier for others to unite around the same ethos!

You lead a hybrid, multilingual team spread across time zones and continents. What is the glue that holds it all together? 

The glue that holds us together is our project management software, Asana! I joke. There is more to it…

Our glue is our common bond of BryteBox’s culture. I genuinely believe that each of us cares about one another, cares about our work, cares about our clients, and cares about what our clients care about. I think each of us has a very strong moral compass that allows us to make decisions that will not negatively impact ourselves, the team, the client or society at large.

When we’re evaluating new candidates to join the BryteBox team, the most important factor is how well the candidate would integrate into our existing team. We want everyone who joins to feel comfortable and empowered within our strong existing culture.

It’s easy to read a job description, peruse a company’s IG and make some assumptions. (We’ve all done it!) What do you think a soon-to-be BryteBox-er would be surprised to learn after joining the team?

I think a new BryteBox team member would be most surprised by the depth of our team’s relationships with one another, especially considering the geography and other cultural/language challenges that exist. I believe they would also be surprised by how we work interdependently, meaning someone can work within a silo only so long before that silo is merged with another team member’s. We have a strong sense of balance between independent work and collaborative work. Said another way, we work interdependently to create a deliverable that is greater than the sum of its parts! 

You’ve noticed a distinctive pattern in our team’s hiring and growth. Will you share it?

Yes! Everyone that comes to work at BryteBox is brought onto the team for a specific function or purpose. We hire based on proof of a candidate’s existing skill set while also poking into where their interests are for professional expansion. Once they’re in the flow of the team, we naturally learn more about them! We are able to better understand what someone may be good at, what they like, and how they could add additional value to BryteBox’s clients.

There’s a Japanese concept called ikigai that informs my thinking on this. It means your “reason for being. “Iki” in Japanese means “life,” and “gai” describes value or worth. Your ikigai is what lights you up, what motivates you. Said another way, it is what makes you get out of the bed in the morning and brings you the highest joy.  

Individually and collectively, we want to be empowered for impact. And that is precisely what drives our team!

Final question: What’s on the horizon for the BryteBox team in 2023?

What’s on the horizon for BryteBox in 2023 is a stronger sense of team and a better grasp of how each individual team member interacts with the rest of the team. We want to take our existing strength of culture to the next level, purposefully and strategically! Tactically, this looks like more defined roles, better adapted processes, more support for the team both professionally and personally, as well as onboarding new, passionate clients and creating a newly refined BryteBox brand.

We are indeed growing… and hiring! If you know a skilled Freelance Copywriter, Project Manager or Social Media Specialist that could be a solid cultural fit for BryteBox, please spread the word! Follow us on IG and tag them in one of our “We’re hiring!” posts. Stay tuned for additional openings in the coming months…

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