The Heartbeat of GS&F: Our Five Values

“Take Chances. Be Accountable. Stay Curious. Earn Trust. Have Fun.These are GS&F’s Five Core Values that guide everything we do and provide a lens into how we operate. These are the words that ring true when crafting bold ideas and when facing challenges. GS&F’s executive team works every day to inject them into company meetings, quarterly business reviews and in everyday interactions with GS&F employees.

GS&F’s core values are integral to the success of the agency and each employee. Gregg Boling, President and COO of GS&F, says the agency has core values so “we can all get on the same page—and stay on the same page—in terms of how we treat each other and what we stand for as a company.”

“For a long time, our core values were business drivers or surrogates for where we were not strong. ‘Be Strategic’ anyone?” Gregg jokes. “Over time, these values came to represent the best possibilities and potential in each of us vs. what we want to achieve as a business.”

Take Chances

Be brave — For yourself, your team, and the audience. Our employees take chances by bringing bold ideas to the table. Emilie Guthrie, Vice President, Director of Account Management, says this is the core value that stands out to her in her daily work. “Taking chances and risks is at the forefront of my mind most days. In order to be seen, you have to show up.”

Our bold-minded Friend Emilie helps drive motivation and risk-taking in our work each and every day. Our clients know her as the fun, confident leader on many accounts, and she brings the energy to our weekly Friday morning meetings! These meetings drive home the values that we aim to instill in every area of our daily lives and gives the agency a few moments out of their workday to shout out Friends and teams who represent these values.

Be Accountable

Radical accountability leads to radical freedom. To us, being accountable is more than keeping up with day-to-day projects and tasks. It means checking in on Friends, being courteous to our colleagues’ schedules and much more. Adam Winstead, Executive Vice President of Human Resources & Operations, says, “Being intentional about each employee’s ‘why’ is how to keep agencies motivated. Why are they in the role they hold? What about our organization aligns with their own values? How we can challenge our employees intentionally to give them an opportunity to grow is very important.”

Stay Curious

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it sure fuels our fire (and the office dogs who have seen it ALL can confirm). Our agency commits to ‘Staying Curious’ in many ways, one of which is through our newest investment in providing access to LinkedIn Learning. Each GS&F employee has access to hundreds of courses to continue to learn about the ever-changing advertising industry or even to master a new skill in another.

GS&F also gives employees access to tons of industry data to utilize in client work as well as opportunities to attend webinars and conferences to continue learning and growing as an agency. These commitments keep us on our toes in bringing the best ideas to our clients.

Earn Trust

Trusting your coworkers and earning their trust is a multifaceted challenge. That’s why accountability and trust are both core values at GS&F as they work together to create a motivating environment that functions for everyone.

Guthrie says she takes the approach of “people first, people last, people always. True motivation comes when our people are focused on work that lives at the intersection of their skills and their passions. As an organization, we pursue this path for all.”

Have Fun

To us, cultivating a meaningful agency culture is more than a fancy ping pong table and having beer on tap. While that can be fun, we want our agency culture to be focused around creating a safe, communal atmosphere where each employee has a place to shine and make real friends and connections. “Friendships create belonging and belonging creates an environment of trust and a common set of intentions,” Winstead says.

Finally, friendship at GS&F is quite literally in the name. Guthrie says F stands for many words you might hear around GS&F, most predominantly and most importantly, F is for Friends. She adds that “our foundation was built on the relationships we have with one another. Over time, F has evolved into everything we do—it stands for so much more than Friends. It’s our potential, prosperity and simply our heartbeat.”

Overall, these core values guide GS&F’s drive. Working at an integrated agency with many different departments working on one project takes a great deal of communication and collaboration skills, which is why we use our values to inform us every step of the way.

But, Boling adds, they’re even more than that. “Our values are not what we should do or why we should do it. They’re how we behave.”


Do you want to work with a value-driven integrated agency? Reach out to us here to learn more about how we transfer these values into our client work.

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