Inside a GS&F Tradition: The Great Flag

Every Friday morning, we gather (now virtually) to celebrate the week’s accomplishments, give shoutouts to Friends who go above and beyond, and make sure our teams are aligned and connected. We come together not only as a group of coworkers but as a family, and during the last few minutes of the meeting, we pass the Great Flag from one Friend to another.

While it may not be much to write home about at first glance, this homemade cotton-and-poster-paint icon carries serious weight around GS&F.

“Receiving the Great Flag is the ultimate shoutout,” says Kyle McCluskey, account supervisor and creator of the flag. “We give it to someone who has shown stellar teamwork and leadership throughout the week.”

Originally, McCluskey created the Great Flag to lead the team to a Hard Refresh workshop located offsite. These workshops, led by GS&F’s Growth and Development team, help us acknowledge that though we work hard and play harder, sometimes we need a creative reset. They take us out of our comfort zones and away from our laptops to clear our minds, learn something new, and grow together.

The Great Flag was simply a nod to the theme of a recent workshop (pursuing greatness), a last-minute idea to rally the staff. “I never wanted anyone to get close to it, much less hold on to it and admire it, because the quality is rather poor,” McCluskey admits. “I stole a broom handle from the closet and shoddily taped it together.”

But the flag stuck. It became a part of the weekly Friday morning meeting, and it’s been bouncing from desk to desk ever since, building organically into a peer-to-peer recognition tradition. “It’s fairly miraculous that this random, rough-around-the edges-object now holds so much meaning,” McCluskey reflects.

Not only has it brought stories, laughter and even tears of gratitude, the Great Flag also has its own emoji on our Slack channels. It gives us a chance to call out team members across departments for living and working by our values and doing the oft-unseen work that keeps us moving forward. Most of our team members would agree that it’s just as much fun to give the Great Flag as it is to receive it!

Let’s follow the Great Flag as it moved around the (virtual) office in the past several weeks, starting with its stop in account management.

Caitlin Suits, Account Supervisor
“Caitlin Suits is a constant rock for the team. She makes it a priority to support every team member and handles even the most stressful challenges with poise and grace.”

-Sav McBride, Account Supervisor, PR

Kristin Dick, Account Supervisor, Social Media

“Kris Dick is a wonderful teammate who brings that perfect blend of expertise, strength, and kindness to the table! She’s a calm and steady leader and simply makes the work better.”

-Caitlin Suits
Colleen Dolan, Account Director, PR

“The first time I was in a client meeting with Colleen I thought, ‘WOW—I have never seen someone own a presentation like her.’ She brings so much strategic leadership and smart thinking to our team, and she pushes everyone around her to do great work.”

-Kristin Dick
Billy Derham, Account Director

“Billy is always generous with his insights yet so humble. His calm, confident and kind demeanor makes him an exceptional client counselor and internal sounding board.”

-Colleen Dolan

John Anderson, Strategic Planner
“John brings a combination of brain and heart to strategic challenges. His preparation is unmatched, and his ability to collaborate and pressure-test his ideas shows humility.”

-Billy Derham
Sarah Growden, Art Director

“Sarah is the person who’s often asked to take our work across the finish line. She’s got a knack for bringing all of our thinking together and making us look our best.”

-John Anderson

Ending our Friday gatherings with the Great Flag never fails to inspire us, pump us up for the week ahead and remind us how much we value one another in the small victories, the big wins and all the moments in between.

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