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E83 | Elevate performance and working remotely with Robert Glazer

With more people opting to work remotely, particularly in light of the current health issues surrounding Coronavirus, today’s guest couldn’t be better timed. 

Robert Glazer is the founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners, a partner marketing agency that helps brands with a form of marketing also known as affiliate marketing. 

What sets his marketing agency apart from the competition? He built his business to be remote from day one – all 175 members of his team are based around city hubs, but all work entirely remotely.

Which has led him down many interesting different avenues, not least writing a book, starting a podcast and authoring a truly fantastic and #1 newsletter on LinkedIn. 

“I am obsessed with people sort of living up to their ability both inside and outside of work that’s become a universal thing. For me, I think one of the biggest shame is not living up to your own potential or capacity.”

This is a really wide ranging conversation, covering how to work remotely (including the cultural implications), the genesis of Acceleration Partners, how (and why) he started his newsletter and what has driven his personal high performance as a business leader and entrepreneur. 

On today’s podcast:

  • Acceleration Partners and affiliate marketing
  • How his team of 175 people work remotely
  • How to recruit for remote working
  • The core values that drive him
  • The newsletter that started as an email
  • Why meetings should be held in the afternoon, not the morning


How to work remotely with Robert Glazer

Robert Glazer is the founder and CEO of global performance marketing agency, Acceleration Partners and he was ranked #2 on Glassdoor’s list of Top CEO of Small & Medium Companies in the US. 

From the word go, Robert has had his entire team work remotely, and now that team numbers 175, how does he manage it? And what are his recommendations for anyone looking to make their team remote? Particularly in light of the Coronavirus?

How to work remotely

Video, keep a routine and schedule are Robert’s top tips for successful remote working. 

Keep a routine. Just because you’re all working in separate locations doesn’t mean you should all change how you work. Keep your meetings, keep your calls, keep your routine, schedule the stuff you want to do. Just because you have the freedom and flexibility to do what you want, doesn’t mean you should drop everything and take advantage of being in charge of your own time. Being able to actually go and do what you want causes issues for people. So schedule it in. 

Schedule work. When you’re at home and trying to work, there are all manner of distractions that can prevent you from being productive. So pick a place that you’re going to work from and have it be different to the rest of your house. Shut down your phone and make a conscious decision to move from home life to work life. Just because you aren’t physically leaving your house, doesn’t mean you can’t change your mindset from home to work. 

Thirdly, make everything video by default. Don’t have phone calls, don’t message – have video calls. Meeting in person is the best way to communicate, but when you work remotely that option is available to you. On phone calls you can’t see someone’s face or read their body language, and text messages or emails are too easily misconstrued. A video makes communication more human. 

Who suits remote working?

“It’s interesting … from a behavioural standpoint people that have done it and thrived in it, like that’s one checkbox. But we’re not necessarily getting people who are looking for remote [work] or maybe it’s their first time. So we’ve learned to screen for the things that would make someone thrive in that environment.”

Because the thing is, not everyone is cut out for working remotely. Robert prides himself and his company on having spent the last 13 years figuring out who the 1% of people are that will thrive working remotely. 

Those people who like to work remotely really value the flexibility that remote working affords them. 

“They have family, they have kids, they live somewhere where it’s a long commute. They’re a competitive athlete, they like to travel, like that’s a really important part of the equation for them. If they’d rather be in the office and they’re kind of a raging extrovert, then we’re probably not the right choice for them.”

Acceleration Partners has core values that attracts the top tier of talent that might not otherwise be available to them. They want people who actively have other interests outside of work. They want people who work hard, who get stuff done, and are results orientated. But work can’t be the be all and end all for them. They have to have other interests. 

“I am obsessed with people sort of living up to their ability both inside and outside of work, that’s become a universal thing. For me, I think one of the biggest shame is not living up to your own potential or capacity.”

How to recruit for remote working

One thing that Robert is adamant on is that when they hire, they have to recruit face to face, that is part of their hub strategy. 

So even though all of their employees will work from home, they still hire around their city hubs, because although they may not have a dedicated workspace location, they still all meet for events and so all employees need to be able to get into town occasionally. 

“Our leadership team will come meet with everyone in our city and we’re able to literally touch the whole organisation in a week visiting all of the hub cities.”

And when it comes to making decisions as to who to hire, Robert insists on every final round interview being face to face because there are social and emotional cues that you can only pick up on from someone when you meet them in person, when you share a meal, break bread with them. 

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