Lauren Nutt Bello is currently Agency Partner at Ready Set Rocket, a digital agency that bridges cutting-edge creative thinking, technological expertise, data analysis and impeccable design execution, and leverages communication channels to transform human behavior into consumer action. Lauren was previously Account Manager at RSR, but also as the Sales Executive and Engagement Manager at Markets Media and AgencyNet. The Makegood recently spoke with Lauren about her new position at RSR, and how she will be empowering others.
The Makegood: Congratulations on your recent appointment to Partner at Ready Set Rocket. How does it feel to be the only woman with a prominent leadership position at the company?
It’s been really exciting to transition into the partner role. We have a lot of incredibly talented and ambitious young women working at RSR and as cliché as it sounds, the most rewarding part is showing all of the women on the team that there is no ceiling here.
Outside of that, being a woman isn’t something I really consider as being a factor in my leadership role— of course, my background and experiences in life and career differ from the other partners which gives me different perspective and a different approach on things. If anything, I look at that as a benefit, if I had the same views and opinions as Alex and Aaron I don’t think I could bring much value to the table. By diversifying our leadership team, we’ll be set up to continue to grow, scale, and sustain quality of work.
The Makegood: How do you feel about moving into such a position so rapidly? How will your experience as Account Manager be beneficial to your performance as partner?
I started at RSR two years ago as the 6th employee, so it’s felt really natural to grow with the company and learn as I go. The benefits of working in a small shop are the exposure you get to pieces of the business that wouldn’t typically be a part of your role at a larger agency. As a result, there’s a sharp learning curve. In my case this meant learning about how the business runs from Aaron and Alex, in addition to how to run our accounts and grow the business. I feel lucky to have had both hands on access to our clients over the past two years and to have experienced what it’s like to be an employee working my way up in the company. My hope is that the exposure and perspective I gained from both will allow me to represent both the client and the team’s interests in high level agency decisions and discussions.
The Makegood: How do you expect that working so closely with Aaron Harvey and Alex Lirtsman, co-founders and partners, will be a very different experience for you?
I’ve actually been working very closely with Aaron and Alex since I started at RSR which, lucky for me, was a necessity when we were very small. I had managed large accounts across multiple verticals and felt confident joining the RSR team a few years ago. But, looking back, the way they pushed me and challenged me to grow, learn about every service we offer, and become not just an account person but a strategic consultant for our clients, completely changed my approach and ultimately my career trajectory. Where the dynamic has shifted is that I now work with them at a peer level, which is very humbling when you’re working with people as brilliant and savvy as they both are. I’m looking forward to settling into the role and feeling pushed and challenged all over again, it’s the only way you can make sure you’re always growing.
The Makegood: Are you looking forward to being a very influential part of Ready Set Rocket?
It’s been surreal to be a part of something from the start, so being able to have any influence on the direction and growth of a company has been exciting and somethingg I hadn’t experienced before. Now that I’m taking on a partnership role, I’m looking forward to broadening the impact I can have on the agency. Of course, my focus will be on client services and agency growth but what I’m really passionate about driving is culture.
Last summer, after reading the Sheryl Sandberg book “Lean In” I held a women’s empowerment night for the women at RSR which stoked a very open and passionate discussion amongst the team. Since then, this has turned into a monthly event where a different member of the team presents on a new topic each month, always related to women’s empowerment. Something as simple as that has had a huge impact on the culture of our team from tangible items such as junior talent honing their presentation skills, to the fact that this monthly event pushes us all to be open, positive and supportive of one another which really drives the team dynamic of the agency. I think this is especially important as we’re growing so quickly and we see new faces in the room each month. One of my major goals as a partner will be to ensure we sustain this type of culture and these types of events and that the close knit passionate team dynamic doesn’t dilute with size.
The Makegood: What do you want to bring to the table at Ready Set Rocket? Will you be bringing more creativity into your work as Partner?
I want to help RSR to continue to grow and scale, which is dependent on two things — one, recruiting and retaining amazing talent and two, making sure that clients get the same level of strategic consultancy and quality of output that they did when we were 6 people. Realistically, where I think I can make a difference is by teaching and pushing our team in the same way Alex and Aaron pushed me — by making them feel a sense of ownership and accountability over anything they touch. Culturally, a focus of ours is to make sure a requirement for all talent is to have a figure it out attitude. So many great ideas never see the light of day because of neigh sayers — if we can continue to lead and drive this mentality at a leadership level. That would be my priority in terms of contribution to creativity as ultimately it will make ideas better, work more innovative, and our team’s approach will continue to be focused on not doing what everyone else is doing, but doing what everyone isn’t doing yet.
The Makegood: Thank you, Lauren.