Having two bosses can sometimes feel like a good cop/bad cop situation if they’re not on the same page or if they employ different styles of leadership. That might be effective in accomplishing their goals, but it’s not always the best approach for keeping employees happy and productive. But having two founders at the top doesn’t always mean chaos or mixed messages. With the right dynamic, it can create a rich, creative environment for employees.
It would be easy to let our founders speak for themselves about the dynamic of a partnership leading the way at Huemor, the UX agency we work at. They have clearly-defined roles (Mike handles new business, Jeff runs creative and production), they make decisions, hires, and investments together, and they’ve got a singular goal for the future of Huemor. All in all, they’re making it work and we keep growing. And most of our 16 person team has been around since almost the beginning (when Mike and Jeff were working out of a family member’s basement), new clients are constantly coming aboard, and projects are getting bigger and sexier.
But that’s the easy way. The better way — the juicier way — is from our perspective as employees who report to Mike and Jeff. That’s where the good stuff is. In fact, sometimes it’s not unlike trying to get Dad to say yes to something Mom already said no to, like when whoever’s going on the beer run is angling to fill the fridge with a specific brew — Jeff likes Sam Adams and Brooklyn, Mike likes Blue Point and Shipyard; they’re both always willing to hand over their company card.
Beyond employee happy hours, their partnership drives the way we work. So it makes sense to show you two benefits of that and, just to be transparent, one challenge.