Going. Ahead. With Gage: Interview with Michael Brito, EVP at Zeno Group

There’s no better way to start your Monday than by reading my next Going. Ahead. With Gage (#GAWG) interview! I had the opportunity to chat with one of my favorite humans, Michael Brito, EVP at Zeno Group – Enjoy!

You’ve worked in the social world for a long time. What are some of your favorite trends and the trends you wish would’ve never happened?

This isn’t an easy question to answer. I am quite happy with all the trends and innovations that have happened over the last decade. Most of them have made my job much easier. 

One thing that does bug me though is the rise of the “social media expert.” There are way too many of them that don’t really know what they are talking about. They spend all their time going from one trend to the next. I have literally watched several people go from SEO expert to social media expert to content marketing expert to AI expert to Blockchain expert. The issue is less about these experts getting their hustle on. The problem starts when my clients ask about something that they heard from one of these so-called experts and it makes no sense!

Your background is a nice mix of agency and brand. Have you preferred working at one over the other? If yes, which and why?

I prefer working in an agency environment because it’s much more entrepreneurial and I get to work with a diverse group of clients and industries. However, I am very grateful for my time working on the client side for a few reasons:

  • It has earned me the credibility and trust of my clients that may struggle with the challenges of working in large organizations.
  • It has allowed me to have empathy with my clients and connect with them on a much deeper level. 

What do you think is the most challenging part of working in the social media world?

There are just so many changes. It’s hard to keep up with all the new shiny objects that the different social networks are launching. It forces me to stay on my toes so I can be the one to communicate changes and new innovations to my clients before they hear from it someone else. 

You’ve written 3 books (all are fantastic btw!) – Which one was your favorite to write and why?

That’s a really good question. My favorite book is the one I haven’t written yet, hint hint! I have learned a lot about myself over the last 7 years since writing my first book. I would hope that each one is getting better and that my writing is improving. Even now though, I’ll flip through a few of the pages and think “why did I write that? What the heck was I thinking?” 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received and from who?

My mom used to give me advice all the time, even when I didn’t ask for it. But the best advice she ever gave me was to walk through life without any expectations. It’s helped me a lot in both my personal and professional life. 

How do you encourage innovative and creative thinking on the teams you lead and work with?

I usually encourage my teams to take walks, work from a coffee shop, or take the day off and do something they really care about. A lot of the time, creative ideas happen when you least expect it and usually not from a cubicle 🙂

What advice do you have for junior level employees wanting to make it to the C-Suite one day?

Hustle. Sounds cliche’ but it’s true. Work hard and don’t take no for an answer. More importantly, when you see something you want, don’t wait for it to come to you. You have to go and take it, and destroy anything and everything in your path that wants to block your success. Sounds harsh but it’s true.

I love book recommendations to help me grow in my career and challenge my thinking – What books would you recommend as a must-read for career growth and just for fictional fun?!

One of the best books I’ve read is Freakonomics – Because of that book I don’t trust real-estate agents anymore. Also, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. Such an amazing book that outlines the small things that happen in life that can cause massive change. 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next #GAWG next month!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s