Author: Chris Gasbarro

I recently attended the Underscore Core Summit in Boston, a venture capital conference, and my biggest takeaway from some impressive entrepreneurs was several discussions around the topic of "Talent" - how to attract, retain, grow and so forth. In my notebook I had "Hire for FIT" circled in several page areas. It's awesome hearing really successful and bigger versions of "you" say that in front of 1,000 people and distill something you may have been doing, but never written down or quantified.

I remember the day, and in fact it's still in my Calendar - May 6, 2015. Just 5 days before that, myself and my business partner Kathy got an email out of the blue from a former colleague who said she may be ready for something different. Within 15 minutes of that email, we had a lunch date to meet up and connect.

It was at that lunch that the FIT was verified, and lunch ended with "Cassandra, we may not have the exact thing for you right now, but you're a fit for Ember...so let's get you here and figure out your roles. I probably didn't sound that eloquent...in fact she probably steered the conversation more strategically. The truth is, Cassandra was a missing piece to something we wanted to add to the Ember team on several fronts, and we knew her work ethic, skills and attitude were something that could make us better.

In her 4 years she's embraced a promotion, managed team members, guided and supported our most valued accounts, won our "Grace Award" and joined Ember's Leadership Team. The thing that we knew Cassandra had in her potential at Ember, is her "being". That's the part of FIT that successful leaders and organizations covet. Yes, skill is important, but it's not the most important thing. Not that we don't value competence, we just value "Being" more. In events, there's so much that doesn't go to plan (good and bad), which requires a certain nimbleness and attitude to contribute to success. We knew that Cassandra had that, would demonstrate time and time again, and drive significant value of "Being" in our organization. AND we knew we were getting a whole bunch of talent and skill that now shines through much of Ember's portfolio.

So...when we had the opportunity to re-imagine the next 10 years of our company and to think about the leadership that could take us on the journey, we were asked - that's right, it was NOT my idea or Kathy's. It was a team member coming up and saying, "Can we go for a walk?" and then on the walk saying, "How do you think I would be at leading the Creative team?" and then stating, "I want it, and I think I would be brilliant".

She's right. She will be brilliant, because she's a fit and her "Being" is just the type we need to lead Ember through the next decade.

Congratulations and welcome Ember's new Creative Director - Cassandra Ruff.

Chris Gasbarro