Detavio Samuels – President of GlobalHue-Detroit

[quote style=”boxed”]Hire and grow giants. Doing so will make the world of a difference for you and the teams you manage as well as the people across the organization that depend on your team to perform.[/quote]

Detavio Samuels is the President of GlobalHue-Detroit. At just 32, Detavio is one of the advertising industry’s youngest executives and he is helping some of the world’s biggest companies build their brands and connect with consumers. Detavio frequently works with his team to develop crossover strategies and ideas that tap into the influence of the fast-growing multicultural market and drive total market business. When not helping brands develop innovative marketing programs, Detavio works with people (young and old) to help them unleash their personal magic and reach their full potential.

Detavio has been recognized for his work on both the marketing and personal development fronts with awards such as: 40 Under 40 (Crain’s Detroit, 2013), Men of Excellence (Michigan Chronicle, 2012), Power 30 Under 30 (The Apex Society, 2011) and Top Executives In Marketing and Advertising (Black Enterprise, 2011). On November 18, 2013, Detavio will release his first
book: *Exist No More: The Art of Squeezing the Most Out of Life. *To learn more about the book, please visit

Where did the idea for Exist No More come from?

I wrote Exist No More because I saw too many of the people in my inner circle who were stuck, settling and afraid to be awesome. While I saw potential and greatness in them, they were afraid to fail and unclear on how to take a step forward. I wanted to write something that would make them more afraid of falling below their potential than they were of failure and being uncomfortable. So I penned Exist No More to provide them with a guide that would inspire, incite and instruct them down the path of pushing them towards greatness and releasing the big ideas inside of them to the world.

What does your typical day look like?

I wake up around 6am. I work on whatever personal project is a priority for me (like the book or an entrepreneurial idea). Then I say my prayers, stretch, workout and prepare my mind, body and spirit to tackle my day. When I get to work, I write down the 3-5 absolute “must-dos” for the day; if nothing else gets done, these will, because they are what I believe to be the needle movers for my business. The rest of my day is filled with coaching, unsticking employees, building with clients and trying to create a work atmosphere that my teams will cherish. After work, I head home and spend time with my beautiful wife Tanya, where we catch up on the day over dinner and our favorite tv shows. Then it’s back to work on my side projects or Globalhue until I prepare to silence my brain for the night with Candy Crush or Drop7.

How do you bring ideas to life?

The short answer is that I just GO. People who develop an ability to just get started on a project and begin moving it down the path of what it is going to be set themselves apart from the pack every time. All too often people have ideas that they never move on because they are afraid of failure, aren’t quite sure they’ve planned it out right, or don’t know where to start. Over the course of my lifetime I’ve learned a few things. One, the initial idea is never right, but you can’t get to the “right” idea until you start moving on the initial thought inside your brain. And two, some times, the idea will never be right and that’s okay. There is another bigger, better, bolder idea inside of you, but to get there, you sometimes have to birth that initial baby so you can learn, evolve, and adjust your thinking.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I am very much a fan of the trend towards real-time experiences. I think it will unlock interesting opportunities as companies help people maximize their “now.”

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as the President of GlobalHue?

I refuse to do other people’s work. When you are a leader in an organization, it’s so easy for people to transport problems to you and expect you to solve the problems for them. I resist this trap with all of my being. I know that if I can resist the urge to do the work for them, I can build self reliant and empowered teams who are capable of getting their job done without me. Doing so helps maximize the potential within the organization, contributes to individual and team growth and enables me to focus my attention in places that will spur business growth and create organizational change.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I don’t think I’ve ever had what I consider a worst job. Every job has played a critical role in my development. There have definitely been seasons in jobs when I was unhappy and through that learned that only I am responsible for my happiness. I can either create ways to alter the job or create other opportunities that allow me to walk away.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

I would have gone to business school with at least one or two entrepreneurial ideas I was serious about launching. When you’re a student, you have unparalleled access to every company –competition included — you can imagine, you are surrounded by brilliant minds, and you can devote your best energy to your ideas without concern for how you will pay your bills and feed your family.

As a business leader, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Hire and grow giants. Doing so will make the world of a difference for you and the teams you manage as well as the people across the organization that depend on your team to perform. Once you have A-caliber talent inside, pour into them, provide them with a framework around winning and rewards, and then get out of their way and unleash them on the world.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Building relationships. People do business with people they trust–that could be you or a mutual connection that can walk you through the door. Half of our new business wins this year at GlobalHue came from some sort of pre-existing relationship. You are always at a disadvantage when you are the stranger at the table, even if your product is superior.

What is one failure you’ve had in business, and how did you overcome it?

One – that’s it? When I came out of Stanford’s business school in 2006, my friends and I were working on a start-up that eventually failed. In this instance, overcoming failure was about ensuring that I learned from the failed company. The journey allowed me to develop my point of view on what it takes to win as a start-up (eg, the ability to iterate quickly, an all-star team in the “must-win” functions, the flexibility to allow the idea to evolve, etc) and also revealed my passion for helping people unleash their potential. To this day, I apply those learned lessons learned to everything I do.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

The trend for brands to DO GOOD has become ever popular. Right now, each individual company is trying to create DO GOOD opportunities in order to win the hearts and minds of their audience. Right now, the brands are choosing the social causes they contribute to. I think there is an opportunity for a company to build partnerships across brands and social causes that then enable consumers to shop the brands they want, while directing the social contribution associated with their spend to the causes they care most about.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

When I was in high school, I wore Kriss-Kross braids and was in a Christian rap group called DNA.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

Right now my favorite tools are:
1. Evernote – Evernote is one of the best things to ever happen to me because it allows me to store and access everything I want, any time I want it. Every idea, every thought, every note, every article and every presentation is never more than a phone or tablet away from me.
2. Paper by FiftyThree – I’ve never drawn in my life. Paper has awaken a desire and ability to draw and has allowed me to bring my ideas to life in a new and different way.
3. Instaquote – I post a lot of inspirational quotes and messages and Instaquote has become my go-to app for creating and making content

I used Evernote and Paper heavily in the creation of Exist No More.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I think everyone should read Austin Kleon’s, Steal Like an Artist. This book has been a gamechanger for me. Because of it, I am more free and more creative whereas in my past I was more restricted by the pressure to create something truly original (which, as Austin points out) doesn’t exist).

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Austin Kleon: @austinkleon,
Marcus Buckingham:
Seth Godin: