Media, Marketing & Management Professional
Strategist | Marketer | Speaker | Journalist | Advocate | Impresario
Gavin’s expertise meets at the intersection of media, marketing, and entrepreneurship. As a freelance consultant, Gavin advises global businesses & nonprofits of all sizes on improving processes and market reach. From start-up launch marketing to brand turnarounds, Gavin has helped hundreds of clients across the industry spectrum. As a social entrepreneur, Gavin leads Civilian Exposure, a nonprofit news and outreach service for victims of military contamination. He has previously served on the CDC/ATSDR Camp Lejeune Community Assistance Panel, collaborating with government agencies to promote scientific research and corrective measures. Gavin also serves as special consultant to the boards of Freedom University Keta & Keta Foundation, a joint effort to fund initiatives that eradicate economic roots of modern slavery in the Volta Region of Ghana.
A member of Beta Gamma Sigma, Internet Marketing Association, Society for Environmental Journalists, William & Mary Tribe Partners, and the Thunderbird Alumni Network, Gavin is also an avid writer, traveler, voice over artist, DJ, and racing enthusiast. Gavin holds a Master of Global Management with distinction and Beta Gamma Sigma from Thunderbird School of Global Management, an MBA from William & Mary, and a BA from Wake Forest University.
- New Ventures, Social Entrepreneurship
- Management, financial, branding and identity, salary negotiation, staffing
- International business and employment laws, FCC compliance
- Competitive research, statistics and analysis, ratings performance
- Web design, functionality, administration and content management
- Affiliate marketing and traffic building
- Staffing and business consulting for radio, including analysis of structure, plan, focus, branding and content
- HTML, CSS, PHP, E-Commerce, Web 2.0, WYSIWYG, Dreamweaver MX, Joomla & WordPress platforms
- Analytic problem solver who is a decisive, strategic leader; meets and embraces leadership challenges and models leadership and accountability.
- High performer who sets expectations for, models and exceeds high levels of productivity.
- Communication skills that are effective using a variety of platforms with a variety of individuals and groups, delivering on-message.
- Strategic leader capable of turning goals into actions and consistently applying a long term shared organizational vision.
- Leadership professional who recognizes and develops talent, translates goals into accountable actions and holds staff to those.
Memberships & Associations
- Beta Gamma Sigma
- Society of Environmental Journalists
- Internet Marketing Association
- National Association of Broadcasters
- Future in Review/Strategic News Service
- Cayman Islands Chamber Of Commerce
- National Honor Society
- Who’s Who Of America
- Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity
- Broadcast Development
- Strategic Planning
- Project Management
- Creative Copy Writing
- Marketing and Advertising
- Web Content Management
- Product Concept and Development
- Web Design
- Ad Campaigns
- Ad Designs
- Ad Scripts
- Voice Overs
- Creative Audio Imaging
- Marketing Consulting
- Music (all genres)
- Professional DJ performance
- Audio mixing
- A/V production
- Auto racing
- New people and cultures
Need help with...
- Corporate Management & Strategy
- Broadcast Media Programming & Strategy
- Digital Marketing Tools, Analysis & Strategy
- Web/E-Commerce Design & Strategy
- Content Curation & Marketing
- Social Media Distribution & Management
- Corporate/Competitor/Country Market Insights
- Marketing Analytics & ROI Assessment
- Leadership Development, Global Mindset & 360 Analysis
With the help of a virtual network of professionals and service providers, I offer lucid insights, holistic solutions, and critical time-saving tools that contribute to a successful media, marketing and management strategy for all of my clients.
Find out how I can help you today. Let’s talk! I look forward to working with you.
Media, marketing and management are evolving at a rapid pace. Whether you’re a well established corporation or a small start-up, staying nimble in these areas is key to success. Yet, this can also be a daunting, time-consuming task. Let me help you reduce time, optimize your approach and execute well. – Gavin
CEO | Consultant
Gavin P. Smith Consulting
2014 – PRESENT
Founder | Executive Director | Editor-in-Chief
2013 – PRESENT
Executive Director | Board Consultant
2015 – PRESENT
Director of Marketing
2013 – 2014
Web & Social Media Strategist
Washington Area Alumni Business Alliance
2012 – 2013
Co-Founder | VP of Tech & New Media
2011 – 2013
Marketing Consultant | Freelance Journalist
2006 – 2013
Writer | Columnist
The Griffin Report
2008 – 2010
2007 – 2008
2006 – 2007
Style 96.5 FM & Spectrum Promotions – Grand Cayman
2005 – 2006
Z99 FM & Rooster 101 FM – Grand Cayman
2000 – 2004
Jammin’ 99.9 FM – Wilmington, NC
1998 – 2000
Master of Global Management (MGM) – International Business/Marketing
Thunderbird School of Global Management – Glendale, AZ
Master of Business Administration (MBA) – Entrepreneurship / Strategy
William & Mary Mason School of Business – Williamsburg, VA
Bachelor of Arts (BA) – History / Entrepreneurship
Wake Forest University – Winston-Salem, NC
Website UI/UX Design
Clean, fast, aesthetically pleasing, and streamlined for the end user.
Sharp eye for design to create sharper images for you.
Brand Strategy, Awareness, Purchase Intention and more.
Omni-channel marketing strategies, tactics, negotiations and budgeting.
My Professional Assessments
Get to know the fundamentals about who I am, how I work, and my general approach to life.
I constantly strive to be honest and fair in all of my pursuits. I excel by listening to all sides of a point of view before making my own unique conclusions. I work hard to lift myself up in society without relying on others. I also believe in being fair and accountable to all people that I meet, whether as friends, co-workers, or business associates. Finally, I am willing to do anything I ask of others, and am always someone who will put my faith, word and reputation behind my actions. I may not always succeed, but I build upon any stumbles to contribute to the betterment of my life, my friends, and my community.
My Type: ENFJ
ENFJs are the benevolent ‘pedagogues’ of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes.
Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it’s usually not meant as manipulation — ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are.
ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability.
ENFJs are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization and decisiveness. But they don’t resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance. ENFJs are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs. Their offices may or may not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through feelings) about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts.
ENFJs know and appreciate people. Like most NFs, (and Feelers in general), they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people. ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear.
TRADEMARK: “The first shall be last”
This refers to the open-door policy of ENFJs. One ENFJ colleague always welcomes me into his office regardless of his own circumstances. If another person comes to the door, he allows them to interrupt our conversation with their need. While discussing that need, the phone rings and he stops to answer it. Others drop in with a ‘quick question.’ I finally get up, go to my office and use the call waiting feature on the telephone. When he hangs up, I have his undivided attention!
Extraverted Feeling rules the ENFJ’s psyche. In the sway of this rational function, these folks are predisposed to closure in matters pertaining to people, and especially on behalf of their beloved. As extraverts, their contacts are wide ranging. Face-to-face relationships are intense, personable and warm, though they may be so infrequently achieved that intimate friendships are rare.
Like their INFJ cousins, ENFJs are blessed through introverted intuition with clarity of perception in the inner, unconscious world. Dominant Feeling prefers to find the silver lining in even the most beggarly perceptions of those in their expanding circle of friends and, of course, in themselves. In less balanced individuals, such mitigation of the unseemly eventually undermines the ENFJ’s integrity and frequently their good name. In healthier individuals, deft use of this awareness of the inner needs and desires of others enables this astute type to win friends, influence people, and avoid compromising entanglements.
The dynamic nature of their intuition moves ENFJs from one project to another with the assurance that the next one will be perfect, or much more nearly so than the last. ENFJs are continually looking for newer and better solutions to benefit their extensive family, staff, or organization.
Sensing is extraverted. ENFJs can manage details, particularly those necessary to implement the prevailing vision. These data have, however, a magical flexible quality. Something to be bought can be had for a song; the same something is invaluable when it’s time to sell. (We are not certain, but we suspect that such is the influence of the primary function.) This wavering of sensory perception is made possible by the weaker and less mature status with which the tertiary is endowed.
Introverted Thinking is least apparent and most enigmatic in this type. In fact, it often appears only when summoned by Feeling. At times only in jest, but in earnest if need be, Thinking entertains as logical only those conclusions which support Feeling’s values. Other scenarios can be shown invalid or at best significantly inferior. Such “Thinking in the service of Feeling” has the appearance of logic, but somehow it never quite adds up.
Introverted Thinking is frequently the focus of the spiritual quest of ENFJs. David’s lengthiest psalm, 119, pays it homage. “Law,” “precept,” “commandment,” “statute:” these essences of inner thinking are the mysteries of Deity for which this great Feeler’s soul searched.
- David, King of Israel
- Abraham Lincoln
- Ronald Reagan
- Barack Obama
- William Cullen Bryant, poet
- Abraham Maslow, psychologist and proponent of self-actualization
- Ross Perot
- Sean Connery
- Elizabeth Dole
- Francois Mitterand
- Dick Van Dyke
- Andy Griffith
- James Garner
- William Aramony, former president of United Way
- Gene Hackman (Superman, Antz)
- Dennis Hopper (Speed)
- Brenda Vaccaro
- Craig T. Nelson (Coach)
- Diane Sawyer (Good Morning America)
- Randy Quaid (Bye Bye, Love; Independence Day)
- Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive)
- Kirstie Alley (“Cheers,” Look Who’s Talking movies)
- Michael Jordan, NBA basketball player
- Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean)
- Oprah Winfrey
- Bob Saget America’s Funniest Home Videos, Full House
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Seinfeld”)
- Ben Stiller (The Royal Tenenbaums)
- Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts quarterback
- Matthew McConaughey (The Wedding Planner)
- Pete Sampras, Tennis Champion
- Lauren Graham (“Gilmore Girls”)
- Ben Affleck (The Sum Of All Fears)
- John Cusack (High Fidelity)
Below are my Signature Themes — my five most dominant themes of talent, ranked in the order revealed by my responses to the Clifton StrengthsFinder.
The Clifton StrengthsFinder measures the 34 themes of talent determined by The Gallup Organization as those that most consistently predict outstanding performance. The greater the presence of a theme of talent within a person, the more likely that person is to spontaneously exhibit those talents in day-to-day behaviors.
The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, you play out alternative scenarios, always asking, “What if this happened? Okay, well what if this happened?” This recurring question helps you see around the next corner. There you can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make selections. You discard the paths that lead nowhere. You discard the paths that lead straight into resistance. You discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. You cull and make selections until you arrive at the chosen path—your strategy. Armed with your strategy, you strike forward. This is your Strategic theme at work: “What if?” Select. Strike.
“Wouldn’t it be great if . . .” You are the kind of person who loves to peer over the horizon. The future fascinates you. As if it were projected on the wall, you see in detail what the future might hold, and this detailed picture keeps pulling you forward, into tomorrow. While the exact content of the picture will depend on your other strengths and interests—a better product, a better team, a better life, or a better world—it will always be inspirational to you. You are a dreamer who sees visions of what could be and who cherishes those visions. When the present proves too frustrating and the people around you too pragmatic, you conjure up your visions of the future and they energize you. They can energize others, too. In fact, very often people look to you to describe your visions of the future. They want a picture that can raise their sights and thereby their spirits. You can paint it for them. Practice. Choose your words carefully. Make the picture as vivid as possible. People will want to latch on to the hope you bring.
You like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write. This is your Communication theme at work. Ideas are a dry beginning. Events are static. You feel a need to bring them to life, to energize them, to make them exciting and vivid. And so you turn events into stories and practice telling them. You take the dry idea and enliven it with images and examples and metaphors. You believe that most people have a very short attention span. They are bombarded by information, but very little of it survives. You want your information—whether an idea, an event, a product’s features and benefits, a discovery, or a lesson—to survive. You want to divert their attention toward you and then capture it, lock it in. This is what drives your hunt for the perfect phrase. This is what draws you toward dramatic words and powerful word combinations. This is why people like to listen to you. Your word pictures pique their interest, sharpen their world, and inspire them to act.
Your Individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities of each person. You are impatient with generalizations or “types” because you don’t want to obscure what is special and distinct about each person. Instead, you focus on the differences between individuals. You instinctively observe each person’s style, each person’s motivation, how each thinks, and how each builds relationships. You hear the one-of-a-kind stories in each person’s life. This theme explains why you pick your friends just the right birthday gift, why you know that one person prefers praise in public and another detests it, and why you tailor your teaching style to accommodate one person’s need to be shown and another’s desire to “figure it out as I go.” Because you are such a keen observer of other people’s strengths, you can draw out the best in each person. This Individualization theme also helps you build productive teams. While some search around for the perfect team “structure” or “process,” you know instinctively that the secret to great teams is casting by individual strengths so that everyone can do a lot of what they do well.
Relator describes your attitude toward your relationships. In simple terms, the Relator theme pulls you toward people you already know. You do not necessarily shy away from meeting new people—in fact, you may have other themes that cause you to enjoy the thrill of turning strangers into friends—but you do derive a great deal of pleasure and strength from being around your close friends. You are comfortable with intimacy. Once the initial connection has been made, you deliberately encourage a deepening of the relationship. You want to understand their feelings, their goals, their fears, and their dreams; and you want them to understand yours. You know that this kind of closeness implies a certain amount of risk—you might be taken advantage of—but you are willing to accept that risk. For you a relationship has value only if it is genuine. And the only way to know that is to entrust yourself to the other person. The more you share with each other, the more you risk together. The more you risk together, the more each of you proves your caring is genuine. These are your steps toward real friendship, and you take them willingly.
Who I Am
Your scores indicate you have INNOVATOR/MERCHANT tendencies. When you enter a room there is more wisdom and love energy suddenly in that room. You are the presence of loving wisdom. This is your assignment, to be the effective presence of loving wisdom.
You look at the circumstances and situations around you through the eyes of compassion and truth. You operate from reason and intuition, seeing the way things are. Asking questions and deriving the right responses, best strategies and most workable solutions.
This is balanced by your intuitive and reasoning capacity to see who people really are. You try to understand their needs and wants. You work to nurture and support them and yourself. Your highest and best contribution can only be made in situations in which there is a significant and constant need for loving wisdom.
Who you are at the deepest innate level of your human nature is the most important element in your life. Who you are at this deep level, is, after all, the only thing you really contribute to this world. It is through right assignment and effective choices that you make your highest and best contribution. This is the universal mission of all people.
The more you learn about who you really are, and how to optimize your presence in this world, the greater will be your success, happiness and life effectiveness.
Your dominant Innovator value energy is balanced by your Merchant secondary value energy. Your actions are routinely, almost equally, guided by these two core energies. In times of distress you will usually rely on the conflict strategies of your dominant core energy. In less critical conflicts you may use either conflict strategy given the situation.
Your unique dominant INNOVATOR core energy causes you to rely upon the following strategies for success and fulfillment.
Your cornerstone core value is wisdom. Understanding and compassion are central to your life strategy.
Strategic thinking is your forte. People see your ingenuity and resourcefulness. You pride yourself in seeing and understanding people and situations. Development of effective responses to situations is one of your primary contributions. You consistently observe and measure the worth of people and things. If different things can be brought together from different resources, you will do it. You strive to cause people and things to function well together.
You like to maintain a good mix of people, activities and things in your life. You like to communicate with visuals and descriptions. To invent new systems, processes and things is pure pleasure. You never quit. You have wit and creativity in your thinking. It is important for you to watch, look and listen before you act. Complicated situations and problems are not a threat to you.
Finding the best solution is one of your primary contributions. Your tastes are varied and diverse. You like to consider all the options. Rapid and clever exchange of ideas is a personal joy and a method of work for you. You are able to see the ways things are, and you know what to do about it. You are seen as a valuable resource for leading people toward the right ideas and the right direction. Acting foolishly or illogically is not a common experience for you.
You use everything that is available to meet requirements. You value and rely upon your mental abilities. Understanding others and working with them is a key asset of yours.
Your unique secondary MERCHANT core energy supports your dominant INNOVATOR core energy.
Your second cornerstone core value is love. Building and sustaining relationships is central to your life’s strategy. You are constantly working to know and understand the truth about yourself and others.
Absolute proof, knowledge and understanding are not required in order for you to act. Nothing feels right when the people you value are distant or are in conflict. You want to receive good rewards and appreciation for time and energy spent. No potential plan, idea or possibility gets by you. A core strategy for you is to work effectively with others. You like to work and others enjoy working with you. Share your knowledge and information with others; you enjoy it and others appreciate it.
You are good at getting others to work for and with you. You like a new charge in your life and you like to be the charge in the lives of others. You like to trust people and to share yourself with them freely. You enjoy lots of different people and activities. Charm and enthusiasm are part of your arsenal for success. Too much formality is boring and restrictive. Motivating others with your visions and ideas is very satisfying.
Talking with others is your way to learn and to teach. Being of high value to others and seeing high value in others is a prime concern. You seldom feel defeated; you see good potential in most situations. You have the ability to help people feel hopeful and courageous. Your commitment to others and to your own life is an encouragement to others. It is important for you to see people and things as they really are.
INNOVATORS-Your Dominant Core Energy
Innovators are the solution creators in this world. They can always think of another approach. “There’s got to be a better way,” is more than their motto; it is pre-programmed ROM chips in their brain’s reticular receiver. Innovators enjoy the challenge of a problem, especially on a large scale. They are problem solvers. They enjoy this so much that they hate to settle on any one solution –“There’s got to be an even better way.” The statement, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” has no place in their awareness.
The power of innovators comes from their unwillingness to accept that there is anything they can’t figure out. They are willing to put their ego at risk over and over again, staking their reputation that they will be able to come up with a plan, a solution, or an idea that will make things better.
Then, to top things off, innovators love to develop systems which ensure the continuation of their plans. These systems are the “monuments” of innovator creativity just as much as a pyramid is the monument of a builder.
When everyone around them is in a panic, the builder shouting orders, the merchant whining or up selling, and the banker preaching justice or patience, the innovator tends to isolate, grab a computer or white board and get set to work.
They are highly creative in their approach to problem solving. They inevitably are able to come at things from a new angle by adding elements, systems, or technologies that no one else has thought to add to the mix in order to achieve a true innovation.
While the solutions and systems that innovators create can be well founded and practical in concept, innovators themselves are not highly practical in their approach. They do not make good implementers because they want to perfect everything before acting. Taking action to them means coming up with another innovation, again delaying the implementation of their systems or new products.
Innovators love to have people around. This is not for team building. This is an audience for their creativity and a way for them to bounce new ideas around. They love to explore their latest ideas with people. They are so fascinated with each personally conceived “potential” solution that they want everyone to appreciate each and every subtlety. Just when they have their audience convinced that this new solution is brilliant, they love to add, “Wait, what if we…?”
Innovators may create problems just for the pleasure of working them out. Builders lean on innovators but often leave them standing in the hallway, halfway through an explanation about a possible solution. Bankers constantly feed challenges to an innovator’s proposed strategies, keeping the innovator charged with new problems to face. Merchants listen attentively to innovators and lean on them constantly. This makes the innovator feel “heard.” Since the merchant would never consider leaving an innovator standing in the hallway, innovators and merchants often become great friends. Their brainstorming parties can be endless. If left unchecked, they can actually become an endless drain of company resources.
Innovators are invaluable. They create new products and put together systems to solve production and administrative problems. They are never defeated and are able to come up with new strategies and approaches when everyone else has given up. They enjoy this so much that they hate making decisions, and they occasionally add confusion to the system by always inventing a better way. Nothing is ever good enough, especially if it was conceived by someone else, or if the solution has been in place for more than a few months.
Entrepreneur innovators can be highly successful. They are the people that create the mousetrap that brings the world to their door. The problem is, they really believe the world will come to their door. And since they love the process of problem solving more than the process of actually building and selling something, as soon as one product or service idea is implemented, they are off to create another better solution.
The most deadly sin of innovators is their desperate need to continue perfecting a product or system long after it would fully serve its purpose. They get hooked on a specific solution or an interesting problem long after there has been a resolution to the problem.
Active innovators need a builder in them or around them to insist that they settle on one solution and complete it. They need merchants who will actually make someone else understand the value of the “solution” being sold. And they need bankers who will support them by completing the details, help them control costs and make profits.
Innovators can be very stubborn people. They may refuse to be moved until they feel their solutions are perfected. And since they also value assessment very highly, they not only like to create a new solution, but they want to be the one who assesses its appropriateness, its correctness, its cleverness and its perfection. In fact, they are certain that no one else could ever understand all the subtlety and complexity of their solution so they hate to let others really get into it and explore, for fear they may have overlooked some small detail.
Decisions for an innovator become a marathon of adding one more consideration into the equation, testing its full ramifications and announcing, “I can see how that will fit.” Then, when everyone else considers the decision to have been made, the innovator may announce another level of considerations that must be explored prior to finalizing the decision. Innovators can be infuriating to merchants and builders who want to move on.
Innovators are very perceptive and open to change if they see and understand the tensions they cause. They are willing to act differently if they can only see how the different action is going to produce better results. For this reason, innovators and builders make wonderful teammates. They tend to keep good balance in the drive for action versus the drive for perfection.
The adaptiveness of innovators is also highly prized by all other players. Innovators make little distinction between what problems they are asked to solve. The process of deriving a solution is sufficient to make them happy. Innovators are a key element in every business situation where change is occurring. Their resourcefulness brings new methods, tools, systems, and mechanisms to bear. Innovators are always opening new opportunities for success.
An opposite tendency is also true for many innovators. They tend to become highly skilled at solving certain types of problems. Innovator engineers, for instance, may be geniuses when designing a new electronic circuit, but more like absentminded professors when it comes to developing business solutions for their departments.
When innovators are out of control, they get stubborn. They look for another way to go around you or to make you reconsider. They reconsider and may go on the defensive and resist making a decision. They may add another wrinkle to the equation to confuse you. They deny facts, challenge the validity or relevance of existing data, and refuse to take action, or sometimes just quit which may infuriate other core energy groups.
When all else fails, innovators resort to interrogation. They like to confuse the issue with side questions and tangents. They know how to ask questions, which are more accusation than question. They know how to get under the skin of other people, asking questions that shame and embarrass, that show the ignorance of others, or simply make others feel ignorant or confused and inadequate. Interrogation is just as powerful a strategy as the intimidation of builders, the “poor me” victim caretaking role of merchants, or the aloof, resistant, judgmental positioning of bankers.
Innovator/merchants are problem solvers first, needing constant puzzles to solve but working well with others. They see the big picture and lead from creativity. The power of an innovator/merchant is derived from an inexhaustible well of creativity. This creates a deep sense of optimism. If the merchant’s dream or vision is not being realized, the innovator can kick in and come up with appropriate solutions. When the innovator’s solutions do not align perfectly with the merchant’s vision, a new vision is deftly formed which can encompass the solutions and systems that the innovator has conceived and still accomplish all of the basic values foreseen and desired by the innovator/merchant.
This constant creativity makes the innovator/merchant an invaluable resource in companies where technologies are changing rapidly or competition puts new demands on the marketing and sales systems of the company. Innovator/merchants are often chosen as sales representatives. They can sell anything because they build relationships, understand their products, and know how to make them fit into a broad range of customer needs.
Innovator/merchants are not put off by any problem of any magnitude. In fact, their sense of personal esteem is often based in the size, oppressiveness and worthiness of the problems they have before them. They look for opportunities to demonstrate their prowess at problem solving or at turning around difficult relationships that are at risk.
Innovator/merchants like to be needed, either for their solutions and technologies or for their humanity, creativity and love. This need drives them to achieve relationships that are vision-based and growth-oriented, and to develop products or systems that enhance the richness of the relationships that are formed.
Innovator/merchants are go-anywhere, do-anything kinds of people. They are even able to function for extended periods of time in remote if not somewhat isolated situations as long as the sense of connection and personal worth is maintained for the merchant side of the core energy. For the innovator, the absorption into the problem-solving aspects of any assignment will carry him a long way as long as there remains an opportunity to observe others evaluating and appraising his work once it is finished.
Innovator/merchants, despite their ability to sustain themselves independently, thrive in a team environment. They are excellent team builders and great teachers. They are masters of context and relevance. They not only are good at planning a curriculum and basing it in logic and reasonableness, but they consider the bigger picture. They pay attention to their environment, entertainment, energy levels, and motivation. They enjoy creating exciting and provocative learning situations.
An innovator/merchant can be an incredible sales person or a powerful entrepreneur if he is balanced with just enough builder characteristics to actually complete the task at hand.
However, innovator/merchants, unrestrained, can be unproductive for themselves and society. They can get lost in the rapture of exploring big picture considerations. The merchant is constantly thinking of new possibilities for projects and new adventures, and the innovator thrives on such challenges.
Innovators hate to bring the process of problem solving to a close. Solving problems is their highest form of pleasure, arguably valuing this game above sex and movies. So an innovator/merchant keeps new things coming and everything that was stirred up before “in the works.” If you are an innovator/merchant, be certain that you surround yourself with high energy builders who will push you to “get it done” and a few levelheaded bankers who will help ground your ideas by asking you the kind of questions you may be unwilling to ask yourself.
Innovator/merchants are constantly caught up in the seduction of new ideas, such as improving people systems. However, this concept and the strategy to create it are more important than the implementation itself to the innovator side.
Innovator/merchants, as company leaders, never quit selling and never quit solving the future. They sell themselves and others even when everyone has already agreed. There is little attention to detail, and since the next new idea takes 110% of all energy, things may be constantly left up in the air. Merchant/innovators tend to be able to keep so much energy swirling around them that they attract others. Builders and bankers also enjoy a symbiotic relationship.
But innovator/merchants may create as much disappointment as they do opportunity. No one can win from working with them for long, unless there are significant constraints in place, and a strong team of builders and bankers around them to enforce them. If you are an innovator/merchant, and you are still reading this, you must have just a little builder or banker in you. Make sure you nurture that part of yourself–NOW!!!
Gavin should be part of your network
In the short space of a year, Gavin and I have worked together in various capacities: as analysts in the business school’s investment fund; and as student leaders of campus organizations. I must say that he has a keen skill for all things related to marketing and media. However, it doesn’t stop there. I’m impressed with his collaborative attitude in The Batten Fund at W&M, where his financial and research insights contributed to an effective buy recommendation on a consumer sector security. Gavin should be part of your network.
I have come to know and occasionally coach Gavin Smith in my volunteer role as an Executive Partner at the William & Mary Mason School of Business. I have been impressed with Gavin’s natural leadership skills and his creative business instincts as reflected in his work on entrepreneurial projects. Gavin is a young man of high integrity, who holds solid core business principles with a customer-centric focus.
A Talented Communicator
Gavin is a very talented student who has performed superbly in all assignments in the class that I teach at the Mason School of Business. He was selected to be in the top presentation skills breakout group as the result of a presentation skills assessment done within his first two weeks at the school. He is, without a doubt, a talented communicator who will continue to distinguish himself in the MBA program.
I have worked closely with Gavin over many months on an extremely rich variety of international projects – many of great originality and considerable complexity. His manifold talents are founded on an unusual degree of intelligence, a quick, almost intuitive grasp of subject matter, an unusually highly developed set of organisational skills, and a disciplined approach in applying his conclusions. This is enhanced by a questioning but open mind, and and a mastery of spoken and written English. Since Gavin joined us as a fellow Director of Norris Hill & Partner Ltd., and as Executive Consultant to Freedom University Keta, Ghana, his ITC skills have moved us onto a new plane in international communications, resulting in increased awareness, interest, and participation by institutions, corporations, NGOs and prominent academics and other professionals. Our websites, including www.FreedomGhana.org, were designed and published by Gavin. Please have a look and you’ll see what I mean. The fact that he is easy to work with and a fellow T-bird alumnus; is simply frosting on the cake.
I was fortunate enough to work with Gavin on several occasions. His leadership style is incredibly effective to encourage the best possible outcome from each team member, including myself. As an incredibly inclusive team lead, Gavin always encouraged others’ ideas and truly listened to all colleagues’ suggestions. His approach fostered a highly effective team cohesion, without leaving anyone out. Gavin is also a magnificent public speaker who always engages the audience, and I still remember the first presentation he gave. He has a unique ability to connect with the audience, and garner listener interest. It was truly a pleasure working with Gavin and I’m sure I gained valuable insight into how to stimulate an audience and successfully lead a team.
I am writing this letter as a professional recommendation for Gavin Smith an exceptional individual. Gavin always maintains the highest degree of integrity, has an honest demeanor, and an exceptional work ethic. Gavin is a natural leader, with a professional presence combined with a personality that allows him to build strong relationships in any culture. Gavin is an excellent communicator with a skill for listening and a polished presenter with the ability to take complex data and create understandable information for any audience. Gavin’s analytical skills and knowledge of how to use technology in business have provided him with a superb ability to resolve complex problems with both improved processes and efficient solutions. Gavin is amazing and is someone who is always ready to give 100%. He is sought after by his peers to be a part of their team because of his creativity and dedication to success. He is someone that everybody appreciates who is always dependable and hard working. He is not afraid to say yes, and has the ability to multitask better than anyone I know. Gavin’s character is of the highest caliber and can always be trusted to make the right ethical choices. An already successful professional Gavin will add value to any organization. He is a true and sincere person which makes it easy to recommend him with enthusiasm for anyone in need of the very best.
Gavin is a great team players with global mindset and a good leader who had motivated the whole team to work harder!
Gavin is a leader in our MBA Program here in the Mason School of Business at William and Mary. I have worked most closely with him in his capacity as President of our MBA Association. He has been very effective in that role, and I appreciate his advice and help in managing my interactions with our students. I trust his judgment. I am also familiar with the very good work he has done on the website for our Washington Area Alumni Business Alliance.
Gavin is a graduate student at the College of William and Mary, though we interact more like colleagues. He is insightful, smart and hardworking. I especially commend his follow-through and ability to identify and stick to priorities.
Gavin is smart, entrepreneurial and strong strategically and tactically.
Gavin served as a first-year representative for his classmates in the William & Mary MBAA (2011-2012), which is the MBA form of student government. As the 2012 MBAA President, I had ample opportunity to work with Gavin in a variety of capacities. Gavin was clearly passionate in his representation of his classmates, and he led efforts to enrich the William & Mary community. Among his accomplishments, Gavin founded a Media and Entertainment Club in his first year as an MBA student, which has already contributed to the MBA experience by providing M&E related events, speakers, and expertise. In light of Gavin’s leadership, he was elected to serve as the MBAA President for the Class of 2013. His new charge is well deserved, and it demonstrates the esteem in which his classmates and colleagues hold him. Gavin was an excellent team member in his role in the 2012 MBAA, and he will undoubtedly represent the Class of 2013 with class and distinction.
Gavin is the most driven individual I have had the pleasure of working with. He always puts 110% in any task he is faced with. By demonstrating an incredible initiative, a strong dedication and always leading by example many find him both inspiring and motivating. His creativity, resourcefulness, ability to see a project through and, most of all, his sense of humor made working in a team with Gavin an unforgettable experience.
An Outstanding “Star”
I have worked with Gavin during our Elevator Competition preparation. He is an outstanding “star” in his initiative to assist programs. I believe he is an asset to other organizations and recommend Gavin openly.
Willingness to ServeGavin was an energetic volunteer as we kicked off our planning meetings for implementing The Elevator Competition 2011 at Wake Forest University. We valued his expertise, creativity, and willingness to serve.
Top of the ClassGavin was an outstanding student in our Summer Management Program. He contributed a great deal to the class and his individual work was always at the top of the class.
A Natural Leader
Gavin is a natural leader who makes his presence felt in whatever he undertakes. Evidence of this was his election as President of the student MBA Association at the Mason School of Business. Gavin is an energetic individual who backs his works with actions. I’ve also found Gavin to be someone who understands the value of being a good role model – accepting personal responsibility for what needs to be done.