August 2016

My son, who is now establishing his own career in New York City asked me recently why I have the title of CEO, noting that it was such a self-serving title. Ouch. I had never looked at myself as a self-serving individual – ever. And frankly, my title of CEO was just that, a title. I had been President of the ad agency I purchased for several years, so with the change in ownership, and a new name, I thought, why not change my title.

So while some immediately peg me as something I am not, as CEO, I see myself as, well, ME.

To me, being the CEO (or President for that matter) is about hiring the right talent and making sure they have all of the tools needed to find success both personally and for the agency. I’m constantly working to find ways to continue to challenge the team. It’s my job and responsibility to make sure that our culture is strong and communicated clearly throughout the shop, while maintaining the strong brand attributes that sets 78Madison apart from our competition. I come to work every day hoping to lead by example, manage the opportunities that arise, and instill the same passion and motivation I have for 78Madison in all of our team members.

My role as CEO is very much tied to servant-leadership. I really work hard to make sure my role is not self-serving. You know how you can immediately understand the culture of a company? When you pull up to the door and the first parking spot has the owner’s name on it; that indeed reeks of a self-serving mentality.

I believe in leading by example and by setting the team up for success. It’s important to lay out a clear pathway for success, and then to guide the team along that path. My style is more about helping people achieve their goals and objectives. It’s working hard to guide the team to win rather than remaining in a bubble and looking out for myself. I think that’s a recipe for success that works in any leadership position within any organization or team. Any time I feel like I have influenced or changed someone's life, that's my greatest inspiration.

I’d be interested in your thoughts. What are your opinions about a CEO?

Joe Bouch
CEO, 78Madison

78Madison is a full service marketing communications firm, an advertising agency, located in Orlando, Florida (Altamonte Springs).


In a lot of respects, the title of CEO has evolved beyond simply denoting "the head honcho", but now suggests a place within the company where the buck stops.

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