26 Apr AC&M Group CEO Jaime Cardenas Named Among Most Admired CEOs in Charlotte
Our CEO, Jaime Cardenas was recently recognized by The Charlotte Business Journal as one of the Most Admired CEOs in Charlotte in the Professional Services category. The awards program recognizes established local leaders who have a strong vision for their companies, have shown commitment to culture in the workplace and made significant contributions to the community.
“It is an honor to be recognized among so many great leaders and visionaries in Charlotte. What a privilege it is to be able to do what we do every day while also making a difference in our community,” Jaime Cardenas, CEO at AC&M Group.
As a mechanical engineer by trade, Jaime’s unique analytical perspective allows him to develop key strategies involving utilization of media assets and negotiation of brand partnerships. As CEO, Jaime’s expertise, industry relations, and insights allow him to provide AC&M Groups’ clients with measurable success. He has been able to lead his team to deliver exceptional results for its’ clients for nearly 15 years. In the last 5 years alone, AC&M Group has experienced unprecedented growth, doubling in terms of clients as well as staff.
At AC&M Group, diversity is the cornerstone, with more than 12 countries, mainly from Latin America, represented on our staff. Jaime understands that to truly deliver the best ideas, they must be built from different points of view, and the employees know that their backgrounds, experiences and cultural perspectives are not only important, but also valued.
Through his expertise and leadership the company has acquired numerous clients and maintained a working relationship with them for several years. He continues to build upon these associations, strengthening them for the future, while gaining new clients and partnerships ensuring the success of AC&M Group.
Below is the profile that was published as part of The Charlotte Business Journal’s special report featuring the award winners:
You have been named one of Charlotte’s Most Admired CEOs of 2018. What are the keys to CEOs building a high level of trust in their organizations?
Creating a culture that encourages innovation, risk-taking, and rewards for results. People are more likely to trust their leaders and peers when they know the organization expects and rewards success, but aren’t afraid of negative consequences for taking calculated risks in an effort to propel the organization forward.
Please tell us what leadership and being a leader means to you.
To me, the epitome of leadership is to define a vision for the organization and consistently take actionable steps toward that vision. As a leader, you are responsible for helping your team turn that vision into reality. A crucial leadership component is to go beyond words and set the example that we sink or swim as a team — each employee plays a critical role in the company’s success.
Who is a favorite leader you admire, and why?
I have always liked Andrew Carnegie’s story. While some aspects of his management style may be controversial, I really admire his ability to build his business from scratch and, more importantly, his vision about the social responsibility of successful business leaders.
Please explain how you and your organization make tough decisions.
An engineer by trade, I am meticulous when it comes to statistics and research — it is the backbone of our credo. Before making any tough decisions, I try to gather as much information as possible and analyze potential outcomes and encourage the staff to do the same. Sometimes there are no good options, but if you clearly understand the situation and the potential implications of your decisions, you always have a better chance to do what is best for the organization.
Please give some details about one of your top accomplishments of the past year that you are most proud of.
Rather than highlight one specific accomplishment from the last year, I am very proud of the myriad of everyday milestones that our company reached in 2017. Last year, we successfully developed and launched more campaigns than ever before, most of them simultaneously. Due to the team’s hard work and relentless pursuit for greatness, each one of these campaigns have proven to be a great success for our clients. Some have won creative and advertising awards, others have shown tremendous ROI and tangible sales increases — all of them helped our clients to grow their brands among the consumer segments that we were targeting.
How is your organization changing or adapting to prepare for the future?
We are in the unique position to focus on consumer segments that are the driving growth factor for most brands. Many of these key audience segments are early adapters of new technologies and communication vehicles. I am confident that we are well positioned with our full-service capabilities as the role of marketing agencies changes and brands look for partners that understand the growing multicultural landscape. We have been very fortunate to have a team that is constantly looking for innovative ways to help our clients and their brands, while being open to adapting and growing in the process.
What top piece of advice would you share with other CEOs?
Always strive to understand a problem, situation or challenge before reacting. Make sure that your team knows they can come to you for help or guidance and empower them to be responsible and accountable.
What is one of the best books you’ve read recently, and why?
Scaling Up Excellence by Huggy Rao and Robert Sutton. They offer several great and practical tips on how to scale an organization while pursuing excellence. What I loved most about this book is the definition of excellence that they use for an organization: “You know that an organization has achieved excellence when people do the right thing even when nobody is watching.” Our job as leaders is helping define what “the right thing” is and develop an environment in which people are motivated to do it.