William’s Glade’s Enlightened Leadership

Glade, far left, helps his SEO and business intelligence teams shine.

AVB Marketing’s SEO director serves those he leads

By Alan Wolf, YSN

AVB’s Jim Ristow has often described his management style as “servant leadership,” in that he strives to serve and empower the group’s employees. And AVB Marketing’s William Glade, in his role as director of SEO and analytics, has followed in his CEO’s footsteps.

As Glade recently advised in his rolling LinkedIn page tutorial, “Hire the right person, provide them with the necessary tools, support, coach and train them, and then get out of their way.”

Glade’s approach to management was born of both faith and near tragedy, stemming from his two years of missionary work in Santiago, Chile, and a battle with a potentially fatal illness.

But first some background. For anyone unfamiliar, Glade and his teams are essentially responsible for capturing consumer demand for appliances and home furnishings, and funneling it toward participating BrandSource dealers. For his efforts, he was promoted from manager to director within three-and-a-half years of joining the group from Saatchi & Saatchi, the global ad agency, and was bestowed with AVB’s Award of Excellence.

Also during his tenure, the now 31-year-old was named to Dealerscope Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list of best and brightest young industry stars, and led the initiative that earned AVB Marketing top 1% agency status for its early implementation of Google’s forthcoming Analytics 4 (GA4) platform.

“William has been a huge driver in making sure our platform and practices are best-in-class to support our members’ SEO relevance,” said colleague and past Dealerscope honoree, Marketing Products GM Eric Hunter.

See: William Glade Makes the Grade

Characteristic of a servant leader, Glade is quick to credit his staffers for raising members’ rankings in Google searches and making them successful in a hyper-competitive marketplace. But his management style wasn’t always so enlightened. As Glade concedes, his approach used to be more about confrontation than compromise, and the need to be right to all the time.

That all changed with the one-two punch of a cancer diagnosis and what he described as a “transformative experience” in Chile. A confirmation of Hodgkin’s lymphoma came dangerously late while Glade was in grad school, and the ill effects of radiation therapy and the threat of facial paralysis or worse helped mellow his hard-charging demeanor.

“Cancer made me an empathetic person,” he said.

Glade, son Scotty and wife Kira made room for two more in May.

Thankfully, the treatment proved effective and Glade and his wife Kira marked his fifth year cancer free last month, in a double celebration that included the birth of twins.

Also delivering “a massive impact” on how he interacts with others was his missionary work on behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a volunteer living in Santiago from 2011 to 2013, he helped residents grow physically, emotionally and spiritually, and applied the teachings of Jesus to improve the quality of their lives.

But in his leadership role directing fellow missionaries, Glade managed to ruffle more than a few feathers. “The mission was very similar to sales, but with different KPIs,” he said. “I was driven to be right; I was going to be right to a fault.”

Eventually he learned through his work that. “Sometimes there’s more than one right answer, and I don’t need to be right all the time,” he said. “In those two years I aged a decade in emotional intelligence.”

A clean-shaven Glade, in suit and tie, grew close to the Moraga Jarpa family during his two-year stay in Santiago.

Glade brought those life lessons to his role at AVB, but still reserves the right to be headstrong on occasion, when either managing or supporting his staff requires it.

Related: William Glade’s Digital Crusade

Looking ahead, Glade anticipates the moment on July 1 when Google turns off its current analytic tap in favor of its new, more powerful GA4 platform, and all Alta website users automatically make the changeover seamlessly.

“AVB Marketing has provided us with the tools we need to excel,” he said. “Those members who plug in to these easily implemented solutions will” — just as Glade has in life — “survive and thrive.”

YSN publisher AVB BrandSource is the nation’s largest merchandising and marketing co-op for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.

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