with greg layton

The Inner Chief is for leaders, professionals and small business owners who want to accelerate their career and growth. Our guest chiefs and gurus share powerful stories and strategies so you can have more purpose, influence and impact in your career.

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Today we joined by founder and CEO of the Agency Management Institute and McLellan Marketing Group, Drew McLellan.

For nearly 30 years, Drew McLellan has been in the advertising industry. For 23 of those years, he has owned and run an agency.

Additionally, Drew leads the Agency Management Institute, which advises hundreds of small- to medium-sized advertising agencies on how to grow and build their profitability through agency owner peer networks, consulting, workshops, and more.

We talk about:

  • How being transparent and authentic saved his business
  • What he learnt about understanding people by creating ads
  • To grow and get promoted you need to let of the reins
  • Being curious
  • Joining masterminds

Drew launched his agency’s blog in 2006 and it has been on the AdAge Top 150 from the list’s inception. His first book, 99.3 Random Acts of Marketing, was published in 2003 and Drew and Australian marketer Gavin Heaton created the Age of Conversation series of crowdsourced books in 2007. To date, the AOC series has raised over $50,000 for charity. Drew launched the AMI blog in 2012 and hopes it will be a great resource to agency leaders.

Drew’s often interviewed/quoted in Entrepreneur Magazine, New York Times, CNN, BusinessWeek, and many others. The Wall Street Journal calls him “one of 10 bloggers every entrepreneur should read.”

When he’s not hanging out with agency owners/staff or MMG clients, Drew spends time with his family and pondering why the Dodgers can’t seem to get back to the World Series.Drew has a Master’s Degree from the University of Minnesota but alas, he cannot remember their fight song.


  • Resilience is a hot topic. Being the CEO of a medium sized business and someone very active in blogging there must have been many ups and downs. How do you think you have built your personal resilience over time?
  • What advice would you give someone stuck in their career and can't seem to get ahead?
  • Can you tell us the number thing all leaders and business owners should do on social media?
  • What is the best ad you’ve ever seen?
  • If you could do the ad campaign for any business which company would it be?
  • What kind of things can people expect to learn on Build a Better Agency Podcast


Stay epic
Greg Layton