A Great Marketing Team Is Hinged On Great Leadership
Leadership in today’s world has become increasingly important because of the nature of the dynamic workplace. In marketing, leadership is core to defining and championing the vision and how to apply that vision in order to be successful. It is so reliant upon sales, account management, service delivery and the entire back office in order to be productive. If you do not have a leader who can interface with the other business units within the company, you are almost a lost cause from a marketing perspective.
Additionally, the dynamic connectivity within the workplace has a tendency to blur the overall vision and sidetrack, whether it’s spam in an inbox or a Facebook message. Leadership is important to make sure you stay on track despite the tremendous amount of dialogue and unavoidable distractions in the technology ecosystem.
Marketing has started to be measured in scientific terms. While this approach is not incorrect, it does not offer insight or vision that you would get from a leader and the many different views of team members. Your process doesn’t change unless you make it change. Sure, as long as you follow the steps of the sales funnel, it supposedly brings a predicted outcome — e.g., leads — but this doesn’t always go the way we plan it. Leadership means taking the reins when things go awry. We are not just operational components of marketing theories in business-to-business (B2B), nor are we executors based on an agile sprint. Marketing’s true path to success is hinged upon the leaders within and across the entire team.
So, how do you become a great leader who leads their team to greatness?
1. Enable Trust
Given Luxoft’s work in the automotive world, I find it useful to use it as an oversimplistic example of how to think about trust. It is important for leaders to be able to press the gas pedal while the rest of the vehicle operates as it should. The team must trust that, when you press that pedal, you drive with care and focus so your team can operate tools in other areas, making for a smooth drive.
In regard to my team, the success we have achieved is not because I press the gas pedal. It is because, when I do, I trust the rest of the vehicle will believe in and trust the overall mission to succeed.
2. Have Patience
A manager always wants to learn. Not originally coming from a marketing background, I had to really strive to understand how to operationalize certain tasks, such as go-to-market plans from conception to delivery. You must have patience in this process.
It is a different feeling, learning about a new part of the business that has not been central to your career in the past. These are the “golden years,” where you learn so much from your colleagues and have to retain a strong level of patience to press on. Otherwise, a level of frustration could kick in when you don’t understand or think something does not sound right based on assumption. Getting through the golden years of learning is driven around your own level of patience.
3. Hold Group Thinks
You cannot do it alone. While you may have a vision, the overall mission is based upon feedback from your team. For instance, you could come to the team with a high-level plan, and then let the group think hammer out the details.
Truthfully, any manager who opposes this methodology is foolish, in my opinion. You cannot think of everything, and you cannot see the different points of view from every person involved; it is important to realize that.
4. Make A Clear Organization Chart
The organization chart is important because it organizes the team in an effective way. Ultimately, it creates responsibilities for each of the members, whether executing a project or managing that function. But it also makes escalations or conversations with team members less confusing, as you know who to go to for certain tasks, whether it’s a question for a project manager or an executor.
5. Accept The Personal Stuff
The technology of today keeps us all so connected. I might chat with someone on LinkedIn, send a WhatsApp text message, email, get on a conference call, like something on Facebook, retweet them, speak to them on our internal communications tool or even just pick up the phone and call them — all within an eight-hour day. Anyone who says all that conversation is purely professional would be lying.
There will always be a personal comment that comes up in conversation, whether it be the weather, your dog, a new car or even some of the tougher issues: someone is sick, has lost a loved one, etc. As a leader, you need to make sure that your team maintains a healthy balance between professional and personal conversations.
6. Stay In Touch
If you have a remote team, visit in person every once in a while. Go to events with your team to get to know them a bit better. Also, hold weekly, biweekly or monthly meetings to keep everyone on the same page. It is tricky to keep track of your team if you are rarely involved in their projects, so meeting both in person and online is a major step to success. Basically, have regular check-ins to keep the team tightly knit.
7. Have Faith
You have to have faith. When you walk into your job, you have to believe everything you are doing is making a change and bringing value. To come full circle, it is driven by trust, patience and camaraderie (and obviously opportunity, as well). You need to have faith that what you do matters, and that is a quality set by leadership.
We have been fortunate here at Luxoft to have faith in the mission. Times will not always be good or bad, but when you believe in your team, your work and your company, it is something so special — you do not want to let it go.
Article written by: Patrick Corcoran0