To be a leader in a marketing organization really hasn’t changed. Great leaders create a group of individuals around them that know that you care about their success. I know this feels pretty soft and fuzzy, but at the end of the day, we all know that when we’ve had a boss in the past that cared about our success we bound out of bed, we take risks, we’re more innovative, we have higher levels of engagement and therefore productivity.
A great leader creates a tribe, creates a family and then recognizes all within that tribe and that family and teaches them within every initiative, within everything that we’re trying to do we go out and create through a relationship action plan for the tribe and the family around every key thing that we’re going to do.
Once again, it boils down to relationships. The average marketer today, of course, has to be good at whatever their discipline is from a marketing perspective; public relations, communications, data, etc., but the tools of a great marketer are change management because of the growth and the innovation that’s occurring in the marketplace. In order to keep up with that as marketers, we’ve got to change the people around us, we’ve got to influence the organization, we’ve got to gain the budget, we’ve got to gain the permission of the business units that we’re serving.
It’s about change management, which ultimately is about people. Your ability to build relationships is your ability to influence. It’s about a relationship action plan. A relationship action plan is identifying the critical individuals important to you achieving your goals as a marketer and earning the right to influence.