In one of my former jobs, I was conducting a highly-complex systems training session with a group of people…and I had a “challenging” leadership moment. It was the kind of moment where corporate politics was the game, jockeying for position was the play, and keeping my cool in the middle of it all was the only wild card I had. You’ve probably been there as a marketing leader. It sucks. It’s the kind of situation where you can’t wait to get home and vent to whoever will listen (my cat got an earful that day).

Let me set the scene for you:

The class I was teaching had a pre-determined list of tasks that participants had to accomplish before the class was . . .

Read more

The internet is awash in ‘proven marketing strategies’ and the latest trendy tactics to grow your business. But with so many ideas, it can be hard to know which ones are worth pursuing and which ones are not a good fit for the way your business runs and the market you’re in. And many tactics just don’t translate to every business. So which ones to pick?

Well, let’s start with the fundamental.

Communicate your big ‘Why’…clearly.

As Simon Sinek says: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” For most businesses, the story of why the owner or founder started the business and the mission the business continues to carry out . . .

Read more

How Not to Kill Your Marketing Team

Shepherds. They tend their sheep daily. They guide them, rear them, and teach them. It is their duty to protect the flock and count each sheep’s lil’ fluffy head to ensure none have wandered astray. For thousands of years, shepherds have watched over their flocks with care.

I’ve heard business leaders use the analogy of shepherds and sheep when they talk about managing their workforces. The analogy can be poignant. If there’s a leader (shepherd) who cares for his or her employees (sheep), protects them, and guides them along their way in developing their skills and furthering their careers, I know I’d want to be part of that shepherd’s flock! Wouldn’t you? It sounds great!

Here’s the rub…and it’s not a fluffy . . .

Read more