Eng8ged Leadership

What is eng8ged leadership? How does it look different from ordinary leaders? Eng8ged Leadership takes ordinary leaders and makes them extraordinary. There are many great leaders in the world today. There are also many poor leaders. What makes this difference? And, how can the great leaders get better? Regardless of where you plot yourself on the leadership pendulum, one thing is certain, we can always get better. Take these eight tips and see if they might help.

You are an Eng8ged Leader if:

1. You lead by example.

2. You have deep industry knowledge in the field you are leading.

3. You hold people accountable.

4. You are not afraid of the tough conversations.

5. You will defend your team for what’s ethical and right.

6. You are willing to get your hands dirty when the going gets tough.

7. You hold an inspired vision for the team and keep them informed of it.

8. You choose to be great as an example to your team.

There are many other characteristics of what makes an En8ged Leader, but these eight seem to be the most prominent. There are many great leaders, few with all eight characteristics. Some of the great leaders that have taught me include Jack Welch, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Paul Allen and many others. Inspire others to greatness by leading from an inspired place. Never, ever think you are above learning, growing and thriving. These traits keep the mind fresh and keep us all on our toes.

Be an example. Be Eng8ged.


Leading in Chaos

Maintaining equilibrium in a state of constant chaos is sometimes challenging. Even for the most level-headed of managers, maintaining decorum and a sense of pride during turbulent times can put a manager’s skills to the test. So then, how do we as leaders display a sense of commitment and balance inside the chaos?

Try these four tips:

1. Center: Find a way to center yourself even at work. One of my first mentors was an amazing CEO. During highly stressful times he taught me to take a walk. Feel the ground beneath your feet. Feel the sun on your skin. Allow yourself to get quiet. With each step I realized the chatter in my head. Through this technique I was able to quiet the chatter and get back to what was really important. So, if you see me walking in the parking lot, don’t worry. I am just finding my center.

2. Mindfulness: We have all heard this word thrown about in recent years about being mindful. But, its not just about being mindful, it’s also leveraging discernment and knowing what you will take personally and what you won’t. For example, someone at work says that piece of work is horrible. Do you take this personal? Well, you can. But really, if you are clear about who you are in the world, a better answer is NO. Simply, ask questions to discover what it is the client or your boss really wanted. Oftentimes, situations like this are either a lack of listening or missed expectations. Either one can be fixed, so why take it on. Using mindfulness and discernment are essential to maintaining balance.

3. Believe: Believe in possibility. If you really want to maintain balance through chaos, know that each situation or event is an opportunity to either grow or discover things you have yet to know. Either way, there can be good even in tough conversations. Know that if you focus on what’s possible, then the good will follow.

4. Candor: Be honest with people. If you screw it up, admit it. If your team has issues, state it. Don’t sugarcoat things. This does not help people. This doesn’t mean you become a raging lunatic telling everyone how bad they are. Rather, you have frank conversations with the intent to support people in achieving their greater good. Realize that people want to do the right thing, but sometimes people need a little support. Help them to grow or go, whichever they choose will be the right choice. Be there for the team and be honest.

These four tips allow leaders to maintain their identity amidst the chaos. Knowing our value as leaders is very important but never, take your position for granted. If we, as leaders, start each day with gratitude and know we give it our all, our teams will follow in step. Also, the perceived chaos won’t seem nearly as chaotic.


The New Normal in Marketing Automation

Uncomfortable is the new normal in the world of marketing automation…that is, if you are pushing the envelope and exploring new technologies. If change is uncomfortable, then how do we navigate the wild, wild west of marketing automation? How do we temper the power and control of this wild tiger and yet, help our teams understand the importance of change management, leadership and accountability?

Yesterday, I was told that I have a tiger by the tail. I do believe there is more than an ounce of truth to this saying. Not only am I dealing with new technologies, testing the boundaries of what is possible, but I am having to manage global expectations, executive expectations and team emotions all within the framework of implementing new processes and technologies. Some say you must have the skin of a Rhino to do this, but there is a balance. I believe there are four keys to success when you are holding the tail of the tiger.

1. Change Management Strategy: Create a communication strategy and ensure your teams are prepared for the upcoming changes in process. For example, if you are preparing to embark on new features or a different marketing automation platform, be prepared with a communication plan, get your team trained, and network within your organization to ensure all impacted by the new technology are ready for the change.

2. Accountability. If you are a member of a marketing automation team or leading the charge, you have responsibility to ensure necessary parties are informed about new tests, email campaigns, new lead scoring, or any other shift in your technology or implementation that could impact the organization. For example, we are getting ready to launch Chatter tomorrow on our SFDC platform. In doing so, we have a communications and user adoption plan that we are implementing. We will be using the tool to communicate with the field sales teams and in doing so, we are sending a variety of communications during the next two weeks to the field to increase awareness and user adoption. Last week, we communicated with the management team about how we planned to execute and received their buy-in. Bottom line, it is your to ensure the communication about what’s happening gets out.

3. Candor. Taking calculated risks is part of any marketing automation strategy that blends best of breed marketing solutions with game-changing campaigns. The other side to this is when those risks fail and you will. You must be okay to fail and try again. Having the ability to accept that you failed, admit it and move on is a critical component to success. Knowing when to hold and when to fold so to speak.

4. Leadership. Having a tiger by its’ tail means you have to be willing to call the shots, make decisions and own the tiger. You must own the responsibility. The other day, I had one of my team members state, “That’s not my job.” To which, I replied, “Think again.” The idea that we can even think of saying that in this day and age is absurd. Rather, one should question, “How can we do this better, faster, stronger?” This comes from within. Each day we need to set the example in our organization. We need to be the beacon of light for possibility.

So get that tiger’s tail, hold on and go for the wild ride. Marketing automation implemented cannot be done without change management, leadership and accountability. Remember, you are placing your signature on your organization, so make it shine. Sometimes, this means calling the tough shots, saying no or being perceived as the tough ‘guy’ so to speak. However, making choices for the highest good of the company and it’s people should always be front and center. Remember, there was a book written years ago entitled, The Goal. If the company don’t make money, ain’t nobody makin’ money.

Get that tiger’s tail and hold on for a wild ride.