- Do you have the brain of a leader? Read this week’s cover feature where we explore the personality traits of the world’s top marketing talent
- This year’s Marketing Academy scholars want to be leaders of the future, but do they have what it takes? We reveal the results of some of their psychometric personality tests
- Winner of Marketing Week’s 2012 Rising Star Engage award, Fiona Marshall, head of marketing for womenswear, Asos, gives her view on what it takes to be a leader
Kenco assistant brand manager
Leadership is not about putting your agenda first, but putting yourself first in terms of understanding who you are and then being able to get more out of people. Ultimately, you won’t be able to help people if you aren’t sure of who you are, and a lot of it is driven by self-awareness. That is the first step for me, when it comes to leadership. I am not excited just by doing things a little bit better, but actually by finding things on the fringe and being able to lead a trend rather than succeeding in a current trend.
Marketing manager (for Hellmann’s, Colman’s and Maille)
I would like to see marketing as an entrepreneurial function within an organisation which sniffs out ideas that have the power to change the lives of consumers. I want marketing to be perceived not just as a department but as a purpose for the existence of the organisation, in which every employee is a ‘marketer’ in the sense that they are serving the consumers in their own capacity. Marketers must earn a leadership role rather than take a leadership role. In just the same way as a brand is loved because consumers believe it’s the best option for them, a leader is loved because his or her team believe in the leader and want to be led.
Pimm’s senior brand manager
For me, the role of the marketing function and therefore the marketer has already shifted dramatically during the past five years. The modern-day marketer needs to be the holistic business manager: creative, commercial and strategically astute. Now that the marketing process has evolved to become a two-way real-time conversation with consumers, marketers need also to be flexible and adaptable. Ultimately, we need to have leadership capability to manage all of these skills, gain alignment from our increasing number of stakeholders and make it all happen.
Co-founder and marketing director
As I’m an entrepreneur, the company is very small. A year ago there were five of us and now there are 20 of us. We don’t have any leadership programmes in place yet, so sometimes we need to step back from the day to day, see what we are doing and how we can make ourselves better. It would be great for me to take 10 days off, sit in a coffee shop and think about leadership divorced from a work environment. But there is no better place to do that than around other people from other industries.
We all want to be better, but I’m also very keen on making other people better and teaching and passing that knowledge on to people in my team so that they can rise up. You have to get out of your comfort zone and learn from people, getting different perspectives from different industries. I work within branding and design, so to hear how Nokia does things, or how an entrepreneurial business works is really interesting to me, because it is completely different to what I do.