EP131 – How to Become a Successful Marketing Leader

Author Sarah Hailwood 4 min read time

Welcome back to the Marketing Freaks Podcast. In this episode, we’re diving into an often neglected yet crucial topic: What does it take to become a successful Marketing Leader? Jon is joined by Danny Denhard, a distinguished executive coach with plenty of skin in the game. Danny specialises in guiding CMO’s VP and directors to enhance their career trajectory, team dynamics and overall company performance through his unique workshop based coaching. 

Quite often we see a pattern where professionals are taught to become competent managers and team leaders. However, there seems to be a gap when it reaches the upper echelons of leadership, such as CEO’s, CMO’s and CFO’s. It’s rare that these roles are supplemented with the necessary training to master executive leadership skills. 

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Key Takeaways:

  • Transitioning skills from practitioner to leader: Learn about the challenges markets face as they climb the career ladder, transitioning from practical roles to leadership positions and how this requires a different set of skills that they may not have been trained for. 
  • Different types of intelligence required for leadership: Understand the importance of combining and balancing technical knowledge, emotional intelligence, work intelligence and political intelligence. 
  • Effective communication & collaboration techniques: Gain insight on the importance of being able to effectively communicate and collaborate with other departments and how to adapt your language and approach to suit different audiences.
  • Continuous personal development: Learn the importance of being self aware, the need to for continuous learning and adaption as a leader, to shape your management style and become an effective leader.

How to Excel as a Marketing Leader

Are you aiming to climb the marketing leadership ladder? Look no further! In this episode of the Marketing Freaks podcast, Jon and seasoned marketing expert Danny Denhard share some golden nuggets on what it takes to be a standout leader in the marketing realm and some of the areas that are often overlooked. Here’s a rundown of their top tips:

Bridging the Leadership Training Gap:

Unlike their counterparts in the C-suite, many marketing leaders rise through the ranks without formal leadership training. This can leave you unprepared for the nuances of a high-level role. It’s crucial to proactively seek opportunities to hone your leadership skills.

From Specialist to Strategist:

The transition from marketing expert to strategic leader is a game-changer. It involves a shift from technical know-how and being involved in the delivery, to bigger-picture thinking. Many marketers find this switch challenging, so it’s essential to prepare and adapt.

Embracing Multiple Intelligences:

Being a marketing leader isn’t just about being smart. It’s about being savvy in emotional intelligence (EQ), understanding collaborative work dynamics (Work IQ), and navigating company politics (PQ). A balanced approach to these intelligences and know when and how to apply them is a crucial element of becoming a successful executive.

Mastering Cross-Departmental Collaboration:

Your role will often require working hand-in-hand with other departments. It’s key to cut through the jargon and communicate effectively, whether it’s with finance, product development, or any other team. Learning how to drop the specialist terms and how to communicate in a language that your co-workers can understand will go a long way in improving collaboration, breaking down barriers and fostering integrated strategies. 

Personal Growth = Professional Success:

Leadership is as much about personal development as it is about professional expertise. Being self-aware and continuously investing in your growth is vital. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and understand how they impact your leadership style. Be honest with yourself about what  you’re good at and where there might be room for improvement.

Staying Agile and Aligned with Company Strategy:

As a leader, you’ll sometimes need to champion and implement decisions you might not fully agree with. It’s important to keep your team motivated and aligned with the company’s vision, even in challenging times.

Tune into episode 131 of the Marketing Freaks podcast to understand the  importance of personal development, strategic thinking, and the ability to navigate the complex dynamics of organisational politics. This is your guide to becoming a successful marketing leader in an ever-evolving industry.