5 Attitudes that Distinguish a Great CMO

What distinguishes good marketing and customer experience leaders from the truly exceptional?

According to a recent and very eye-opening study, great CMO’s bring 5 distinct attitudes to the critical task of “driving human-centric business growth.”

When international recruiting firm Spencer Stuart recently partnered with The Institute for Real Growth to interview “overperforming” CMO’s, they were looking for answers to a very specific question: what are the critical attributes – the “secret ingredients” – that leaders of human centered businesses must bring to the job in order to survive, thrive, and keep growing?

They found them.

After interviewing 500 organizational leaders, they discovered 10 critical experiences they were found – in varying degrees, depending on the industry and job scope. According to their findings, not all of the super leaders (nicknamed “da Vinci CMO’s” by the study) had gained every core experience. But remarkably, they also identified 5 essential attitudes that every super performer possessed and leveraged.

  1. Driven by curiosity and learning agility

Like the famed renaissance artist, inventor and life-long learner, da Vinci CMO’s prevail because they don’t get stuck in last year’s (or even last month’s) solutions. They’re eager to understand how their customers and their marketplaces are changing and willing to consider new solutions or even radically different approaches.

  1. Collaborative and blind to silos

CMO’s capable of leading their brand through tough times do so by looking at their customers’ needs holistically. They establish strong partnerships with all team members, leveraging their knowledge, skills, and commitment to excellence, in order to deliver superior experiences. As the study findings point out, navigating an increasingly complex market demands leaders who naturally gravitate toward this kind of win-win collaborations with others – both internally and externally.

  1. See themselves as servant leaders

Protecting turf and building fiefdoms just isn’t a concern for the da Vinci leader who is, instead, sincerely focused on leveraging rich and diverse talents and points of view. These leaders perceive themselves as responsible for nurturing talent by staying attuned to the efforts, values, and needs of all stakeholders and removing obstacles to their success.

  1. Nimble, quick, and impact focused

Acutely aware of the blinding speed with which customer needs shift, these leaders are constantly directing the attentions and efforts of their teams to meeting those needs. These leaders refuse to let the perfect get in the way of the good. Instead, they’ll run with solid enough ideas, adapting and improving them as they go.

  1. They rally the troops with powerful messaging and everyday actions

As so vividly describe by the study’s authors, “A CMO that can bring purpose, vision and strategy alive by speaking to both head and heart can convince all stakeholders to take the leap of faith that so many daring plans require.” The CMO’s best poised to lead their brands through the next several years are those who know how to keep goals relevant and motivating, not just for themselves but for everyone around them.

At Skybridge Americas, we forge collaborative partnerships with CMO’s and other brand leaders in order to deliver exceptional experiences to their customers. If you would like to know more about how we can help you, please reach out. We would love to talk.

-Bobby Matthews

Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Skybridge Americas

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