Along with managing an agency and teaching at University, I mentor a few young marketing students at RMIT. One day one of these young marketing students told me a story about her worst boss.
She told me that her boss would constantly give her direction on what to do, pass by her desk, tap her shoulder and tell her “What a great job” she was doing, give information on what to do next, and move on. I asked her what was wrong then and in a heart-beat she said she didn’t want to work for her – there’s no inspiration, there’s no charisma, vision, or sense of sincerity. Oops.
That moment opened my eyes. Have I been acting like that?
In an industry that relies heavily on people was I uninspiring for my team? At the beginning I felt myself trying to shut down the thoughts, trying to justify to myself every decision I had made, trying to surrender myself to the calm and easiness of ignorance; but I couldn’t.
I knew at that moment (this was 2016) that I had to face my own thoughts, weaknesses, fears and vulnerabilities if I wanted to excel and to start developing new leaders in my way. And I did want to.
Leadership is a tough gig; Google it and you will find hundreds of thousands of articles, it’s the most prevalent topic at HBR with over 24,000 articles and many books written about it.
It’s confusing and daunting. That set me on a personal journey to discover my own truth about leadership, the elements that together would allow me to be a better person, better marketer and a better citizen.
The most pernicious tall tale of leadership is if you have charisma and vision you are a leader – either you are born or not born with it. The reality is that leadership skills are not inate. The characteristics can be learned, acquired, exercised and honed.
I was lucky enough (my simplification of hard-work) to join another 29 brilliant minds in Australia and to be chosen as part of the Marketing Academy 2018 co-hort.
The 30 of us have now embarked on a journey of discovery, learning, camaraderie, and paying-forward.
This is my story.
The Marketing Academy – Getting Accepted
The Marketing Academy was created by Sherilyn Shackell as a non-profit and voluntary organisation.
Their reason to exist is to develop leadership capability in talented marketers from the Marketing, Media, Advertising and Communications industries through mentoring, coaching and experiential learning. All of The Marketing Academy programmes are provided free of charge.