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4 Tips for Boosting Rising Leaders: Show Notes & Transcript

Post | Jun 20, 2023

Welcome back to Marketing Smarts! From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini (that’s us) comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. We deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from our combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. We tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

In this episode, we’re talking how to boost rising leaders. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re exercising your Marketing Smarts!

  • Episode Summary & Player
  • Show Notes
  • Marketing Smarts Summary
  • Transcript

Marketing Smarts: 4 Tips for Boosting Rising Leaders

You want to be a leader. How do you take that into your own hands? Get very clear on your personal brand and clean out what is not serving you, develop your vision and declare it out loud on repeat, surround yourself with supporters and hire a coach, and build your reputation and skills beyond your current role. Take these to heart and you’ll be on the right path to keep rising in your career. This episode covers everything from boosting leaders to hiring a coach. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • How do you boost rising leaders?
  • Why should you get clear on your personal brand?
  • How do you develop your vision?
  • Should you hire a coach or find a mentor?
  • When should you start planning for your next role?
  • What does empathy have to do with leadership?
  • Is networking important for boosting leaders?
  • Why does Cappy’s Norwood do customer service best?

And as always, if you need help in building your Marketing Smarts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at:

Check out the episode, show notes, and transcript below:

Show Notes

What is Marketing Smarts?

From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. They deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from their combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. They tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

How do I exercise my Marketing Smarts?

Thanks for listening to Marketing Smarts. Get in touch here to become a savvier marketer. 


Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.

Anne Candido 0:02
This is Marketing Smarts – a podcast committed to helping you become a savvier marketing leader, no matter your level. In each episode, we will dive into a relevant topic or challenge that marketing leaders are currently facing. We will also give you practical tools and applications that will help you put what you learn into practice today. And if you missed anything, don’t worry, we put worksheets on our website that summarize the key points. Now, let’s get to it.

April Martini 0:29
Welcome to Marketing Smarts!

Anne Candido 0:31
I am Anne Candido.

April Martini 0:32
And I am April Martini. And today we’re gonna cover a topic that’s been brought into our purview consistently lately, and that is for tips for boosting rising leaders, we have explored the topic of up and coming leaders through the lens of both employees at this level. And then also through the companies that employ these folks, and how they’re approaching the staff members taking care of their growth assisting them all of those things. It seems that there’s a little bit of an outage when it comes to a clear carved out path for these folks. So we thought we would spend some time today talking about how these potential future leaders can take matters into their own hands with the tools to do so and also assists companies and what to do about the gap that we are seeing as it exists today.

Anne Candido 1:19
Yeah, and one of the things worth noting with this episode, like so many of our others, is that the pandemic really helps highlight this issue in the workplace, and also probably exacerbated at the same time. So coming out of COVID, there’s just so much distraction around culture, everything from how to manage it with at home hybrid work environments to how to manage the changes happen, like, Hey, you had these super cool office spaces, but you may no longer need them, or people may not even care about actually being in them, they want to be in their super cool houses, yep. To what to do to entice candidates to stay with companies. So it’s great to see companies addressing the issue, but it seems to be at the sacrifice of the career progression and path. Or maybe just some like blame outright just like exhaustion, the whole thing. So we really wanted to have this episode. And so people can really be thinking about this with intention.

April Martini 2:11
Yes, all very good ads. And with that, we will get into four tips for boosting rising leaders. The first one should be no surprise, get very clear on your personal brand and clean out what is not serving you. We’re not going to go through a personal brand one on one here, especially for all of you that are super familiar with the way we approach it. And the number of times we talk about it how many resources we already have, you can go and explore that if you’re not familiar, hit pause, go do your homework to identify and develop your personal brand, before you move on with this episode. But if you have done the work to develop your personal brand, this is one of the times to go back and reflect on your current journey from the day to day to the big picture. And take a moment and take some time to process and re examine where your personal brand may be helping you in your journey and where it might be holding you back. You also want to take a look at your personal brand through the lens of the company you work for the role you play in that company. And where again, some things that are just inherent to your personal brand may or may not be being managed well and could be holding you back from whatever is next. Remember, your characteristics come to life through your behaviors and actions. So where have you had recent success at work? Make note where have you had recent frustrations or opportunities that didn’t go as planned? Note those as well take that time, like I said to process and then decide what you will and will not take on your journey moving forward? Some very specific examples, you know how we like our examples here. So for example, was one of your characteristics stubborn, I can raise my hand to this one.

Anne Candido 3:52
Is this a third person? Or is this is like your real email is stubborn?

April Martini 4:00
So yes, we’d like to use personal experience examples. I am a stubborn person, all of you know that by now. Has it gotten you into trouble lately? How did that come to life? What are you going to do to make sure that this is not a hindrance moving forward? So your characteristics are neither good nor bad, but you do have to manage them effectively? How is that stubbornness going to show up in a way that is keeping you on the right path, not taking you off of it? And the other thing here is what things are serving you and why so on the contrary, have one that may not be serving you currently, are you a really good calming force in the face of adversity. What’s the next role in the company that you’re striving for? How can that characteristic and that thing that you’re known for serve in that role? And for bonus points, how can you make the characteristic known so that you get credit for why it’s a good one, to be able to move up in the organization? So that involves things like managing up and being really savvy and being intentional, like I’ve already said, map out with objectivity how your personal brand is showing up, eliminate the places where it’s not doing you any favors, and then use it to promote the areas where it is. And this is really a good baseline to move on to the next point. But first, I’m going to talk because it was a lot of talking for me and giving a chance here. A lot of talking for you. Also fair, I’m

Anne Candido 5:23
just not sure I could have just kept going. Like I could, I could sit there for next 45 minutes, really. But I mean, in all seriousness, I mean, personal brand is a topic we could talk about forever. And we have, and there’s a ton of resources. So if you were looking for more of the structure, a personal brand, and for a tool for how to think through your personal brand, just go to our website, our resources page, and actually just search for that. But I want to tell a little story, because I find this one very, very interesting. And this is, I think, explicitly very evident when people are transitioning from the doer to the manager, and they’re trying to rise in their career. Oh, yes. And this is when you see, or you perceive the injustice of it all. So why do I need to act a certain way? Why is that always on me? Why is it because of that person? Why do I need to smile? And I need to be receptive to what they’re saying? Why isn’t it that their fault that you know, they can’t hear it? Well, and they just can’t take it that’s just on them. And so this actually came up. And one of my Vistage talks this past week, and this exact point got me in, I’ll give you the response that I gave to this person, which is, you’re right. I mean, honestly, you’re right. I mean, it isn’t fair, you shouldn’t have to go do that. But the point of the matter is, do you want to that person to actually be able to hear you receive your message, understand where you’re coming from? And be able then to help you on your journey? Because if you do, they basically have just given you the rulebook for how to go do it? Yep. If you need to smile in order for them to feel more engaged in the conversation. Just do it. Why not? I mean, yeah, it might sound stupid, you might be like, I don’t want to have to do it. Yes, you might, I wouldn’t want to have to do it either, if I’m not feeling it, but if you know that that’s the way the person is going to receive the information the best, then follow the rulebook? Yep. Right? Otherwise, you can go like not do it, that’s fine. You probably just not going to be as successful as you need to be to build those relationships you need in order to continue to rise in your career, because rising in your career is all about relationships. Yes, more than anything more than the work you do. More than anything that you put out there and your contribution form more than all of it, the relationships are the key.

April Martini 7:40
Yeah, I think that’s a really great example, because we’re talking through the lens of rising leaders. And I think that I can all speak from April’s experience, go back to the third person.

Anne Candido 7:53
Safe Space when,

April Martini 7:54
yeah, when you are a high achiever, and you’re striving and you really want to grow, and you’re hungry, I feel like every single one of us that has that in US reaches this point where that injustice comes into play. And the faster you can get over that, move it to an objective place and just play by the playbook, like you said, rules of the game. Yes, the much better off you will be. Because on the other side of what happens if you don’t just acknowledge it for what it is and move forward is you waste a lot of time, and a lot of energy. And you can also get yourself into a whole lot of trouble that causes backslide of all the positive and good you’re doing and causes you to toil in a space that’s not going to serve you for any reason.

Anne Candido 8:40
In you know, what happens when that starts to happen is somebody else passes you by 100% Somebody who’s willing to play the game will pass you by Yeah. And they’ll get your role that you want. Yes. If you’re okay with that fine.

April Martini 8:52
Yes. Which I think it’s by your response was right, like, You’re not wrong, you’re not right, it doesn’t change the situation. Right?

Anne Candido 8:58
You can be as Perry, the Vistage chair said you could be right, or you could be successful if you choose. Sometimes we’d like to be both. But make the choose. That’s a choice about whether or not you’re gonna be right or successful. And that’s an all parts of our life. Sometimes. That’s true.

April Martini 9:14
That could be a whole other episode. Yes, yes, it can be. All right, keeping us on track. Let’s move to number two here, which I said builds on that previous point about getting clear on your personal brand and getting rid of what doesn’t serve you and that is to develop your vision and declare it out loud on repeat. The personal brand work is the foundation to get to developing and declaring your vision. We mentioned in the beginning that we see a lot of high achievers and potential future leaders getting stuck and frustrated. We just talked about it in the previous point. This is one of those places where that can happen which is why we start with personal brand development so that you have a starting foundational point to move forward from and kind of that roadmap that we talked about. But before we get too far into this point, we do want to caveat that We are not fans of phrasing and questions around the vision like, where will you be in the next five years type of statements? Yeah, who knows that? Yes, exactly. That’s not this, this is putting a stake in the ground to declare what you want to be, even if it’s not fully formed. And even if the roadmap to I’m going to become that in the next five years isn’t baked, even if you think it might look different over the course of that time, as things unfold, that’s all completely fine. You can know your vision without knowing exactly how you’re going to get from where you stand today, to embracing that vision and making it a reality. So I will give my current vision for myself, which is to build a community of like minded Executive Women that will support each other so that we can all rise and lay the foundation for those that will come after us. Do I know exactly how I we and and I, because she’s also part of this, like InterNACHI? The other good thing she’s passionate about that vision, too. Yep. Do I know exactly how that will happen? No. And in fact, it looks very different than when this hit me over the head last summer. And actually, Anna and I were in the middle of trying to solve for it looking back, I can see that that was going to become my vision hitting me over the head. When it came to me, we are building it piece by piece. And as we build the next piece, new things are unveiling themselves to us as we go, which keeps us moving forward on our journey. Which brings us to the next point of this point. And that is the peace around stating it out loud over and over again. Yes out loud to other people and then out loud with quotes around it in your head as part of your ongoing narrative to come back to So why is this important? You can believe or not believe in manifesting your reality and the power of that, I’m not going to get into that I do have to stop there. But wherever you are on the spectrum of believing that what does happen when you start putting stuff out there, and we have proof points of this is it becomes real. And it becomes a possible thing. And then other people hear it. And they actually start to get excited and involved and bring you opportunities when they hear it over and over again, because then they know that you’re committed to it. So one of the examples for us is part of our forthright women initiative, we got connected to Amy Scalia, she came to our very first event, she became a huge proponent of the effort, we’re doing it forthright women and opportunity opened up for her and her role to focus more here. And now we have an ongoing series with Amy Scalia and Cincinnati refined. Did I know when I declared that vision that we were going to be bringing it to life in this way? No, I had absolutely no idea. But because the vision was developed and declared out loud on repeat and inclusive of other people that has now opened another door for continuing the vision that we have for ourselves.

Anne Candido 12:54
Yeah, that’s a great example. And I I think it’s always very interesting to me, then when you start putting things out there, how things start to come back? Yes. Because one, it does two things. One, it creates an openness in your mind, and you start looking for those things, and to create an openness in other people’s minds that they know you’re looking Yeah, and by natural human relationship, we’re connectors, we want to be connected to people who are like minded and are trying to make things work that, especially when we have similar values, or similar missions and visions. But what I’ll say about the vision, and this is a thing that I coach, and I know you do too, April is that don’t think too small on your vision, right? And it’s okay if you have a smaller goal to achieve in order to achieve your bigger vision, but start with the bigger vision. And because what it does is it starts to put you on a path towards something big that you want to accomplish. And we can’t do big things unless we are very, very passionate about him. So we need to think about what the why is and the why is what helps us persevere The why is what helps us get through those tough times. So if you can put those all those pieces together, the ability to do big things becomes very tangible becomes very action oriented becomes a path for you to take, if you keep it small, if you make it you make yourself play small, then those things become a little bit more smaller things which are still important to achieve the big thing, but then they start to feel like they are lower amenity they’re not providing the the reward that you were really hoping for. And it just doesn’t feel like it’s building to anything. So therefore it becomes very easy to overcome, or maybe push aside the smaller things, especially when they become drudgery to some extent. So I’ll give you an example of a book that me and April read. It’s well so as well Smith’s book and actually, like we said before, if you haven’t listened to this book, you need to listen to it on the audio because it’s just a production in itself. But he was having a conversation with his manager and he US manager was saying, Hey, I don’t know where you’re trying to go with this. He was just, you know, he was a hip hop guy and was trying to do a little bit of acting and, you know, just just like, where do you want to go? I don’t I don’t know how to help you. And when I was like, Well, I’d like to be financially sound, I don’t want to have to worry about money, I would like to kind of give some acting gigs that, you know, maybe be more action adventure, they’re kind of fun, I would like to go. So he listed like eight or nine things. And as manager goes, That’s really great. That’s eight or nine things, which in this definition, we would call quote, unquote, smaller things, because they’re more tactical things that can be done and fulfilled a bunch of different ways. But even a teaming like financial stability, which could be very fantastic for our lives, is an outcome of something that you’re trying to do that’s bigger, right? Yes. So when he said, it’s like, what, for what purpose? What are you trying to achieve with all of this? And well was a he had a very hard time, he says in the book, really articulating it, because it sounded very ambitious, it sounded very overwhelming, it sounded like a little conceited. It sounded like all these things, all these stories, we put in our heads about why we can live our visions, but he finally just put it out there. And he said, I want to be the biggest movie star in the world. And he looked at his manager and manager looked back at him. And he goes, manager goes, I know what they’re gonna do about that. I know how to make that happen. Right? And so then the action starts happening towards that vision. So if you could think about what that actual impact is the impact do you want to have or what that looks like in the context of your overall ambition, goals and dreams without judgment? Without like, telling yourself? Oh, but why me? Why why not? You? And I? Yeah. So that’s what I wanted to say about vision.

April Martini 16:41
Yeah, I mean, I think it is so interesting. And so important. And obviously, I am a huge fan of that book, as well, for a whole host of reasons. But when you talk about playing it small, I think we do that from a place of fear and a place of desired safety, which is the opposite of embracing a vision. And I think we get in our own heads. So that example you just gave with Will Smith. That’s exactly what was happening. Right. He was hedging. He was afraid to put things out there that he might be judged for. And then I think there was a fear of can I achieve that? Because a big part of that book is like, I’m just a kid from Philly, or, you know, like, it’s just like, so you know, I grew up in Philly, we didn’t have a ton, I’m, you know, just a normal kid, by my standards, why could this be me, but once that push was out there, and he was able to think about, absent of all of those, the noise, what is the thing I’m really going for, I think that’s what we’re pushing people to strive for here. And just like you in coaching, that’s always my push is when people start to argue back with me or offer up excuses. And not from a bad place. I mean, we coach Highly successful people. It’s not like we’re, you know, pulling people along, these people have big jobs and big lives and whatever. But when we’re pushing to do the next thing, or find the next vision or fulfill the next step, there’s a lot of backpedaling. And the statement I always come back to is why not you, right, and to your previous point, and if you’re gonna wallow and sit in it or not go for it, someone else is going to take it, so why not you? And I think that starts to open up the right thinking in the right conversations to shut down those voices in that noise as quickly as you can. But then also just think through the lens of if somebody’s got to do it, why can’t it be you?

Anne Candido 18:26
And I think too, as you set those visions, it doesn’t mean it’s a straight line A to B, to hit your vision, you know, you might find along that path that hey, I kind of like this. So you tweak your vision a little bit. Or you might get to a point where you’re like, Yeah, I really wanted to do that. But you know, I’m feeling really good right here, I’m gonna sit here for a little bit. So you don’t have to be on like a mad dash. from point A to point B, you can take as much time as you need. The whole point is just an intentional progression. Yes, and it can change. So don’t feel like once you put it out there, it’s written in stone, and therefore, that is your fate in life.

April Martini 19:00
Well, and that’s part of like, you can declare a vision, like you said, that big enough to encompass a lot of different iterations.

Anne Candido 19:06
And a lot of different outcomes that you actually want to see come to fruition for yourself. Yes, yeah.

April Martini 19:13
All right. So how are we going to get there on this vision? The third point in the four tips for boosting rising leaders is to surround yourself with supporters and hire a coach some of these points or two points, because I had a lot to say, I can tell you know, so anyway, but all of that to say so part of what we often talk about as part of this point is eliminating naysayers. This goes to the first point around eliminating what’s not serving you from your personal brand. So you’ve done that. So now you’ve got to do the work to care for yourself on the other side and eliminate the people that will either tell you you can’t do it, or aren’t going to support you in your efforts or dig their heels in and don’t want to come along on the journey. These people look a whole lot of different ways. But hear us when we say that it’s not always a really drastic cut them off at the knees. Well, I do like to do that if I’m being honest. But no, that’s not our advice. It’s not like black and white, turn it off, see you later never talk to you, you’re not serving me get out of my life statement, we acknowledge that in some cases, this can lead to career suicide. But there are definitely ways to distance yourself from people that aren’t serving you. It’s like opt out of situations where you have the power to where they will be, don’t solicit one on one time with them. Of course, if you have to work with them, work with them. But don’t do it any more than you have to, or at the very least make a conscious effort not to internalize what they say, our big barometer for this is We’re fans of saying if you would not ask that person for advice, and then take it, you shouldn’t be internalizing what they have to say about whatever you’re on a mission to do, really to the point. And in this case, it’s your vision, right? So you’re gonna have to proactively get in there, identify who those naysayers are, and then do the work to eliminate quote unquote them as much as you can, from your journey of accomplishing your mission. The second part of this point states that you need to hire a coach, mentors are great, but there’s something had that happened inside our brains, when we’re doling out money for something for ourselves, it ratchets up the level of seriousness, it gets real, you’re held to a new level of accountability by the coach that you’re paying. And you’re also holding yourself more accountable, because dollar bills are going out and you are paying this person, that coach really can help you get to the next level. We don’t say this as a shameless plug for ourselves, but it is a role that we serve. So if you need a coach, we would be happy to have that conversation with you. But the problem with leaning too much in the mentor side of things is that it’s not as serious of a commitment. And that’s for a few reasons. One, if you pick a mentor within your organization, they’re going to be serving themselves first over you. That’s not a malicious thing. It’s just the reality of the situation, you probably identified them as a mentor, because they’re doing great in their career, which means they are managing their career. And they’re going to put that first mentors also are in your corner just in too informal of a way. So it’s fine to go to people for advice to seek out their experience, if they’ve been there before all of that kind of stuff. But if you’re really driving forward and trying to achieve a big vision for yourself, you have to have someone who can help you really build it out with intention and help keep you on track and be that sounding board in a different way than someone that’s more informal. The other thing that we want to say here around this is that the reason we call for a coach versus any other term is because that, while it’s a common term in the industry, but also you’re looking for someone that aligns with the way in which you work and can really see you and so a really good coach actually will identify whether or not you’re a person they should work with on their own, that should be part of your conversation, because they should know a really good coach knows the type of people that they can and cannot help with. But also you should be looking for that alignment. So just like in sports, if we all look back on, you know, for those of you who played and even if you weren’t a super serious athlete, I was not. There are coaches that I worked really well with, because we aligned and we’re on the same page about what we were valuing as part of this and we could see eye to eye. And so that’s the lens that you’re looking for, as you’re betting that coach. So kind of a third point in this one anyway. Alright, so my example that I will say is, personally speaking, as a coach, it’s amazing to see what happens when people feel like they have someone telling them that they can do it. So back to the previous point and building on that whole idea of why not you. We, as coaches have a responsibility, and it is personally very fulfilling. And we see this happen time and time again, which is why that part of our business is successful when you tell someone that it is possible for them to go and do something. Even these super high power people that we work with that have built a huge life and career. It unlocked something within people. So sitting on the other side, we’ve seen it work and also Anna and I have hired coaches over the course of our career to do the very same thing for us. So, again, beginning of the point, eliminate the naysayers, surround yourself by the people that are supporters and then go the extra mile to hire an actual coach and pay them money to help keep you on track on your journey. We believe it’s a game changer.

Anne Candido 24:43
Yeah, I totally agree. And we have a really great episode about how to select a coach. So yes, good point. You can go listen to that one. If you’re looking well. If you’ve gotten to the point where like, oh yeah, I would like to have one how do I go select one that one will help you? But I think it’s a really fantastic point you make April because there’s something about Coach Being in actually hiring a coach that makes the whole process feel a lot more real. Yes, right. And so when the mentor is, here, have a conversation with a mentor, I totally agree the conversation tends to be a little bit lighter on what’s really needed in order to boost your growth. These coaches make a living off a coaching a person’s mentoring, who is doing it out of the goodness and kindness of their heart, and maybe definitely get some accolades on their personal development plan or their contribution sheet that there are, quote, unquote, mentor. But coaches make a business out of it. And so their whole goal is for you to succeed, yes, that they get paid. That’s how they get paid. That’s how they get referrals. That’s how they get you to recommend them to some other people. And like, the biggest pushback I hear from folks is like, well, it’s expensive. I’m like, most people can get a coach for $200 an hour, right? A good coach for $200. Now, some customer, some will cost less, but let’s just say on average, $200 an hour. I’ve seen people spend that much money on a gym pass or not on the bar, like you’re willing to invest that money into go drink for a night or for a gym pass that you may or may not use, or for classes you may or may not take, but your professional development, you’re not willing to invest $200 a month, I find that a really hard thing to wrap my mind around, especially since most businesses have a training budget that if you ask them, they may actually subsidize that for you. Yep. So that excuse of it being quote unquote, too expensive. Come on, let me use Yes, I mean, you just have to carve it out. And a lot of people will prioritize it, because they rather spend their money on those things. That’s fine, too. But I believe that anybody who really wants to rise needs to have a coach because it acts like a personal advisory board. Yes. And the objectives I mentioned with regards to the fact that the person is in it, to see you succeed, they also are going to give you that unbiased feedback about what you may not or may or may not be able to see about yourself, because we all have those blind spots, they may take that effort to go source the people around you in a very third party ways so that they can actually get that input in order to provide you that which you may or may not be getting. And they’re gonna give you the what they really think based on their experience. So it’s just so valuable when you can find the right coach because it helps you to have that competence, one, it also helps you to have that feedback to, and it helps to reinforce and help you test and learn what works and what doesn’t work. So I’m like, I don’t understand when people say who are really committed to rising that they don’t want to get a coach

April Martini 27:42
well, and I’ve also seen people use it as a perceived sign of weakness. And I’m like, That’s the wrong way to look at it. We can’t like you said, we all have blinders, no matter how high powered, how high achieving how fast, we’ve made it to where we are, we all have blinders, we cannot get to the next level by ourselves. This is another example of that. You need that coach to shed light on the things that you that are just not a part of you and your personal brand.

Anne Candido 28:08
Right. And I use the example a time like Tiger Woods has a Swing Coach. Yes. You know why? Because he can’t watch himself swinging his club. And that’s a lot of like how we operate. We can’t watch ourselves. We can’t like have an out of body experience to watch how we are with other people and see their reactions, engage their feedback, and be able then to ask ourselves the right question about why do you think people somebody act like that, and get out of our own way and get out of our own feelings and get our own sense of personal judgment vulnerability? Like, it’s the same music? Tiger Woods has a Swing Coach, everybody?

April Martini 28:42
Yes. If you can do it, you can too. That’s right. All right. Number four of the four tips for boosting rising leaders is build your reputation and skills beyond your current role. So when I was in a position to lead a team of people, I was one of the ones that was famous for saying you should be doing the next job by the time you get hired for it. I do not mean that in the way of taking advantage of people and their skills and keeping them at lower roles. None of that I know that happens in organizations, I want you to hear me when I say that is not it. The reason I believe this is because I’ve always felt that there are levels within levels meaning you get the next job, when you are on the entry end of that next role. And you leave it to go to the next entry level when you’re at the highest level of the job that you are currently in. There’s a lot of room and roles within companies for growth. That’s the whole point of career progression, realizing your vision, all of those things. You have to be able to lean into the next role in order to go and be qualified to do it. So how do you do this? Number one, I’m gonna give a laundry list and then I’m gonna hand it over to and sign up for opportunities that challenge your current skills and get you in front have new audiences. So for example, when I was vying for a director role, I signed up for a project that got me regularly in front of the executive team, the show I was capable of more than what I was currently doing and ready for the next challenge. Number two, we talked about this one a lot. Make your boss look good. We don’t mean in a manipulative way again, but think about their currency, what makes them tick? What makes them look good, go and make them look good. Practice reading The Room meetings are a prime place for this, start paying really close attention to the body language, pay attention to who sits next to whom? Where do people sit at the table who speaks first, these are the types of cues and the level of understanding you need to master kind of that subtext that’s happening in order to rise. In other words, what isn’t being said in the room. Number four I have here is Network, Network network network. Get in front of people in the jobs you want. Get to know people in other departments that are on your same page, or that you might learn from or that might advocate on your behalf. Network outside the office, get a broader perspective, go to industry events, meet people, ask them questions, learn from those that have been there before you and learn what other opportunities are out there. The fifth one is track your success moments, start writing your review at the beginning of the year, not the end of the year. We all have recency bias, including ourselves, track your highlight reel, show how you build on your experience mindfully. So when you get to review time, you already have a compelling case that you have been building pragmatically over the course of the year for yourself, do not wait until review time. And finally ask for what you want with the case to back it up. So this goes to the point above of tracking your success moments, but it’s a lot more active in nature. So first of all, the worst thing somebody can say is no. And I really, I wish I could say this to my younger self 10 years ago, 15 years ago, like, literally the worst thing someone can say is no, why are we all so scared to ask. But also on the other hand, the other side of that, and as a manager, this would drive me crazy. Please don’t be toned up about it. Don’t get in a new job. And six months later, go to your boss and ask for a promotion willy nilly? Yeah, what what are you doing? Right? Make sure you’re asking for something that makes sense. And then be ready to tell the story that connects the dots that proves why it’s so it’s gonna be really hard for the other for the person on the other end? To say no, it’s really easy then for them to give you that? Yes. So those are a whole bunch of different examples of ways you can build your reputation and skills beyond your current role. And very actively while you’re in that role.

Anne Candido 32:40
Those are fantastic examples in in suggestions, and I wholeheartedly support all of those. I’d also add a couple more, which is one is trainings. Oh, yeah, look for whatever trainings are setting people up for success, there’s usually some level of leadership trainings that people will go to, because that’s a really great way to, again, build your skills, get those credentials, show to people that you have now, expanded your skill set. That’s more on the technical side of skill development. I’d also say you need to focus on building your aptitude to and the Big Core word is now become the foundation for aptitude is empathy, yes, and especially empathy in the workplace. And if we have an episode on that, I feel like I say that all the time. But we have an episode on that which, and that is more I’m not about again, passive being passive and like being subservient to other people’s point of views and, you know, feeling overly emotional about how people are, but it’s about putting yourself in those people’s shoes and understanding who they are in those shoes, what’s important to them, how do they get rewarded, all those sorts of things. So me personally when I was in PR, than public relations at p&g, I mean, it was a more of a smaller function within the bigger broader branding function. So what did I do in order to build credibility, reputation and just awareness that I was actually there is I learned about other people’s jobs, I spent time understanding their function, I spent time understanding, again, how they get rewarded, what was important about their job, what do they need from me in order to be successful in their job, that is empathy that is being able to build relationships based on understanding how to put yourself in other people’s shoes. That will be a core core thing that people are looking to, to see if you are ready and capable of rising all this but I wrap up in like a put us all in a bow. I call the socializing your personal brand. Yes, it is about showing up in the right way. And being able to have the right behaviors and actions that reinforce to people that your characteristics your parents, everything is working cohesively together to have that presence in order to feel confident in helping you rise up the ranks. Because remember, other people’s perceptions are their reality. Right? So if you are not showing up in the right way in the right places in order to reinforce the reality that they need to see, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. And a lot of people will say, in these cases, I don’t have time for these things, right? I’m so busy. I’m a mom, I’m a dad. And so I’m not going to sacrifice my home life in order to go do those things, that’s totally fine. That is a choice that you’re making. And we’re not advocating for the fact that you should not be present for your family or for your kids. But we would advocate looking at your day and seeing how you can restructure that day in order to fit more of these things in there. So that you can have that 360 degree look of in showing up in this different places that people are going to want to see you. So they can see the different parts of your personal brand, they can see your different parts of your skills activating. And that gives them more awareness of you, as well as it gets you more connected to people outside of just your siloed function or business or wherever you happen to be within a broader organization or a smaller organization. Yeah,

April Martini 36:03
I mean, and I think the one thing I will add on the personal brand front, in addition to everything you just said, which I think is exactly right, is it builds a consistent experience of you as well. Consistency is key. And so when people can start to anticipate what they’re going to get from you, it actually draws people to you. Because there’s a level of comfort and familiarity in that consistency.

Anne Candido 36:28
And also across different verticals, right? Yes, that’s usually a big thing is like, well, they do really well on this one thing, you do it across other things, right. Yeah. That always is a big thing. And we thought that that was we see that as a role progression. Yeah. Or a different business that you’re a part of, or whatever. But in a lot of cases, it’s just seeing how you operate in different environments. Yes. And is it a consistent, which is a really fantastic point.

April Martini 36:52
Yes, yes. All right. And our next segment is a brand that is doing well or not so well in their marketing smarts based on our experiences and observations. And today, we have one that is doing very well. And he is going to chuckle at this one. But so we have this place down the trail from us called Cappy’s. It’s in Norwood for those of you that are local right by Xavier’s campus. And the thing about them that I really love, and we just talked about consistency. So I’ll draw the thread that and usually does here in a very loose way. They consistently have exceptional customer service. And I think that that comes through as a genuine joy in doing their job. And to set the stage on this for all of you. This is a place that is a convenience store, if you had to define it. But Drew, who is one of the owners and the regular manager on staff has expanded the vision of this place, and has installed taps and tables and this really unexpectedly fantastically casual outdoor space that’s very comfortable. And it really is a draw for the area. But for a very big cross section of individuals. And the thing I will say about him, as the leader of the culture of this organization, and this lens of customer service is that he is hugely welcoming, pays attention to the details, and is super appreciative of the people that come in and out of those doors. And he models that for all of his employees. So for people like us that I would now consider regulars, we’ve lived up here for a little over a year. And we’ve been there more times than I should probably count. We’re list here, but he really gets to know us and our behaviors and what is meaningful to us. So it actually I believe makes his and others jobs easier. Because he knows what those little things are. And he consistently does them for us. So like water for the dogs we ran there over the weekend. They have all these little trinket toys that are hidden all over the store. My kids think it’s the funniest, most awesome thing ever. They gave them a couple of those to take home, bringing the refills to us even though they’re not a full service. You’re supposed to go to the counter, but he knows if we’re there on a Friday night we’re having a couple beers, right? It’s not it’s a pretty safe thing that to bring us some out there. These are not major things, by the way, right? Every single time he sees us walk in the door with somebody new he stops what he is doing and comes over and welcomes the new people to the place and like I said, every time we leave that place, he is standing at the door thanking us for coming back. The cross section I talked about puppies, kids, college students, local neighbors, adults, adults without children trying to enjoy their evening. There’s all kinds of people in and out of there. But what I think is amazing about them is they really invest in being part of the community and like I said he’s done with This was a lot of intention. So He leads by example. And subsequently the employees are trained. So on Sunday was Mother’s Day, he was not there to have the regular people that work there are there we walk in, both of them came over and wished me a happy Mother’s Day. These are 21 year old college kids, right modeling the behavior and their boss is not there to see them doing it, which goes back to my whole point about, they seem to really enjoy being there. And he has enforced this culture. They have a waiting list of students that want to work there. And it just kind of builds and builds and builds over time people come in and apply. He keeps the running list as people graduate, new people come in, and there is a consistency to the people that work there. He throws a graduation party every year for the Xavier students. And this is where the people graduating can bring their parents, we did have a funny little joke that he does get some comments sometimes where people are like, Oh, copies, that’s what keeps showing up on my credit card. Yeah, the good laugh that well, they’re on the way out, right. So there you go. And then also, on the other side of the customer service piece, they don’t put up with people that disrupt the flow. So for example, someone came in there with a misbehaved dog one evening, he lets our dogs off leash, and trust us to manage them that works for us. There are other dogs generally they’re out in the yard with our dogs, the minute there’s one that isn’t in a very kind way, it’s addressed, that person is asked to leave when there are people that aren’t necessarily happy with the fact that there’s kids there or dogs there or you know, there’s college kids that don’t want to spend time with us old folks, right? He’s managing that in a way that isn’t aggressive or confrontational or anything, but he’s very conscious not to upset the ecosystem and the community vibe that he and the people that he employees have very intentionally built. And then the experience in the store continues to expand. So that outdoor area, it’s like, he’ll add a pergola he’ll add a few more tables, because all of a sudden, the popularity is growing. It’s just a very intentional effort for something that on the surface level, you could be like, Oh, it’s a convenience store. It’s a dive. But because the business is being built with intention, you’re seeing them reap the benefits of that and the continuation of the experience that we all really appreciate.

Anne Candido 42:13
Oh, that’s a good one. You’ve been on a customer service kick lately?

April Martini 42:16
I have because I’ve seen a lot of bad and I’ve had glimpses of good.

Anne Candido 42:20
Well, I think that’s awesome. I mean, there’s so much in that that you could unpack. But I think just a couple of points that really stood out to me, was one of I mean, he obviously is working a vision, right? He sees a vision for the place he’s trying to create both on the physical appearance of it, but also with the vibe, and who he wants there. Yeah, he’s very intentionally trying to cultivate that in order to meet the expectations of those people that have come in. And you could say that maybe he understands their personal brands, to some extent, right. Yeah, she’s

April Martini 42:50
tying it all back with the bow for me.

Anne Candido 42:52
I’m trying, I’m trying. But I think that that is a case of it. It’s about having that awareness. And I think no matter what business you’re in, or if even if you’re in that process of writing in a corporate position, having that awareness of people again, it goes back to what we were saying about having that empathy, of what they think what kind of experiences he’s living, what he thinks the experiences they want in his place. Yes. Right. And so flipping

April Martini 43:15
the lens, like we talked about all the time, it’s not about what he wants.

Anne Candido 43:19
It’s not necessarily what he wants. It’s like, what do people are going to want? And what’s going to bring people here, and that’s how I make a successful business, and obviously have to be bought in and you have to have an element of pride associated with that. But it’s not necessarily always about the how, yes, right. And so I think that’s a really, that was a really great example to really emphasize that. And I also want to make one more point about the fact that he is very intentional about localizing, yes. And we get a lot of that questions a lot, because especially with people who have like, quote, unquote, a parent brand, or whatever that looks like, and then individual offices, or you’ll just locations in different parts of the country or different parts of the city. And they wonder how important is to localize it is extremely important. And when you do it, well, you become part of the fabric of the whole area. Because if you think about where are you going to be drawing from, you’re gonna be drawing from a radius. You have to feel like you’re part of the place that which you are doing business. Yes. It’s just the way that you build those relationships. So the fact that he is very intentional about how do I cultivate this based on all these different groups of people that are going to come in me is that he’s intentionally localizing in order to pull all of that and to create that 500%.

April Martini 44:30
I have nothing to add. Or I’m just tired. Friday at 4:30. All right, so just to recap four tips for boosting rising leaders. Number one, get very clear on your personal brand and clean out what is not serving you revisit the work you’ve done to date and where you’re hitting roadblocks and also where you’re succeeding change course and eliminate anything that’s not working on your behalf. Number two, develop your vision and declare it out loud on repeat, it doesn’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to have the full roadmap stated out loud and to others so it becomes real and so others are aware and can help you on your journey. Number three, surround yourself with supporters and hire a coach shed the naysayers. Find the people that believe in what you want to do, pay someone to be squarely in your corner. And number four, build your reputation and skills beyond your current role. No one will manage your career for you. You have to be active and intentional and growing your experience and your visibility, which will grow your reputation. And with that, we will say go and exercise your Marketing Smarts! Still need help in growing your Marketing Smarts? Contact us through our website: We can help you become a savvier marketer through coaching or training you and your team or doing the work on your behalf. Please also help us grow the podcast by rating and reviewing on your player of choice and sharing with at least one person. Now, go show off your Marketing Smarts!