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4 Ways to Lead at Any Level: Show Notes & Transcript

Post | Mar 28, 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 lead at any level. 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 Ways to Lead at Any Level

The fundamentals of leadership remain the same, no matter your level. Lead at any level by believing you’re a leader, having a POV, having followers, and testing-and-learning your leadership practice. There are also some characteristics that can sometimes get in the way of us being the leaders we were meant to be. Find out what they are, and what to do about them. This episode covers everything from leadership to believing in yourself. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • How do you lead at any level?
  • Why do you need a POV?
  • How do you believe you are a leader?
  • What insight does Adam Grant share on leadership?
  • How do you test-and-learn your leadership practice?
  • Why do you need followers?
  • What is a Scarcity Mindset?
  • How is Prezi evolving with the times?

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 miss anything, don’t worry, we put worksheets on our website that summarize the key points. Now, let’s get to it. Welcome to Marketing Smarts! I’m Anne Candido. And I am April Martini. And today we’re gonna talk about how to lead at any level, we had the privilege of speaking about this in an event hosted by Advancing Women in Technology a couple weeks ago in Nashville, which was a fantastic event. But this is one that applies no matter your level, because the basic fundamentals are the same. The way you play them just flexes depending on your level. Yes, and if we’re honest, which if you know us by now, you know, that’s the one thing well, one of many things we always are, there are some characteristics that tend to be more female oriented, that can get in the way of us being the leaders were meant to be. So we’re going to address these at the end. So just make sure you stay with us for that particular piece of information. Awesome. Okay, so let’s get started with how to lead at any level. First thing, you need to believe you are a leader. Absolutely, yeah. And this is a fundamental one, because this is a mindset shift. Because leadership is really a practice, not a position. And if any of you guys are just sitting there scratching your head going, really we have leadership positions at work, just think about some of the leaders who have been in those positions and decide for yourself, are they good leaders? Or are they just kind of de facto leaders based on the fact that they’re in those positions. And I think all of us could say that we have definitely experienced people who are in quote unquote, leadership positions that aren’t exactly good leaders. Amen. Right. And if you need a little bit more context for this, a story that I told at that event, which I think applies here, and I’ll give you the heads, the short version, is if you remember, back when you were a kid, and you were just maybe three years old, or maybe you have kids, and you’re seeing this happen, right now in front of your eyes, they’re when they start forming their groups. There’s like always a little kid leader, right? There’s somebody who emerges that either has like that charisma, or has that something, or there’s some value associated with this little kid usually is because he’s a leader to get everybody into trouble.

April Martini 2:32
Gotta love that one.

Anne Candido 2:33
You gotta love those kids. But there’s like a de facto leader, it’s not like the little three year old sat around, decided to have a little election of who’s going to be the leader of their group. Although it’d be so it was so cute. But like these leader just naturally emerge, right. And because they have something of value that others people want. It’s the same thing as you get older, when you get into high school. And even in middle school, we call these cliques. Now you can say there’s a hierarchy of cliques. But even within each clique, there’s a natural leader that emerges, somebody that has that theme that everybody wants to follow. And that just kind of is the natural born decision maker for the group. Now what happens when you get into the executive world or the corporate world agency world, wherever the real world is for you something really different happens. And that is there’s now a hierarchy and the hierarchy to find who gets to be the leader. So what happens in the face of that everybody who actually thought that they were a leader, or thought that maybe they were emerging leaders sit back and saying, Oh, well, I guess I don’t get the lead until I get one of those positions, right. And so we defer our leadership to others. And then we kind of start feeling a little bit frustrated, we start feeling a little bit diminished, we start feeling like we’re not exactly fulfilling everything that we were meant to do. And we start kind of feeling like maybe we’re not making as much progress as we should. This is what we want to get away from. And this is what this whole episode is in pursuit of is that there’s no magic in just saying you’re a leader. It’s like, if you put on running shoes, you go out running, you’re a runner, there’s not a set amount of time you have to do it. There’s not like a certain distance or a certain event, you have to run to say you’re a runner, you’re a runner, you’re practicing running, it’s the same thing. You need to practice leadership. You don’t need StrengthsFinder to tell you, you’re a leader, you don’t need to check off an evaluation criteria. Okay, so you don’t need a leadership role to now say you’re officially a leader, you just need to be in a position that you’re going to declare that you are a leader. Now, you may not even believe this yet. Like you might be sitting there going alright, and whatever. I feel like an impostor already. That’s okay. That’s what this whole episode is about. And we’re going to talk through this.

April Martini 4:38
Yeah. And I love the analogy of the runner because I think it just makes it so crystal clear. Right. And of course, personally, as a runner, I resonate with that analogy very much. But I think the point is, the ideas that we put into our head about what quote unquote, makes us a certain thing and The leadership one really is just so interesting because when Anne and I were talking about the event we were going to do and then this episode, I thought back and it was so clear in my head, as I’m sure a lot of you are nodding along in this episode of being a little kid and having those moments in time where you see those leaders just emerge, right. And then unfortunately, when you get into the office environment in and you spoke a ton about having the title of leader, but I also think the other thing that makes it a struggle is just the inherent hierarchy in organizations. And so even organizations that profess to be flat, are not ever actually flat, right? So you have all these different levels of folks. And I remember personally really struggling with this when I was coming into organizations as a brand new employee, but then also, even as I would have tenure, coming into new organizations, and trying to establish that, and working against that idea that until you have the quote unquote, title, you don’t get to do it. And so I think really declaring that you are a leader, you heard and say that this is really a mindset, it is something that you have to state and put out there. And then keep reminding yourself of it as you’re going through your day to day at work. And then focusing on opportunities where you can inadvertently put yourself in positions without having to be nominated to lead whether that’s things like committees, or within the peer group that you’re hired with. Or if you have a particular skill in one area that gives you the confidence to go and lead a new project or build a new practice or all of those types of things. I think spending some time on this point is just really important because if you can’t get this one, right and really in your brain firmly as a possibility, it’s going to be really hard to move on from here

Anne Candido 6:54
the I think all very very good points. And if you can wrap your mind around that and even just for this episode, just sit in it for right now. Try it on and just see how it feels. It’s going to help you see then well okay, am April I get it. Okay, I’ve declared I’m a leader, now what? Now? What do I go do? How do I practice it? And that’s where these next steps are going to come in? Yep. So next step of how to lead at any level is you need to have a point of view or POV April. Yeah, so

April Martini 7:24
all leaders are guided by a philosophy, a set of values, a set of principles, they have their beliefs, these are things that they have defined as part of their leadership ability, and also their leadership style, quite frankly. And so what they do is they really demonstrate conviction and consistency within this. So when I just made the comment about putting it clearly in your head, making the declaration, this is kind of that next step from there is what’s important to me, what type of leader am I going to be, and then stating it out there with conviction, but then also being really consistent so that people can start to see you in that role and also see what type of leader you’re going to be in that role. But there are differences between sounding like a broken record that everybody just dismisses versus getting someone’s actual attention. And that believability. So that’s kind of the point of this point, right is to get you there. So the things that get attention, data, examples, test and learn strategies, things that benefit the entire pie, not just your slice. Hopefully this is sounding familiar. This is something we’ve talked a lot about in other episodes, and we speak about how the sum is greater than the parts that are contributing to the whole, right. So thinking about that bigger picture, highly solutions oriented, providing options, providing case studies, these are all things that are levels of thinking connecting the dots, bringing forth a level of sophistication to show a leadership style. The things that on the other hand, get dismissed to the point that I said about sounding like a broken record is sandbagging, throwing darts, alienating aka taking my ball and going home, leaving the sandbox with my total is all of those analogies, black and white scenarios. Unfortunately, folks, and much to my chagrin, we don’t live in a black and white world. So a lot of gray and the more you rise in leadership, the more you’re gonna see the gray, running your personal agenda versus working for that some as we talked about before, or just to complete lack of flexibility and believing that your way is the only way and everyone else can kind of take it or leave it. All of these are dangerous things to go and try if you want to be a leader. And then the final thing I’ll say and then I’ll hand it back over to Anne is as you shift from a doer to a manager, your point of view is also going to have to shift because this is where you have to get highly, highly strategic and start thinking about the business as a whole versus just that piece of a pie that you have traditionally owned. And that will help people to start to shift you in their own minds. And I will say this is one of the trickiest and most nuanced things that you have to do if you’re residing within the same organization and you’re trying to rise in the ranks as well as exert your leadership, you really have to work hard and very diligently here within your own practice so that folks can stop seeing you as a quote unquote, junior member of the team, and can see you in this more mature role and rising through the organization. Because like that hierarchy, I said before that exists, those folks with more experience don’t necessarily go away until they retire, or you know, and so they’re still kind of they have the mindset of when you first came, so you really have to be working at this and help them along. And therefore again, the point of this episode,

Anne Candido 10:47
yeah, and I think this is a really, really good point. Because having a POV is so super critical to being a leader, but a big question we always get, it’s like, okay, I have a POV. Who do I tell it to? How often do I need to tell it, I tell it to a couple people, then I get frustrated, because I don’t feel like it’s being heard, or I feel like it falls on deaf ears, and then I start feeling disappointed, or I feel resentful, or sorry, feeling underappreciated, all of those sorts of things. And so the one thing that I’ve heard that I feel like really helps to really solidify how often you need to express your POV comes from, of course, Adam Grant,

April Martini 11:25
oh, here we go. Yeah, I swear, this is becoming a drinking game, how many times can Anne talk about Adam Grant per day,

Anne Candido 11:31
eventually, he’s going to ask me to be on his podcast. And when that happens, I’m gonna say, See, I told you. So there’s a strategy here, strategy. But his book that I’m still reading Originals, which I absolutely love, and I’ve said this before, it’s a really good one, it really is very good one, he talks about original thought, which is like having a POV, especially a new POV. And what he says and this is what the research says, too, is that we tend to say, our POVs, or original thoughts, 10 times less than what people need to hear him in order for them to be able to internalize them and adopt, that’s 10 times less. So if you’ve expressed your POV, like once or twice, and maybe to this person and that person, you are significantly under estimating the amount of times that people need to hear those POVs. In order for them to adopt them, listen to them, internalize them take action upon them. So before you get frustrated, disappointed, and all those things, think about how you’re expressing your POV, which goes back to the points that April was saying, Are you doing it in a way that is going to get traction? Or are you doing it in a way that’s going to get dismissed? And then how often have you done that? And how consistently? Are you articulating that POV,

April Martini 12:41
so that it actually does get that traction that you’re looking for? Yeah, and I think too, if you think about the other side, and you think about maybe the leaders that were in positions that didn’t belong there, they feel like a moving target. And this is the reason why. So if you can think about it in terms of that. And then the other side of what Anne just said, I think it makes it a little bit easier to understand. Because we are bombarded by so many messages, right. And we’ve talked about this in terms of just any message a brand wants to put out there, people have to see it seven to 10 times, it’s not different within an organization. Because if you think we all have different roles, we have different teams were exposed to people different amounts of time, they may see you once and not see you again for another month. And so you don’t want to be starting over and you know, maybe a month an exaggeration, depending but the idea is that you don’t want to have to come from ground zero every time. So you have to get creative and find ways that people can hear or see or read the consistency with which you portray your message so that it becomes embedded in their expectation of the experience with you.

Anne Candido 13:47
And that goes to another point in Adam Grant’s book Originals.

April Martini 13:54
Right, you’re gonna do it just to make me mad. No, I’m not all joking aside, I mean, I’ve read the majority of his books as well. And he’s really solid, super fantastic. So I joke but I also reinforced this support,

Anne Candido 14:06
which is brings me now to my point, sorry, which is, you can’t evoke change, you can’t make change unless you have power. Yeah. And power is not about position. Again, power is about credibility reputation. So if you want to be the squeaky wheel, if you want people to be able to really listen and internalize what you’re saying, you have to build that reputation that credibility, which again, is not about how high you rise, it’s about how well you are able to substantiate your POVs and that comes with all those things that April mentioned about how do you get your POV listened to and so go back be listen to this point, if you’re struggling with that point of traction, and how do you gain that power? That power comes in being able to solidify a very clear and articulated in consistently reiterated POV? Yep. Okay, but make sure you do backing it up with the things that you need to back it up with the data, the case studies, all of those things that help to substantiate your POV and help people to hear it in a way that has depth and understanding and has all of those things that you need in order to be able to sway people and influence people. Yeah, it’s thought out and almost fact based in certain ways. Well, fact base if it still requires facts, but at least has some level of experience research, something that kind of demonstrates that you’ve thought through it, and it’s just not something that you’re thinking about off the top of your head.

April Martini 15:35
Yeah, like has the meat hasn’t been? I like that. Yeah. How’s the knee with the analogy? There we go. Not what I usually use, but

Anne Candido 15:42
I was gonna say, Well, we went there, okay. As the meat Arby’s used to be where’s the meat Yeah, there you go. It’s no, it’s Arby’s we have the meat. Arby’s, we have the meat or Wendy’s, where’s the beef? I think, Wendy’s, where’s the beef?

April Martini 15:57
All right, we have just totally digressed. Okay, and it’s completely my fault this time.

Anne Candido 16:01
Let’s move on to the next point of how to lead at any level, which is you need to have followers. And this is a very, very important point. Because if you can’t lead if nobody is following, and this is something I learned very early in my career, very ambitious engineer lead, and who wanted to take the world by storm at p&g, and make all kinds of things happen in this world. And when I turned around to see who was following me, there was nobody. And so when I went to my boss, I said, Hey, where’s everybody? And as he said, and I hate to tell you this, but they call you a little Mussolini. And so that was a really big aha moment. For me, it’s like, well, you know, leadership is not about dictating, which is what a lot of people want to believe. And that’s why they want to wait till they get to those higher positions, because they’re like, Well, when I am in a higher position, I’m going to have all these people reporting into me, so therefore they are by default followers, or I can mandate that they follow Me. But that’s not what creates leadership. You guys leadership is created by influencing others to follow you based on something that you’re providing them have value that they also want to be a part of, okay, so this means you need to strategically roll others up, down and across. And there’s a really big art to this, that involves finding ways to build mutually beneficial relationships, because we are all human. And we need other humans who achieve our goals, dreams and objectives that’s in life and as in business. So therefore, you need to enroll others. And you need to do this by like, what I just said is you need to find a mutually beneficial value that they can get on board with anything else, you’re forcing them, or you’re kind of controlling them, or they’re doing it as a favor or you know, something that no, they’re not totally invested in. So you need to really work to find that mutually beneficial value that’s going to work. Now, there’s ways of being able to do this. So here’s a couple of suggestions for how do you enroll others up, down and across. First, if you’re going to enroll others that are above you the big thing that bosses or management or leadership, like because they’d like to look good. So if you can find a way to help them look good, that usually gets some traction, if you can demonstrate that this is going to make more money for them or the business or it’s going to grow the business that usually gets you traction. If you’re going sideways sideways is about the pie piece that April mentioned, this is we’re all in this together, this is going to benefit us all. This is where the pie is worth more than each of the individual pieces. And you can have share reward, shared incentive. This is also where you can negotiate a quid pro quo. Hey, if you help me with this, I’ll help you with what’s important to you. Right? So it’s different than saying, Hey, can you do this for me? Can you do this for me with no expectation of reciprocity? Reciprocity is the name of this business down if you’re trying to influence down, that’s all about people underneath you kind of figured, like speaking, not literally speaking, wanting to build reputation, credibility and visibility, right, they want to rise up, they want to be where you are, they want to have that exposure, help them get those elements within the context of what your POV is, and you can have gonna be able to generate followers from that April What do you have to say about this? Yeah, I

April Martini 19:12
just want to reiterate that this can be really hard. I mean, Anne and I are from similar cloth, although our backgrounds are very different. And I remember being told that I was a hard charger, which was on one side really great. And on the other side, when it came to being patient for people to keep up and catch up. I was not doing such a great job. And luckily, that feedback was given to me at a point in my career before I had a team because I think it really benefited the way in which I thought about leadership moving forward versus managing other people leading other people is a very, very different thing. I also think that this is another one to sit in, internalize because I think we don’t always think about leadership through all of these different lenses that an outlet One needs. And it’s usually that we based on the experiences we’ve had, we might do one, or you might be aware of another one. But we don’t think about the way in which we have to be in the driver’s seat and really managing against these. And so I think you have to take a step back and look at the people that you’re surrounded with every day. And then identify the ones that are going to be most important to your goals or your leadership rise, or whatever you want to call it. And then really work to make them your allies through this kind of roadmap that and outlined, and I really do think about it as a roadmap because I think it’s something again, we’ve said the word declare a few times during this episode, you have to identify those people. And then you have to create a plan to how you’re going to get there. And last thing I will say is, for me, one of the hardest things to do was to rally around folks that I didn’t necessarily personally see value in or who thought about things differently than I did. And so you’ve got to spend time getting to know people, first of all, giving them the benefit of the doubt, even though their way of doing things or their role in the organization may not be one that you want, but find a way to identify with them and connect with them. And that will really help you get them in your corner. I mean, I just I can think of so many situations coming up where I resisted people just because I felt like we weren’t aligned, when if I had just worked to find commonalities, my path would have been a whole lot easier. So just kind of a side note or a sub point to this whole conversation.

Anne Candido 21:45
Yeah. And I think you bring up a really good point about the dissenters. And what do you do about the dissenters? Because we get that question a lot, too. And I think you’re not going to win everybody over. Yep, not everybody is going to be on your side. Not everybody’s going to agree with your point of view. But you don’t want them to be a distraction or a negative and pull people away either. So probably your best case scenario, obviously is to win over but your minimum what you’re trying to achieve. It’s just a neutralize the ascension. Yep. Right. And, you know, that’s the Agree to disagree kind of point. But hey, can we at least get in the boat and row together? Can you at least you know, not negatively, like, detract from what I’m trying to do it even if you don’t totally believe in it? Or is there a way that we can compromise on the way that we’re going to approach this and respect each other’s positions, but you know, not be argumentative or not be combative about it, as well. So you have to have those conversations. And it can be really hard to have, because sometimes we’re just like, well, so and so so so those are my insights, okay, these three are not, and that is okay, as long as you’ve had that discussion with those three. So because sometimes all’s I want to do is just be heard, right? And so and they want to be considered, and so they may have some really legitimate feedback for you that you should be listening to. So don’t ignore the dissenters, it can be disastrous for leadership, and disastrous for trying to get your POV. Across

April Martini 23:07
well, and sometimes it may not even have anything to do with you specifically, like I remember one time, the crux of it was an issue between this person and someone else, and they just viewed me as citing, quote, unquote, with the other person. Yeah, because we got along better, and we’re philosophically better aligned, it really didn’t have anything to do with me. And once I realized, like, oh, it’s not even about me, it made it a lot easier to go and forge a relationship that was more meaningful, when I could take my emotions are my, you know, I don’t need that person. So I’m just going to keep moving along, when first of all, I kept running up against them. But then second of all, it was diagnosing the problem at an objective level, and then digging in to be like, Why does this keep happening to see that it was about someone else? And in different situations that were long before me, not really about me personally.

Anne Candido 23:56
Yeah, people bring in baggage, lots of baggage to these things that may have nothing to do with you. So understand that too. Good point. All right. Our fourth point for how to lead at any level is to test and learn your leadership practice. Shocking. I know, April.

April Martini 24:12
Yeah. So we love testing and learning. You hear it from us all the time, leadership is the same, it isn’t something you achieve, and then you just kind of clap your hands together, and you’re like, Oh, I’m done. I get to coast rest of my career. I’m just gonna sit in this and I get to lead. That is the mindset of being a leader that we’ve talked about before, and also have just too much changes day to day that you’re going to have to accommodate. So what changes well, you have new situations, there’s new data back to the point of the facts, new environments, new people, which means you’re constantly going to have to be flexing your leadership style, in order to accommodate and this is really where that testing and learning comes in. Because not all of the things that you have established at any point in time are Going to work based on the next thing that comes onto your plate or into your purview or onto your team or you know, whatever the case might be the only consistent thing about the world I’m getting really philosophical, or the business world is that there’s constant change, right. And so in order to stay relevant, you have to stay on top of the constant change and continue to lean into the authenticity by which you have built your leadership style, but be flexible enough and don’t fall into that pitfall of not being flexible, that you can shift as things shift around you and in a meaningful way. So okay, so we said in the beginning that we were going to talk about some of the pitfalls that are really intrinsically tied to women in leadership. And these are things that we wish someone would have told us. So the first one is that you can’t be wrong or change your mind, it actually takes a lot of vulnerability to do this. Now, vulnerability can be something that women over indexing and do not appropriately manage. So hear me when I say that. But we do not believe that this is one of those cases, because sticking to your guns, when you’re wrong, we’ll just ruin your reputation, quite frankly, it will undo all the good that you have done. And this is one of the points of flexibility. There are plenty of ways to do this, that do not seem wishy washy. And really the thing we will say here is don’t let this lead into an inability to make a decision on the other side, just to avoid being wrong, share the risk, right. So you can say things like, normally, I would say we should do X. And you’ve probably heard that from me before. However, in this situation, and given this new dataset, this new person, this new client personality, some trend that’s happening in the business, something that competitors did ground it in something, bring it forth and say in this instance, I think we need to instead go and do this. And typically, I think you’ll get a lot of points for this because it shows your teams that they can also not have to be right all the time, it makes them less resistant to telling you when things go wrong. And it shows them that you’re not perfect either. And so perfection is not what we’re striving for. It’s not achievable, first of all, but this is a place where you can stand in your power and say this, you know, in this instance, I think we need to change course, or do it differently than we would have done before. The second thing that women fall into is a pitfall is refusing to self promote, and believing that the work is going to stand for itself. I’m here to tell you right now, the work does not stand for itself. Right? It just does not. You don’t have to be constantly out there saying i i did this, I did that I did this thing. You know, all of it is mine. No one else helped. You know, on an island, I did all the work, okay. I’m like being really facetious here, right. But you know, I actually just had a coaching call yesterday with someone that said, again, a female, I have a really hard time doing this. And it’s because I’m motivated by the team, I don’t want to be perceived to be selfish. And we run into this all the time with speaking engagements coaching clients, there is an appropriate way to give your team credit, but also be very, very clear on what impact you had as a result of the situation within the team. So if you think about the sum is greater than each of the individual parts, what did your part play? And especially if you’re a leader of a team, how did you lead that team to get the outcomes that you got to while acknowledging all the folks around you, and then the third one, and then we’re gonna let and do some because I’m talking an awful lot here. Do not take feedback personally, unless it’s actually personal. As women, we make things personal, we make the work personal, we see it as a reflection of our worth, as human beings, yes, not as a reflection of the job that we are supposed to be doing separate of our from our worth, as human beings, right. And on one side, this means you’ve got to be able to hear feedback. It’s also one of those reasons, unfortunately, that women don’t help other women rise, they believe that there can only be one and we’ve talked before about alpha female syndrome and the belief that you have to trudge the path that I did in order to get here, there can only be one of me, there’s a scarcity, mindset, all of these types of things. And it all comes down to this idea of taking feedback personally. The quicker that you can separate who you are and what you are worth as a human outside of your job versus the job that you are required to do and get to that objective space, the better and I’ve given this example, I’m gonna give it again. And and I have this approach now because we have so much work on our plate all the time, that we no longer qualify feedback. It’s just feedback about the work and it goes in and We have aligned that any feedback is meant to make the work better and to bring each of our unique perspectives agency versus corporate to the work that we are doing, as well as the things that we are uniquely good at and where we need feedback from each other. Another team member gotten one of the documents and saw the way that he and I communicate back and forth with each other and was like, Oh, I’m not sure I could do that every day. And I went back and read and I chuckled, because I could totally see how he saw that, right. But when I thought about it, I thought, well, that’s because we’ve gotten to this point where we don’t take any of it personally, because we know that all we’re trying to do is get to the best work as fast as possible. And it’s really the only way for us to survive as the only two owners of the business, we have to get the work done on behalf of our clients and do it really well. And that’s the only way we can get there. So just an anecdote about not taking things too, personally.

Anne Candido 30:52
Yep, I like that. And so I’ll pick up from here, too. So the next one is let empathy erode your reputation. Oh, yes. So women, unless you’re me, can tend to over index in this characteristic, I happen not to be an overly empathetic person. So I can lean a little bit more the other way. But in general, we tend to feel emotionally connected to the people that we are in work with. And we feel for them when they have problems, trials, tribulations. And if that gets in the way of the work, we tend to excuse some of their behavior because we feel bad for them. Oh, I’m sorry. Johnny was really, really sick last night. So I didn’t get to that presentation that I promised I was going to have to you by first thing this morning. Oh, well, okay, I get it. I mean, a poor Johnny, how’s Johnny doing is Johnny. Okay. You can definitely ask how Johnny is doing, but it is not okay, that the presentation is not delivered on time. All right, that is a hard. No, sorry, that is not okay. That does have consequences. I’m not saying that you’re going to instill the consequences. But there definitely has to be discussion about what was the consequences, what was the repercussions of that, and then you need to appropriately plan and you need to be able to have that expectation next time that those things could come up, and then actually maybe adjust a timeline or compensate for those kinds of behaviors. But the the biggest thing here is that if you start doing that, but people are gonna start realizing that your timelines, your goals, your objectives are kind of wishy washy, right. So if you don’t want to impact credibility and reputation, you have to stand more firm, right? So you can’t let everything that’s going on around you be some excuse for why things are not getting done. The next one is we don’t leverage relationships. And this is one that’s it sounds a little bit weird, but it is, in fact, if you kind of observe it a bit true. And this is because women tend to be more relational in nature. So when we go out into the business world, just like we would in our personal world, we’re about making friends, we want to make friends we want to be liked, right? We want to have people to go out to lunch with we want to have people to go with work with women, these become people that we are together with for a very, very long time. And so of course, they become like our work family. That is fantastic. If you want to make friends, we’re not saying you shouldn’t make friends. But when friends get in the way of being able to leverage the relationships for the benefit of you in the business, that becomes a problem. And that doesn’t mean taking advantage of people. But if you think about like your men colleagues, but you see the way that they operate amongst each other, they are always doing a quid pro quo, like we talked about there are always say, Hey, dude, help me out here. And, and I’ll help you out here. I mean, that is just a common way that things have actually work in the male dominated environment. And sometimes as women, we sit back and we watch it, we call it the boys’ club, or I call it like, you know, we see it there. Like all those guys are just out for themselves. Oh, of course, they’re out for themselves out there for I mean, we all love our businesses, we all of our companies, but at the end of the day, it’s about us. All right. So you have to own that. And you have to be able to use that as an opportunity to create some value exchange for people, again, not to take advantage of people or run your own agenda or just to kind of use them and then lose them, but in a way that actually builds mutual value, right. So find those ways I can help you do that. The last point I’ll make here is that when we all think about our personal brand, we kind of think about things that we feel like our characteristics are naturally suited for and things that they’re not naturally suited for. I would say, and I think everyone would agree with me to go back and actually look at your personal brand and become very aware of what characteristics are going to be working for you and what character seems to be working against you. We all have these and some levels, right? Some of these were like, Nope, I got this. Somebody’s like, Ooh, yeah, that kind of like, that hits me. And what happens is, then if they become a monster that we have in our head, they reflect on how we show up to others. And that impacts the way that we’re able to then pursue our leadership styles or pursue our leadership mission and goals there. So go back and reflect upon your personal brand that will help you to get a sense of where you raid on knees. Or if there’s others that might be there that we didn’t even mention, these are only a few that we’ve seen that are consistent, that may be plaguing you from being able to show up as the leader you want to show up to be. Yeah,

April Martini 35:16
I think the one thing that I just want to go back to for a minute is the leveraging relationships piece, because this has been something that I have always struggled with. And for me, it comes to life more in bringing all my people together from different facets of my life. And so on one hand, I always do a fairly good job, I would say, of bringing along a handful of folks from every job, every phase of life, all of those different types of things. But when it came to forthright people, and specifically forthright women and bringing together a lot of like minded folks, my network was primed for that. However, it was really nerve wracking for me to bring them together and introduce them to each other. And I just had these like really irrational thoughts of what if they don’t like each other? What if they don’t get along with each other? And then do I have to pick sides and all that, like these crazy thoughts went through my head, when in reality, what happened is, because we’re all like-minded women, guess what, we actually got along great, and the relationships have really thrived. And people were able to have very real conversations with each other in very short order. Now, some of that is the structure and and I built around forthright women. And I don’t want to say it’s not the work that we did. But I just use that as an example to say we all have some, in my case, neuroses around some of these different things. And I think that’s just one where you have to start thinking about it as making the relationships richer or stronger, or introducing people to other people that will make their lives richer or stronger, instead of worrying about what is going to happen when you put them in the room together. Yeah, I

Anne Candido 36:59
think that’s a really, really good point. And I will broaden that to the context as I think this is the one that becomes a really big sticking point for people is that mean, you wouldn’t give away your products for free, right? Right. Even though you put so much love and you put so much effort into doing those, you’re not going to be like, Hey, have everything that we made for free, right that you expect some value, reciprocity, and the value in that case is for them to buy it. And so it’s kind of the similar thing with relationships, it doesn’t have to be a dirty thing, it doesn’t have to be a sleazy thing. But if you’re trying to create value, and that’s where it’s coming from, and what your motivations are, are founded in something that is going to be beneficial for yourself and other folks, people are probably going to want to participate in that that becomes something that people then share, and it drives community. So don’t be afraid of wanting to ask people for things in order to move a point of view forward, because it could be beneficial to everybody. So but it doesn’t really, really good point. All right, in our final segment where we highlight companies or brands may or may not be using their marketing smarts, and may or may not have anything to do with this today’s episode. Well, maybe

April Martini 38:17
always a challenge. Yeah,

Anne Candido 38:18
we’ll see how I weave this one. Alright, so who I’m going to talk about today is Prezi.

April Martini 38:24
Oh, interesting. Yeah, very recent experience,

Anne Candido 38:27
very recent experience. And the jury’s still out, because we haven’t formally used it yet in an execution. But I’ve been playing with it now for the last several weeks. And Prezi is a presentation platform, it allows you to create different kinds of presentation, it has a lot of ways of making your presentations more dynamic to make them more interesting. But it’s also a platform now that you can use on Zoom or any of the other virtual meeting platforms to make your presentations more engaging. And one of the biggest features is you can have your presentation next to you as you’re speaking. So it’s not on a different like space. And it’s not like you’re not allowing a little like window up above or something like You’re like right next to your presentation or the presentation is actually integrated over you, which is another interesting feature. But what I think this does so well. And when I felt like the insight that’s so brilliant about this is as we’re talking about all the ways that hybrid work environments and virtual work environments, have changed the way that we do business and the way that we foster things like creativity and brainstorming. We sometimes get stuck in the way that it kind of shows up in this virtual platform and the idea of having your deck in one place in you and the other kind of is disjointed even though a lot of times that’s what happens in a meeting room anyway. But what this thing does so brilliantly on the inside they brought in was that when you put yourself next to your presentation, people can see in Winston Upshot, the emotion behind you presenting those slides. So they don’t lose the voice inflections, they don’t lose the body language and, and the eye contact and all of those things that are very important when you’re presenting in order to keep people engaged, and the dynamicism of the presentation of the deck, it starts to kind of feel a little bit more like it would in a natural, like personal environment. So I feel like they’ve done that very, very well, we’re going to try it out in our program that’s coming up here and seeing how it works with folks that also has some really nice features for your notes, and all those sorts of things. And but I’m not going to get into all of that. But what I wanted to just say is that you’re harnessing that insight of being able to make it more like more connected to you. And being able to make it feel like it’s more integrated, like it is in person is a brilliant marketing insight that I think these guys are brought to the table. And I think because of that they are leading the industry. Hahaha, see, I did it in terms of that. But that all being said, you have to use the platform I’ve tried, that person was in the Zoom add-on isn’t working very well, you can import your slides. But in the actual platform itself, you can import your slides, and then you can transfer it over to a zoom call or whatever meetings or teams or whatever you’re in.

April Martini 41:22
Yeah, I think it is a really good one and less and for doing the legwork on these types of things because I have no patience for them. But I do feel like so much since Zoom was invented, like on one side, people are like, I can’t believe that it’s only been what, two three years since zoom came to be. But on the complaint side, it’s always I just feel like I’m a tiny box on the screen, not a human being. And my first reaction when you opened up prezi to show me was holy cow, you can actually be yourself more. And so I feel like it will allow us to automatically be more of a three dimensional person. As weird as that sounds to our clients. Many of you are virtual and we won’t see them in person because they’re far away and whatever. So I wholeheartedly agree, and I think it looks nice, it doesn’t look contrived and weird. Yeah, it feels like the most natural version I’ve seen yet. So I

Anne Candido 42:18
would agree. All right. Awesome. Alright, so just to recap how to lead at any level, you need to believe you are a leader. Leadership is a practice not a position. You need to have a POV leaders are guided by philosophy, values, principles, beliefs that they have defined. They demonstrate conviction and consistency in these. Number three, you need to have followers you can’t be a leader if nobody is following strategically enroll others up, down and across. And finally test learn your leadership practice. Leadership isn’t something you achieve and then you get to coast that is the position mindset. Too much changes every day. There’s new data and new situations new environments, new people, which means you will need to flex your leadership style to accommodate and particularly watch for the pitfalls, and what that will say go and exercise your Marketing smarts!

April Martini 43:02
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