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Liv Garfield: smart AF leadership

The first Marketing Society Brave Leadership Lunch of the new decade was held on a drizzly, grey lunchtime on a Wednesday. The humpiest of days, in the middle of January. It needed to be good to break those kinds of doldrums.

Thankfully it wasn’t just good. It was great.

Hosted at the excellent Century Club on Shaftsbury Avenue, the pre-talk conversation was as interesting and varied as ever. Climate change. Advertising’s conscience. Marketing for Good. Just a few of the subjects that were discussed in the moments before Liv Garfield, CEO of Severn Trent, joined Gemma Greaves on the stage.

What was well over an hour of excellent insight, stories, advice and passion, flew by.

Inspiring. Warm. Driven. Genial. Smart A.F. LEADERSHIP.

Just a few of the words that I hastily wrote down whilst trying to also ensure I was absorbing what she had to say. And she said lots. Fast.

Having access to the youngest ever female CEO of a FTSE 100 Company is the kind of thing you can come to expect from The Marketing Society. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a treat, but that’s their game, it’s what they do and do well. But hearing her share stories from her life, the challenges she’s faced and how her values guide her, felt like a privilege.

The premise of the Marketing Society Brave Leadership sessions is that what is said in the room, stays in the room. However, hopefully Liv wouldn’t mind a few key things that were shared there going just that bit further though:

  • Get to know what makes people tick. If you know them and their values, you’re off to a great start.
  • Marketing is about behavioural change, and more now than ever is that important. Marketers can be the company conscience. Be that.
  • Get your balance right and have some perspective. Is it REALLY a ‘shocker’ or is it more like an inconvenience?

With so much advice shared, in such a collegiate way, I was left thinking about one thing Liv said, that I’ll leave you with as it felt so clear:

"LEADERSHIP IS REALLY IMPRESSIVE, WORK DONE EFFECTIVELY AND OPENLY. THAT’S LEADERSHIP."

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