At three years old we are sent to school, to learn and grow into adolescents. At college we take on the subjects we think will prepare us for adulthood. We undertake a degree to start our dream careers, eager to climb the corporate ladder.
But somewhere between climbing that ladder and our hectic adult lives we stop enriching out brains and learning. We stop going to evening classes or reading self-help books to better ourselves.
Which, in some ways, leads us onto how, 15 years ago, we came to start the International Marketing Leaders Program (together with Brand Learning), with the aim to coach senior marketers on making the next step in their career.
So ahead of IMLP's 15-year reunion party, we caught up with some of our alumni - as they reminisced over career-defining moments and how far they've come since being on the programme.
Annabel Venner, Global Brand Director at Hiscox and CMO at DirectAsia
What makes an outstanding leader?
'I believe that you need to be passionate about doing/creating something and need to engage and inspire people around you with your vision. This leadership element needs to go hand in hand with the more technical side of the marketing role which needs to be centred around the consumer.'
'At least half a dozen people from my course and it has been fantastic seeing them have success in their careers.'
Jon Walbancke, Marketing Director at Unilever
When you work in marketing your role is to simply create value. Create better value for your consumers by creating outstanding experiences to drive sustainable growth.
- Speak the language of the board – as a leader you need to be able to enthuse, inspire and get people to change. To do this you need to speak the language of business.
- Be personally aware. Know how your feeling, where your energy levels are, what mood you’re in. Your shadow grows as you move up through an organisation, and the best leaders are those that take control of these energies to drive a conscious outward projection.
Raj Kumar, Global Director at Aviva
Francesca Davies, Marketing Director UK/IR at Weetabix
Tim Clarke, Group Marketing, Innovation & Sustainability Director at innocent drinks
Fiona West, Vice President Global Brands Director at Brown-Forman