I traveled far and wide and low and high to find the greatest marketing executive to ever walk the earth. No, I won't tell you the person's name. No, I won't tell you their age or gender, either. That's irrelevant. I'm not handing out awards here so their actual identity is less important than the way they are able to inspire amazing marketing thinking. Though it's unlikely you will ever meet this person face to face, allow me to share the knowledge the "almighty one" taught me.
This person leads with the end game in their heart.
They understand the greater vision and effectively communicate this to the organization they support. They despise jargon and trends that promise to "disrupt" but haven't been battle-tested. They always reward loyalty over showmanship.
This person embodies leadership, not simply management.
They demand autonomy from their governing bodies to do what they believe is best to hit the goals set forth. This was clear when this leader took the reins. In exchange, this person is uber-accountable, loyal to the system that feeds them, and embodies the brand they represent in all facets of their life. They don't just drink the Kool-Aid of the brand mantra; they bathe in it. This dedication inspires their entire team.
This person is incredibly curious.
I'm not simply talking about learning about the tricks of the trade; this great exec demonstrates a profound interest in the motivations, desires, and drivers of the brand ecosystem. What inspires passion amongst team members tasked with selling the brand's story? What makes consumers passionate about embracing a brand's story? This person isn't about the small ball of trendy marketing fads; they spend their oxygen on the perpetual search for "why" things are the way they are. They genuinely care to understand, and it shows.
This person doesn't sweat the small stuff.
They don't have time to and therefore command their team of generals to operate ambitiously and responsibly. This is one of the core reasons you will probably never meet this person; they delegate the greatness to others. It's no surprise that talent flocks to this person.
And, finally, this person does it all with style and grace.
Results come in all shapes and sizes. Revenue, profit, growth rate--of course. But strong relationships, social good, and loyalty pay enormous dividends that don't fade quarter over quarter. These are the roots of lasting organizations who maintain the "it" factor.
So, there you have it. The greatest marketing executive you'll never meet. But if you did, you wouldn't know it anyway -- that's not their style.