Four practical tips from four brave people – Inspired by a panel discussion during Marketing Society webinar Brave Moments Matter, with Syl Saller (CMO of Diageo and President of The Marketing Society), David Erixon (CMO of Bό), Jane Bloomfield (CGO of Kantar UK&I) and Thomas Barta (world leading expert in marketing leadership).
Written by Nina Rahmatallah, Chief Client Officer of Kantar UK, on behalf of Kantar and The Marketing Society.
Have you ever hosted an inspirational panel online before? No? Neither had I until I found my brave and did just that. We never intended our ‘Brave Moments Matter’ event to land at a time when bravery was needed more than ever. But it just so happened that Tuesday 24th March would see us on what can only be described as ‘lockdown’ and trying all sorts of new things, including launching a powerful piece of thought leadership and holding a discussion on its implications with four very inspirational people and an audience of exactly 100 marketing leaders.
So, what did I learn apart from that virtual panels can work… oh and to road test the tech with everyone at least a week before? I would say there were four things that struck me personally and professionally, both in the here and now of this strange time we find ourselves in*, and for the longer term, when things return to their so-called ‘new normal’:
To be brave is to be your authentic self – and to be your authentic self you need to really know yourself. Know when you are at your best, and what triggers you at your worst. Being your authentic self in a brave context means leading with your heart. Showing compassion. And in turn engendering trust with others.
Focus on the front line – when it comes to inspiring bravery in others, and in turn being inspired yourself, go to the people who live in the real world with your customers day in day out. The next generation of talent. Not only do they have fresh perspectives, but they are not hampered by the ‘what if’s’ that get in the way of bravery – the self-limiting beliefs that can creep in with time. Ask yourself every day “what can you do to build their courage?”
Manage risk by being truly customer centric – Being brave does not mean being stupid. It means knowing what risks to take and what risks not to take. You can do this by getting really close to your customers and, especially right now, your people. By deeply understanding them and what they want and need. Not just once, but regularly. Keeping pace with consumers and employees changing needs has never been more important than now.
Bravery that doesn’t work is just that. Nothing more nothing less. Take it as a learning. Shrug it off. Talk it through with a friend if it helps you process faster. Learn from it. And carry on.
*For practical tips on managing in this COVID-19 crisis see Kantar’s checklist for brands and other materials here: https://www.kantar.com/Inspiration/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Checklist-for-brands
Podcast and video
You can also listen to this session as a podcast via soundcloud, iTunes, Spotify, Google podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Or watch the video of the session below.