Being at home in your leadership style

We recently reached the final session in this year’s International Marketing Leaders Programme, (2012), the leadership development scheme for high potential young marketers which the Marketing Society runs in association with Brand Learning. Following on nearly 6 months after the initial kick-off, it was great to see so much impressive learning shared and so many of the delegates having already advanced to more senior roles.

There was plenty of progress too for people on the more personal front, with the announcement of one engagement, two ex pat moves and several new babies. It was this aspect which provided an interesting insight into one of the key challenges of being a successful marketing leader – how to succeed at work whilst also maintaining the right focus and energy for one’s home life.

At the heart of being a great marketing leader is a need to get in touch with what you believe in and care about so that you bring passion and drive to the work you do. The best marketing leaders bring their whole selves to work and throw themselves into the exciting challenge of driving growth by getting closer to customers, building stronger brands and creating more customer-focused organisations.

There is an important need to build big relationships with one’s own team and with key stakeholders across the broader organisation. A central role of any leader is to maintain their own energy and the energy of those around them. This can be draining at the best of times and requires enormous resilience when things are tough.

The risk behind all of this is that the relentless drive for commercial and professional success at work can easily take its toll back at home. As the working days get longer and more intense, time with the family can become squeezed and less relaxed. For those in global roles, regular international travel exacerbates the problem further.

As we seek to improve our impact and performance at work, it’s important to consider on what terms this will be done. Our plans for personal development must take into account our whole person, not just our work selves. Think about how you want to show up when you’re at home as well as at the office. Reflect on what it will take to strengthen your relationships with friends and family at the same time as you seek to build them at work.

By consciously managing the balance between our work and home lives in this way, there is more of a chance we’ll have happy lives as well as professionally successful ones. And the support and energy that only comes from being close to what, and who, one really cares about will provide powerful fuel for the journey.

Originally posted on the Marketing Society blog.

For more information about how Brand Learning can help you lift your organisation’s customer-centred leadership capabilities, please get in touch or contact me directly @AndyBird_BL. You may also like these films, perspectives and resources on Customer-Centred Leadership.

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