What Great Leaders Have in Common - and How That Helps Your Marketing

I read a great article in the NY TimesSunday Business section last week entitled, "Distilling the Wisdom of  CEOs."  As I read it, I realized that the five characteristics that were identified by the author as being traits of the best and most successful leaders are also the traits that support successful marketing.  It dawned on me rather quickly that the best leaders are (of course!) the best marketers and advocates for their organizations too. As CPAs, these are traits that you can develop yourself, which will help you be more effective and inspirational for your staff and clients but which will also position you as a successful champion for your firm. Here are the fice traits:

1. Passionate curiosity - which consists of relentless questioning, a sensitivity to everyone around you, an interest in learning from everyone

2.  Battle hardened confidence - which results from overcoming adversity and learning from failure so as to continue to overcome obstacles and go on to be even more successful

3. Team smarts - which means having the ability to work well as a part of a team.  Your firm, and most especially your marketing, is a team effort and the more effective you are at leading teams and being a part of a team approach, the more effective the firm's branding  will be over all

4. A simple mind set - which refers to being able to share your ideas succinctly and easily - and gaining support for them because others have a clear understanding of what you are trying to accomplish.  In marketing language, this means honing the way you describe your firm's unique attributes while focusing on clearly demonstrating the value you deliver to clients

5. Fearlessness - this last trait of highly successful CEOs and marketers means that you have the ability to grow comfortable with the uncomfortable. You are willing to take calculated risks - adjusting to the seemingly endless turmoil of the real world, and  seeing new opportunities in a world that is never going to be status quo again!

These are amazing traits to cultivate in yourself, but you should remember as you are developing your personal leadership skills that being a great leader and inspiration to others will benefit your firm and will have a definite, positive impact on the firm's marketing successes as well.. 

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Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, will lead a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.

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