November Program Recap: Leading with a Purpose

November SMPS Program – Leading with a Purpose

It was a packed house for November’s SMPS Program – Leading with a Purpose. The event was a pleasant respite from the chilly rain outside and began with a warm welcome from Kelley Simons, SMPS Triangle President Elect. After a recap of the event sponsors, Kelley introduced speaker Heather Davis, PHR, SHRM-CP who serves as Director of KGO’s Change Management + Employee Experience. Heather quickly established a rapport with the blended audience of marketers, business developers, and industry professionals, beginning her presentation with an admission that she was a “recovering marketer” from the A/E/C industry. She emphasized she “has walked in our shoes” and through her experience as a marketer and now a HR professional, she “loves helping this community have better experiences in the workplace”.

Importance of Marketing Team Culture

Heather began the presentation by sharing the importance of distinguishing a company’s culture vs. marketing team culture. She stressed that marketing teams are a steward of brand objectives and a resource to the entire company, therefore, regardless of someone’s role in the marketing team, they should be empowered with opportunities to strengthen their contributions to the group.

Marketing managers can help facilitate team culture by defining common ground and aligning team efforts in support of mutual goals. Examples of this include establishing shared beliefs, clearly identifying everyone’s role in the group, and celebrating each person’s unique value within the team. Heather recommends a team retreat as an effective way to kickstart team building and/or maintain a cohesive team culture.

Strengthening Your Team in Eight Steps

Successful team retreats focus on improving “processes and interactions within and between teams”. Heather offered a list of common targets to achieve this, including: “develop a team identity, identify and resolve obstacles, redefine processes and relationships, and identify ways to collaborate over distances”. Her recommendations for how marketing managers can facilitate a productive experience during a team retreat include these eight steps:

  1. Access your team culture and do a SWOT
  2. Conduct a values exercise on yourself
  3. Define your leadership style and philosophy
  4. Understand how this shapes and impacts your team culture
  5. Determine what you want to achieve in your retreats
  6. Leverage team members involved to co-lead with you
  7. Plan your programming, exercises, and activities
  8. Include outcomes in future planning

A successful team retreat helps establish “rules of engagement” for team interaction and a better understanding of individual communication styles. When you better understand what motivates and drives each person on the team, you can better lead your team.

Management vs. Leadership

Heather rounded out her presentation with thoughts on how being an effective leader includes understanding how to “lead” rather than “manage” employees. She defined management as “controlling a group or a set of entities to accomplish a goal” while leadership “refers to an individual’s ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward organizational success”. She emphasized leadership is a critical part of employee growth, employee satisfaction, and employee retention and is instrumental for supporting a strong marketing team culture.

Thank you, Heather, for a very informative and engaging session!

Blog Post Written by Taylor Hube, CPSM | Associate | Marketing & Communications Department Manager | SEPI Engineering & Construction

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