Get in the Weeds! 🌿

Get in the Weeds! 🌿

This past week I was at a conference where I listened to a panel of CMOs speak about the changes in marketing technologies and where leaders need to spend their time. I heard two speakers share two different points of view. The first stated that she can’t get that granular into new technologies, as she needed to focus on bigger corporate issues, and the second stated that she does get into the weeds as it is essential for her to stay ahead and learn.

As a recruiter who hires VP-C-suite leaders across multiple disciplines, I see it all, and I speak to many. I know what CEOs are looking for in their leadership, and I know how the world has shifted. Here’s my message: If you want to stay relevant, GET IN THE WEEDS!

There is no better way to become replacable in today’s fast-changing world than to leave the learning to your team members. Our firm works with private equity, venture-backed, and public companies, and every CEO we are working with today wants to hire leadership that is “hands-on.” Long gone are the days where you can focus only on building a strategy and hiring great teams. Strategies cannot be shaped without understanding your customer, and consumer behavior is shifting at a faster pace than it ever has. It is critical leaders spend time deep in the places where their customers are, and they are taking the time to learn about the technologies that allow them to efficiently and effectively meet the customer where they want to be. We are operating in a world that is moving faster than we can keep up with, and not having an in-depth understanding—not just a high-level understanding—of the technologies that are propelling the shifts can leave your company, and your career, behind your competition.

As I listened to the more hands-off CMO discuss her leadership style, how she hired great managers, how she thought about her role and her team’s, and the trust she had given her leaders, all I kept thinking about was how irrelevant she can become in the years ahead. Listening to the CMO who talked about how challenging, yet necessary, it was for her to personally learn new technologies, and how this is a priority for both herself and her team members, made it clear to me that she was going to be the more sought after marketer by CEOs.

Technology has changed the world of leadership. It is no longer possible to focus only on strategy, hiring, and leading. Today’s leader is stretched more than ever but to continue growing your career, you must stay relevant, and must be in the weeds.