e-LeaderLounge: How Would You Address the Grad Class of 2015?

Grad season is upon us [cue Pomp and Circumstance].  Diplomas will soon be traded in for resumes and white papers, and classroom schedules will be traded in for the rigours of 9-5. We asked the leaders participating in our e-LeaderLounge™ how, if given the chance, they would address and inspire the graduates of this year’s 2015 class…. If you were going to address the 2015 graduating class at (insert university of choice) what would be the theme of your talk? “Everything you do or don’t do, say or don’t say has an impact.  The impact that you will have in your career and life is too important to be a reflection, it has to be an intentional act of the will.  What is the mark you want to leave on this world? What do you want people to say about you long after you leave them? Make decisions and take actions based on the impact you want to have.  Not saying or doing anything can often have the same impact as what you do or say. You will have an impact, make sure it is the one you want!” – Sue Wigston, COO at Eagle’s Flight. “I’ve narrowed it to two themes. 1) When challenges arise, and they will, always strive for an optimistic stance.  Your mental attitude itself will bring inner strength and self-confidence. You’ll surprise yourself with the challenges you are able to tackle when your attitude is solution-focused. 2) Manage your ego.  Nothing will bring a project (or an organization) to it’s knees like an unbridled ego.  Keep close watch and manage accordingly.  Saying that, sometimes you will need to put your ego to work for you in full force!” — Ryan Hanawalt, President at Domain 7. “Push Away from Shore.  There are so many...

LEADERLOUNGE™: Smart Savvy’s New Workshop Series

So your schedule looks a little something like the Prime Minister’s: rise far earlier than the sun will ever, stress over trying to run an entire country (or, at least, your organization and all teams/contractors/individuals involved), and go to bed, again, far after the sun does. (In fact, when was the last time you even saw the sun, aside from in a car or skytrain during the commute?) That means that book of “must reads” that Oprah or Bill Gates spouted as being the best of the best has been sitting on your side-table as more of a lampshade than anything. Well, let us do the heavy lifting for you. Smart Savvy introduces the LEADERLOUNGE™ series. Think of it as an MBA over the course of 2 hours. Smart Savvy’s monthly workshop series launching this May will be comprised of two series: One stream is based on those must-read books you’ve never quite gotten around to, while the other stream is led by well-respected, A-playing leaders on the “how-to’s” of exceptional leadership. If you’ve ever attended a Smart Savvy event before, you know we do them up right! Check out the LEADERLOUNGE website for more information or read on. The Quick Facts Who should attend? Leaders (and aspiring leaders) who want to stay current, well-read and uber-connected #StandApart professionals looking to excel at influencing, presenting, negotiating, building trust and growing strong teams Where: Vancouver sessions are held at The Landing in Gastown’s ‘Million Dollar View’ Room. When: Last Wednesday of every month Who will be there: Vancouver’s Top Marketing, Communications and Sales Leaders (and perhaps you!) Sessions are restricted to 60 participants (read between the lines – they’ll fill up fast so don’t delay). How much: $39.95 per session (the equivalent of 8.35 lattes). Buy 5 get 1 free*. But wait there’s more–...

#StandApart: Linsey Ferguson, VP Partnerships, Alpine Canada Alpin

Work/life balance rarely comes easily: Work often dominates free time, hobbies get swept under the rug, and going to the gym takes a hit for working late. But Linsey Ferguson, VP of Partnerships at Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA), has created a perfect marriage of work and play for herself. Her love for alpine skiing—which she competed in internationally for 8 years—goes hand-in-hand with her current work with Canadian Olympian and national team athletes. She brings to the table a comprehensive understanding of the athlete component (the unending physiotherapy appointments, the strict caloric intake, the hours of ‘practice makes perfect’) but also her 11 years’ marketing/biz expertise as VP of Client Services. She was deeply entrenched in the marketing scene at BOOM! (a company name unsurprisingly similar to her leadership style), she’s bringing her international skiing experience to Canada, and now is one of our #StandApart Torontonians. A phone call with Linsey is akin to a shot of adrenaline. She emanates energy and positivity—it’s contagious. This #StandApart factor has opened doors for her. However, it is her goal-orientation, grit and determination that has caused her to deliver amazing results. And, this is why she has earned a spot on our #StandApart list. 1. Describe your current role in 140 characters or less… Creation of ownable marketing campaigns with focused content creation, driving partner value, gen pop awareness and $ generation for Alpine Canada Alpin (ACA). 2. One word that best describes how you work. Fast. 3. What is your superpower? (What is the one thing you do you do better than most?) I wear many hats at the same time, transferring from situation to situation, scenario to scenario, challenge to challenge and solution to solution, while keeping things moving forward for our clients, our teams...

All You Need to Know About Being Creative

Forget Consistency, Long Live Consistency: How your creative mind balances contradictory impulses to deliver #StandApart results. Labels are funny. Sometime they put us in boxes we’d rather not find ourselves in (he’s a doer not a thinker), but sometimes, they can be really freeing. For me, “creative” falls into that latter category. I LIKE being creative. This post from Matthew Schuler tells why. Based on 30-years of research by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s and his book, Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People, Schuler lists the nine apparently contradictory traits explaining why creative types often make no sense. Schuler writes: “As someone paid to be creative, I sometimes feel kaleidoscopic in my views or opinions, and that “multitude” of expressions sometimes confuses those around me. Why does that happen? My thoughts make cohesive sense to me, yet others sometimes feel that I am contradicting myself or switching positions. What is wrong with me?” The short answer: nothing. In fact, Milhay’s research shows that creative-types, like Schuler, embody traits that can’t be learned (soft skills) and, in most cases, rank very desirable when it comes to the workplace. As it turns out, the same traits that make creatives seem flakey, ungrounded and sometimes, just plain ‘out there,’ also make them unstoppable, passionate, committed and innovative. Why? Because creatives rely heavily on that too-often overlooked professional muscle: gut. So, how does being part of the creative class make you #StandApart? 1.    You’re never one-sided It might seem like a 180-degree shift in viewpoint, but that’s because you have the ability to quickly synthesize lots of information – and never get stymied in any one. Instead, Milhay says that being creative means you show: “fluency, or the ability to generate a great quantity of ideas; flexibility, or the ability to switch from one perspective to another; and originality...

New Principal at Smart Savvy Nov13

New Principal at Smart Savvy

Jaylene Crick. Head hunter by day and super mom by night. And now, Principal at Smart Savvy and Associates. After spending 3 years juggling many different responsibilities and constantly keeping her hands full, Jaylene has been recognized on the corporate podium and been promoted. With her unbreakable determination and drive, she adds exceptional value to every search she’s a part of. Jaylene will now take over the talent research team and lead them with her effervescent, enthusiastic, “kid in a candy store” attitude. If she ever gets a chance to breathe from her constantly-filled schedule, make sure you give her a big congrats in the comments below for her to...

Who To Hire? Oct16

Who To Hire?

“Life is like a box of crayons. Most people are the 8-colour boxes, but what you’re really looking for are the 64-colour boxes with the sharpeners on the back.” John Mayer, Singer-Songwriter I’m perpetually surprised by how few companies seem to know “who” they need. Some can identify a needed skill or two but often those are the exception rather than the rule. And the temptation in a time consuming job seach is to take a narrow/linear approach to finding ‘the right person’. Mistake. Potentially costly. Possibly fatal. The adage, “hire for character, you can always teach skill” is a useful framework particularly when hiring someone who is responsible for critical deliverables like media relations, research or marketing strategies. A great character hangs from the solid framework of a balanced ego – all the positive “self” qualities: self-aware, self-motivated, self-restrained, self-confident. The balance is maintained by a reasonable sense of judgment or perception – an ability to gauge yourself in relation to others in diverse situations – and a desire to self-correct. You don’t have to be right 100% of the time (because you won’t be!), but you should always be willing and able to correct yourself when you’re wrong. On the other hand, an imbalanced ego creates a framework with potential weaknesses – all the negative “self” qualities: self-centered, self-seeking, self-righteous, selfish, and sometimes self-conscious. Unfortunately, these are often compounded by a lack of perception and an unwillingness to self-correct. With a balanced ego to anchor them all, desirable characteristics like curiosity, creativity and eloquence, become further assets for your company. The curiosity of a balanced ego is inspired by ideas and plans generated by others not just themselves. They are capable of focusing their creativity on other people and their projects, not...

Counteroffers Cause Career Suicide Oct09

Counteroffers Cause Career Suicide

Trouble letting go of your BlackBerry? Still cutting the crusts off your sandwiches? Eating California Rolls as adventurous as it gets? Favourite tie seen better days? Time to finally kick the “ex” to the curb? Change is a constant. Change can be good – especially in marketing. We need to move with the times and keep up with the trends. The very same could be said for our careers. Stats tell us that the average North American can hold up to 10 different jobs or careers in their lifetime. This means that coming and going can be fairly frequent, and that you may be faced with counteroffers along the way. Here’s 4 tips for how (and why) YOU should ‘counter any counter’ with a “no.” 1. Your reasons for leaving have NOT changed. (Unless, of course, the problem was wholly financial.) Give it 6-8 months and you’ll find yourself standing in the same place—grossly unhappy and cringing for a change. 2. Office chemistry will take a hit.  Your once close office mates may view you suspiciously or resentfully, as they are now aware of your comparatively inflated salary. Leaders and executives may view you similarly, with a study from the Creative Group stating that 28% believed those looking elsewhere are ‘disloyal.’ 3. The company’s trust in you will waver. If there’s a shift in office politics, suspicious eyes may fall on you and you could be the first to go. As career counsellor Arlene Hirsch puts it, “your motives will be suspect from that point on since your boss will wonder whether your resume is still on the street.” 4. Being offered more money is probably a subtle way of telling you have been underpaid during your time there. An increase in salary can be...

#StandApart Profile: Dorit Shackleton, Senior Director, Cloud Communications at SAP

Working as an enterprise account manager at HP in the late 90’s, Dorit Shackleton was what you might call killin’ it. As in 190%-of-quota-in-her-first-year killin’ it. Quickly identified as a high-performer, Dorit took on the gold rush mentality of the dot-com boom with a sense of fearlessness. She hopped on a plane to San Francisco and then after a few years, sensing burnout despite still being in her twenties, she hopped a plane out (for a three-month leave backpacking around the world; coincidentally just a month before the dot-com bust). With that same fearlessness, Dorit took on a new role in London, and then – leapt again – to start a new, values-centered life in Vancouver. Within 5 weeks of her arrival, she’d lined up a job with Business Objects and made her move from Sales to Marketing. Dorit credits “lots of support” in landing her most current role: Head of the Cloud and Line of Business Communications team at SAP. “I always try to help other people and add value wherever I go. I never work in a silo, and when another team comes asking for something, I always try to be ready to add a little more.” Here is her #StandApart profile:   Describe your current role in 140 characters or less… I lead a global communications team at SAP that focuses on cloud business solutions.   One word that best describes how you work. Collaborative.   What is your “Superpower”? (What is the one thing you do you do better than most?) Enthusiasm! I tend to look at what we CAN do, how we can pull together to get something done, not why it can’t work.    Moving to Vancouver gave my family the outdoorsy, active lifestyle we love and that...

#StandApart: Darren Mahaffy, Vice President Marketing, Nature’s Path

This is the fifth and last installment of our @BCAMA Evening Speaker Series, “If I knew then…” Peter Reek facilitated a panel of five leading Vancouver marketers. He asked them to examine ‘aha’ moments, epiphanies, and things they may have done differently in their careers.   Being in an independent packaged goods company is entirely different from anything I’ve done, but it’s also the most fulfilling. – Darren Mahaffy Toronto’s loss has been Vancouver’s gain. Three years ago, Darren left the city, and a career that spanned positions at Proctor and Gamble and Weston Bakeries, landing in Vancouver just in time for the Stanley Cup riots. Nevertheless, he hasn’t looked back. Here are Darren’s career takeaways on how to #StandApart: Start big and learn lots. There is value in starting your career at a large company. By closely watching the people around him, Darren derived a wealth of experience without having to do the work himself. Big companies have lots of smart people. In a large corporation, you will benefit not only from the people in your office, but also people from satellite offices. Invest in yourself while you’re there – act like a sponge and you will benefit greatly. Being good with data will set you apart. When it comes to data,you need a hypothesis. An over abundance of data in the world means if you don’t have something you’re trying to prove or disprove, all you’re doing is spinning your wheels. Bring solutions to the table. Come to your boss with ways on how to improve business, that’s how you move forward. People in Vancouver have different attitude towards work: they are interested in learning how to work smarter, not harder.  – Darren Mahaffy   Darren’s presentation slides: [slideshare id=36085075&doc=075-standoutspeechdarrenapril20144-140619174037-phpapp01]   Get more career advice...

#StandApart: Crystal Henrickson, Head of Community Management, Invoke Labs

This is the fourth installment of our @BCAMA Evening Speaker Series, “If I knew then…” Peter Reek facilitated a panel of five leading Vancouver marketers. He asked them to examine ‘aha’ moments, epiphanies, and things they may have done differently in their careers. Crystal Henrickson has worked in community management since its birth in 2009. Making a difference at startups like Yelp and ChimpFund before landing at Invoke Labs, Crystal has become an expert at building community. Today she dives deep with us on how to be a #StandApart Community Manager. At their core, people want to feel like they belong to something. – Crystal Henrickson You are going to be receptacle of feedback. People want to tell you everything you should do with your product. Relaying that information back to your team is an art form, choose your words wisely. Prepare to be a therapist, cheerleader, and a friend maker. But still, keep your phone number for your personal circle of friends only. Building community means getting people to come out of their shells, encouraging them to socialize, eat sushi, have beers, and ultimately, make friends. Be a role model and a leader. Community Managers are the doers in startups, they are the CEO’s of whatever their domain is. The capacity to take a product or project from beginning to end is essential. Have the ability to work on your own. How simple or complicated to make a project depends on your resources, and if you only have yourself, that’s how simple you have to make it. We learned from throwing spaghetti at the wall, seeing what stuck, and continuing to do those things. If we’d measured, we would have been better able to focus. – Crystal Henrickson Switching between being a doer...

#StandApart: Kari Grist, Managing Director, Marketing & Communications at UBC

This is the third installment of our @BCAMA Evening Speaker Series, “If I knew then…”Peter Reek facilitated a panel of five leading Vancouver marketers. He asked them to examine ‘aha’ moments, epiphanies, and things they may have done differently in their careers. Kari Grist is the Managing Director of Marketing and Communications at UBC. A passionate marketer, her career has propelled her from the ground up; from launching the first carbon neutral Olympic Games with VANOC in 2010, to above the clouds with Wardair and Canadian Airlines. Wherever she goes, whether it be financial services, aviation and tourism, or environmental services, barriers fall and milestones are reached. Here are Kari’s career takeaways on how to #StandApart: If you’re going to do something, make sure it’s unique, and awesome, and kicks ass. – Kari Grist Much of today’s marketing is rooted in fear, but it should be rooted in fearlessness. At the  2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, Offsetters, with a budget of $35 000, took on global giants Coke and Sony. With an innovative media campaign, they floated the concept that without winter, there would be no winter games, and proposed the new sport of ‘bobwheeling’. This campaign had big impact globally, and its trajectory lead to a start up with twenty-five employees today. You only regret the things you don’t do, so don’t shy away from your big ideas. Don’t be afraid of change. It can be hard to know what career path should look like, and which decisions to make. Kari has changed cities, changed organizations, changed industries, and changed roles, and not regretted a one. My only regret is not going for a role that I thought was too big for me. Can’t go wrong as long as you let your personal...