Intersport and Washington Speakers Bureau hosted some of the nation’s top business leaders in Augusta, Ga. for the inaugural Executive Marketers Leadership Summit. Former CIA Director John Brennan and culinary innovator José Andrés were the featured speakers. Editor-in-Chief of Business Insider U.S. Alyson Shontell served as the moderator of the Summit that featured discussions with these two inspirational leaders who provided insight into the critical moments that altered their lives and careers.
The Summit further expands the Chicago-based company’s effort to help business leaders build lasting relationships in the backdrop of the world’s most prestigious golf tournament. A select group of more than 25 brand CMO’s and Senior Vice Presidents of marketing, sponsorship and media were in attendance for the invite only Summit.
Below are highlights from the conversations with John Brennan and José Andrés.
Conversation with John Brennan – CIA Director (2013-17)
On President Trump:
- “To me, one of the marks of good leaders is recognizing that what made you successful in this area or realm is not necessarily what’s going to make you successful in something else. You have to adapt to the realities, to the new responsibilities and to the operating environment that you’re in, and I don’t see that adaptation yet (from President Trump).
On his advice for current CIA Director Mike Pompeo and leaders in general:
- “The most important thing for anyone that is going to be taking on that responsibility is to use your first period of time, whether it be six, nine, or 12 months, to learn as much as you can about the organization that you are going to be running.
On the United States’ role in global politics:
- “We (the United States) have exceptional good fortune, and to me that requires us to do what we can to have this world as stable and peaceful as possible because we are an interconnected world.”
Conversation with José Andrés – culinary innovator, TV personality, and owner of Think Food Group
On how to achieve innovation:
- “In life and our professions, when we move away from our comfort zone, things really start clicking.”
On his key to success:
- “What I’ve learned in life is that if you knock on the door and they don’t open the door, you keep knocking, and if they still don’t open, you should go through the window. You don’t give excuses about why you should have done something.”
On taking criticism:
- “You are in partnership with (your customers). If they decide to invest money in your restaurant, they are your partners. So you want to believe that they have the best intentions when they tell you something. We cannot keep seeing the people coming to our restaurants as guests. As soon as you look at customers as partners, the business model changes completely because you don’t take it as bad criticism, but instead as a partner that is trying to make the business better.”