Betty Gower, Chief Marketing Officer, Bambu Global
Each new year is an opportunity to reflect on the past and craft strategies for the future. As a working mother in the C-suite, I take an annual inventory of my professional contacts and assess the number of powerhouse women in my network. These include women just beginning their careers, those who have claimed their seat in the C-suite, and those at every level in between. There are not nearly enough of us at any rung of the corporate ladder and I am committed to acting as a catalyst for change. With that in mind, my goal for 2020 is to champion feedback, flexibility, and a fierce mindset for the women who work above, below, and beside me.
Honest feedback can be a hard pill to swallow but it’s a critical element of growth and development. Instead of waiting for annual 360 evaluations, my door is always open to hear others’ ideas about my work, and I am never shy in relaying my honest opinions to my team. In 2020 I will encourage my network to be open, honest, and vulnerable about our triumphs and failures. This transparency will allow us to extend support to others in their time of need and lean back into encouragement and positive feedback when we need it ourselves.
When working women are skilled at giving and receiving constructive feedback, we become flexible, adaptive, and skilled at managing adversity and change. It is crucial that we be able to pivot effectively and remain nimble in our thinking, execution, and prioritization. I will encourage my colleagues to become excited by adversity rather than paralyzed by it.
Which leads me to my final “f:” a fierce mindset. An old mentor always advised me to accept the toughest challenges. With my trusted network at my back, I often raise my hand when others do not. I am always surprised by what I learn about myself and my company when I take on the projects that no one else wants. A woman commands respect when everyone knows she will never back down from a challenge or say, “I can’t.”
Trust me, your tenacity will be noted.
While my teenager often tells me that I am “too intense,” I take that as a compliment. I pride myself in being intense in the situations that require it and to be more relaxed in responding to the issues that don’t. This again speaks to flexibility. In 2020 I will push my team to negotiate fiercely for their big-ticket wins and let the little things go.
A willingness to hear feedback, adapt accordingly, and react assertively ultimately extends beyond our behavior in the workplace and to our work itself. As we evaluate industry trends and develop innovative strategies on behalf of our employers, it falls on all of us to shape old practices into new ones. When I apply this mindset to my marketing and communication duties as Chief Marketing Officer of Bambu Global, it is clear to me that it is no longer enough for marketers to write targeted messages and communicate those messages across touchpoints. Gone are the days of measuring ROI through advertising and points of contact. Instead, brands need to deliver memorable experiences that deeply resonate with the audiences they are incentivizing to adopt a product or service.
Those who fail to evolve and face the challenges of 2020 will be left in the dust.
About the Author: Betty Gower, the Chief Marketing Officer at Bambu Global, a scientific innovator and provider of breakthrough color and light solutions for a variety of markets, is a marketing leader with more than a decade of senior experience in general marketing, strategy, corporate branding, and communications.