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Even the best leaders can benefit from surrounding themselves with other leaders–diverse perspectives are essential for growth. Below is a resource of gainful leadership advice straight from the C-Suite. Whether you’re looking for tips on how to lead during a crisis, how to balance short and long-term expectations as a marketing executive, or what character traits are essential to being a CMO, you’ll find that and more in the quotes captured by the marketing leaders in the quotes to follow.

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Resilient Leadership During Crisis 

Customer engagement and service have gone from essential to existential. The degree to which you underdeliver is the degree to which you put your product, your company, your culture, and your brand in jeopardy. When you have economic headwinds, [you have to understand] how to bring these in line with the rest of the business without undercutting the very fundamentals that drive it.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, Founding Partner at WndrCo and former CEO of DreamWorks 

Balancing Short and Long-Term Expectations

There comes a risk in putting a band-aid over things or making drastic decisions to make the balance sheet look better in the near term. And if you get disconnected from the long-term brand ethos, it will make it harder to prioritize how you should be taking action right now.

 –  Nii Addy, CMO of Philo

How to Listen and Lead 

While experience and titles are a blessing, they can turn into something that keeps your ears from listening if not managed appropriately. Every voice matters, irrespective of tenure or title. But at the end of the day, you cannot confuse listening with consensus. You still have to be comfortable making decisions based on your findings.” 

Julian Duncan, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at the Houston Rockets 

Great ideas come from everywhere. Listening to your employees, fans, tough feedback, and the question behind the question allows you to see the world differently and only makes you better.” 

Heidi Browning, CMO at the National Hockey League

Ironically, so much of what leads to success on the other side of promotion, communication, and brand development starts with listening.   As a brand, we want loyalty from frequent flyers, but we have to ask the counter-question: Is Delta loyal to you? Before you ask for customer loyalty, you must demonstrate loyalty to them; it’s earned over time.” 

Tim Mapes, SVP, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Delta Air Lines 

The Positive Impact of DE&I on Business 

Diversity and inclusion are good for society and business. Look at the entire ecosystem internally and externally to ensure that diversity exists so that your message remains authentic and credible because of your proper representation.

Jason Brown, CMO at NTWRK 

Character Traits of a Strong Marketing Leader 

The most important trait for any strong marketer or leader of consumer revenue is curiosity. The role has changed so much, and you need to be naturally curious and constantly hunting out the next new trend or consumer behavior to succeed, especially if you want to drive transformation.” 

Deirdre Findlay, Global Chief Commercial Officer, Sonos Inc.

Inspiring the Next Generation to Lead 

My greatest moments as a marketer are seeing consumers start to believe they can do something that they didn’t think they could do before. That’s why marketing, particularly through the lens of sports, is so important to me.” 

Kalen Thornton, VP Sports, Entertainment & Gaming at PepsiCo

Top-Down Leadership that Makes a Difference 

At any given point, we could either delight or disappoint our consumers. Much of the work we’ve been doing is laying out the entire customer experience and helping the organization figure out the moments that matter and how we are making people feel – which is quite different than how we approached it in the past.” 

Peggy Roe, Global Officer, Customer Experience, Loyalty & New Ventures at Marriott Bonvoy 

Having patience, confidence, and clarity to know who you are, what type of team you want to be a part of, and what you want to build goes a long way to ensure you feel fulfilled every day. How we know our business will succeed is if our people are fulfilled. For any individual to be fulfilled, they need to be clear on their purpose and personal goals.” 

Nikki Neuburger, Chief Brand Officer of lululemon 

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2022 Visionaries in Review: Everything We Learned about Marketing This Year


Visionaries, hosted by Nadine Dietz, airs every week and is brought to you in partnership with The Wall Street Journal. Each week, two new visionaries share their game plan and how that impacts today’s teams, talent, and hybrid work environment.     

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