Round 1 CMO Moves Mentor Program Results
This past summer, we were fortunate to have 23 CMO Moves’ guests sign up to be mentors to 23 mentees after the tremendous feedback we got from these unsuspecting mentees at the time that they were inspired from listening to these CMOs’ podcasts. The act of paying it forward is critical for helping others success and I’m blessed to know so many leaders who believe in and enjoy being mentors. But, sometimes a notion or a thought or a belief isn’t enough. As Kim Perell said in her article this week, “Remember, if you don’t ASK, you won’t GET” and just “take a first step”. We not only took a step, we decided to run with it!
The Round 1 Mentor Program on Marketer Moves was a huge success enabling mentees to make real progress against their goals, and in some cases, get clarity around those goals. As I checked in with every one of them last month, I was inspired by their stories and experiences, so I wanted to take a moment to share their feedback and tips for success for other mentees preparing to spend time with their mentors.
#1 and Most Important Lesson Learned – Be Prepared!
The only non-renewable resource is time, and often you don’t get enough of it, so it is critical to prepare for the precious time you will get with your mentor. We purposely designed the program to be two 30 minute calls with each mentor and mentee. We knew it would be tight, but frankly, sometimes that’s all you get in life to take advantage of an opportunity. Sometimes even less. So it is essential that mentees take the time to do the research and self-reflection work before bringing a mentor into the mix.
The research is key to really understand the super powers of your mentor. This will help you to zone in on the areas they can be of most help to you in your portfolio of development opportunities. The self-reflection work helps you prioritize those opportunity areas and get clarity around what specific guidance you need to make the most progress.
So right from the start, when we opened the two-week pitch window, we asked mentee candidates to submit their request for their top three CMO Moves mentors and why they thought that particular CMO could help them based on their unique career development opportunities.
Once selected, the mentee was then asked to please spend time fully preparing to take advantage of their first call, which would be to summarize their challenges and gain initial input on action items from their mentor. The second call would be to follow-up post activation to discuss the outcome, refine and set a longer-term action plan.
In my check in calls with the mentees, I was absolutely floored with the wide range of experiences and benefits that were gained through this process that had immediate and significant impact; reshaping career objectives, resetting expectations of current roles, identifying new roads to take, perspective on career choices, dealing with challenging relationships, time management tips, reigniting passion, diversifying skills, etc…
Here are some of things the mentees had to say about their learnings and experience with their mentors:
“Thank you so much for providing the opportunity to gain insight and touch base with Charlie - my brain is absolutely buzzing and I cannot wait to action some of the points we spoke about!” -GG
“Barbara did a wonderful job in sharing her perspective and equipped me with a perspective that enabled me to make more informed decisions. I now have clarity around next steps, where to focus, what areas to throw myself into and how to continue to grow both professionally and personally. Today was sincerely one of the best moments of my career to date and I am so grateful for the opportunity you provided me.” -RO
“I came away with some invaluable takeaways and nuggets of inspiration and wisdom. She truly is a visionary and provided me with perspective on not only my own career, but also the future of marketing, innovation and digital.” -RO
“He literally just showered me with wisdom, I took great notes but looking back I probably should have recorded the call. I'm diving into those to extract actionable next steps for myself.”-JS
“Great advice on making career choices: be honest with yourself and focus on what matters to you – that is the most important” -RA
“Connect personally & professionally so you can discuss values and beliefs. Practice what you preach as a human, empower others and authenticity comes through.” -JS
“I was looking to build relationships with the leadership team and my mentor told me ‘Be prepared and when you are given the opportunity, this is your time, show how you can help’ -JH
“Think about finding someone within your company you can lean into and get buy-in from – define allies and possible sponsors.” -BK
“After discussing a difficult situation that was pushing me to change jobs; I was able to benefit from advice and strategy to overcome difficulties and stay in my current position. So valuable and inspirational.” -MO
“Peter provided me super helpful insights and things I can relate to. Peter took the Chobani CMO role (which was a little bit risky back 5 years ago), so it is similar to my situation.” - LC
“Received wonderful advice on how to interview: think about who you want to work for. If it isn’t a good fit, don’t do it! Due to that advice, I made the right decision for me. “ -GB
“It was so helpful to know you are not alone in what you are feeling and challenges. Use the resources available, the tips/tricks/ podcasts really helped!” -MT
“Be open to a valuable perspective from someone in an industry other than yours. Insight, strategy and new ideas are transferable to any industry.” -MM
Although our mentor program this year was short and went by fast, I want to encourage anyone who is interested in gaining insight and advice from someone to please don’t wait for a formal program. If you see someone you admire or feel they can help you in your career, please just take that first step and reach out to them. As my friend, Barbara Messing, CMO of Walmart has said “You’re the only one managing your career.”
Need help to prepare? Check out all the free resources for you on Marketer Moves Mentor and Toolkit for Success. If you’re interested in participating in the Mentor program next year, please send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll keep you posted when Round 2 kicks off.