Kammeron George is an Alumni of The Marketing Academy AUSTRALIA Scholarship (Class of 2018). She is also the General Manager, Consumer Sales and Marketing at News Corp Australia.
In this article she shares her experience of the Scholarship and why you should get yourself nominated for a place on the 2019 programme in the UK – same programme, different accent!
“So, you’re a marketer… You know brand, strategy, segmentation, how to build a comms plan and if you’re wired a certain way, you may be privileged to lead a team. You know how to run at a project, turn on a dime, manage stakeholders, build relationships, maintain a focus on the customer, ideate, create, plan and deliver. You can problem solve, champion, drive, listen, reframe, motivate and measure. But, how well do you know yourself? Really understand yourself? And how much do you value that relationship you have? Yes, that relationship with you. And why is that important? Do you trust your instincts? Are you being the best version of yourself? Do you wear a mask? What’s your purpose in life? What are your values? What’s your legacy? What’s your perspective taking capacity? Are you consciously competent or unconsciously so?
They’re just some of the questions you’ll take the time to ask yourself on the Marketing Academy Scholarship.
TMA Alumni will know what I mean when I describe The Marketing Academy as next level inspiration, life-changing or as one of my fellow scholars described it ‘the best mind f*ck you will ever have’… It’s all true… and here’s why. Stay with me…
The Marketing Academy was founded by British force of nature Sherilyn Shackell, a former head-hunter extraordinaire who back in 2008 realized there was a talent gap for marketers at the emerging leader level and that this was far from ideal for the world. Sherilyn’s premise: With the ability and indeed the intent, to influence perceptions, thoughts and actions, the world needs more marketers in leadership positions, to make a difference. Not just any marketers but Marketers With Purpose. The ones who understand they have an enormous obligation – to hold that skill and capability out in front of them like a north star, and hold a mirror to themselves to ensure they deliver positive outcomes for our communities, our staff, our cultures and our world. And with the incredibly infectious energy Sherilyn is known for, she set about bringing industry together to do something about it.
So what is The Marketing Academy?
When you hear of The Marketing Academy you might think of a Marketing MBA or structured course with subjects and a large project that culminates in a big stressful presentation. Not here. (As I said earlier, we all know how to run at a big project). The subject and big project is you. Your learning, your relationships, your knowledge, your leadership, your vulnerability, your values, your compassion for yourself and others, your purpose, your responsibility and what you are going to do with this set of skills you have to improve the human experience. This might be the whole of humanity, your colleagues, direct reports, friends, family, local community or any other subset – how will you pay it forward?
At a time when our world is so stressed, and trust in institutions is at an all-time low, could there be a better thing to put some of your precious time and energy into? Into developing you not just as a leader but as a human? Into thinking about how through our leadership, decisions and actions, we can address the trust-crisis?
Every year in the UK, Australia and the USA The Marketing Academy accepts just 30 of the each countrys top marketing, communications and advertising talent into a free scholarship program. It provides exposure to some of the world’s best in leadership, neuroscience, psychology, well-being, creative, high performance, story-telling, and yes marketing, as well as executive coaching and mentoring from some of the industrys most prominent and respected CMOs, CEOs and thought leaders. I received 90 minutes one on one with two big-four banking CMOs, the CEO of a major wagering company, a Professor of Ethics, the CMO of a dairy production co-op, and the COO of a large creative agency in addition to executive coaching sessions. How often do you spend that amount of time one on one with an industry leader answering your questions and working with you to solve any challenges you might have? I’d hazard a guess and say not often. Or ever. We’re all too busy being busy.
I initially resisted being nominated. I’ll be honest and say I was perturbed by the three stage nomination process:
- a) Produce a 2 minute ‘digital showcase’ on why you should be selected (scream emoji x 3)
- b) Do a 10 minute pitch to a selection panel (scream emoji x 10)
- c) Attend a 90 minute panel interview (drop mic)
Digital Showcase!? I am not a whistles and bells person (those who know me will know I loathe powerpoint) so my digital showcase was me talking into my phone camera about the state of marketing; the last book I read (The Four by Scott Galloway – a must read); my kids; my boxing and my herb garden.
Lesson 1 – whistles and bells not required as what they got was the real me.
Anyway, I am so glad I got over myself and pushed myself to get nominated (as uncomfortable as it was talking about myself to camera for 2 minutes). And while the next two stages were confronting – you have to both sell yourself and bare your soul – the people I met through the process were kind, enabling and encouraging.
Lesson 2 – be yourself.
The year has been one of revelations about myself as a leader, team mate, colleague, a mum, a partner and a friend – learnings about leadership on many different dimensions and exposure to thought leadership across so many fascinating subjects I can’t list them all here.
Lesson 3 – as a leader, you don’t need to be an expert on anything – but you need the ability to dip into a lot of different ideas with a high level of learning agility, have the capability to take a lot of different perspectives and join a lot of dots. Your capacity to empower through questioning and deep listening is paramount.
Lesson 4 – like life, leadership is a journey and you never stop developing.
The Marketing Academy is a roller-coaster ride of inspiration, reflection, interaction and connection. Not only do you come out a better leader, in my opinion you come out a better human.
For anyone in marketing, comms or advertising who is passionate about development (of yourself as well as others) and who doesn’t mind a drop of kool-aid, ask someone to nominate you. It will be nine months of your life that will astound, challenge, enrich and inspire you. And you’ll make close bonds with 29 superb humans that will be your friends for life.
Australia Scholarship see www.themarketingacademy.org.au
UK Scholarship see https://themarketingacademy.org.uk/the-scholarship/
US Scholarship see www.themarketingacademy.us