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A Rock and a Hard Place

January 15, 2010

A short, cautionary tale.

For more than one company that I have worked with, I have known talented marketers, new to executive level positions. Each with a considerable amount of experience developing marketing programs and each new to a company with outside funding fresh off a period of growth.

I do not feel the need to gossip, so: the companies are of no concern, the circumstances coincidences and the results differ but the paths were all of ill-conceived goals, proud owners and naïve new executives. In most instances, they get cornered by their superiors and told that they must; launch a new product early, trim staffing budgets, increase profit margins etc. and they must do it the way that the investors approved or else funding could be lost (along with their job).

My observation is this: building a great career is what can get you into a corner office, but when you get there do not forget how you made it. To have a successful career in marketing, plan to voice your opinion. Plan to push back. Plan to annoy most everyone at least once. From what I have learned so far is that to get away with this, you need to have measurements and proof to stand on (especially when dealing with superiors).

I am young in my career yet, but hope to use this story as a reminder for myself. I have shared it for others to do the same.

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