Leadership is Service

Cassie Cooper
Jun 20 · 2 min read

My graduate school, Florida International University, recently held the Digital Branding Analytics Miami 2019 Conference (#DBAmiami). There were several key speakers that presented on a theme related to marketing that was then supported by their perspective and experiences. I will be highlighting a few in a series of posts because I was so inspired by their content and character.

Joni Fernandez Marmo, the Adjunct Professor of Marketing at FIU and Senior Vice President, Consumer and Corporate Marketing of Univision Communications Inc. spoke on the topic of becoming a master leader. Joni tactfully opened with rhetorically asking the audience to think about their perception of who a leader in marketing is to them and if it often was associated with a title such as CMO, VP, or Director. She then led into how this perception is only partially true because there is leadership at every level, in every role.

Joni’s speech beautifully deconstructed what comprises of the ability to lead hitting upon points such as being courageous, facing both fear and failures gracefully, and being solution oriented. She advocates for individuals to find their voice, build trust, be curious and warns against compromising against values. The section that resonated the most with me is her advice on how to practice leadership, that leadership is service. Leadership is not given but earned. That we can cultivate leadership outside our careers within our community and through our support systems such as mentors, coaches, and seminars.

Being a leader means practicing leadership and it starts with the role we currently are in. Each one builds upon the next to prepare for the next challenge and stretch both professionally and personally. Leading by example will not only advocate leadership for yourself, but for others as well. It’s imperative to not only practice this ourselves but build it within the culture of our marketing teams and companies we work for.


Becoming A Master Leader. (2019, May 16). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33tlOtN90n4&feature=youtu.be