The 8 powers of a superhero executive

BRND WGN’s marketing Wonder Woman, Raissa Bonello, investigates what superhero powers are needed to be a ‘kick ass’ global account executive.

The role of a Marketing Account Executive, especially when you are managing the international team of an agency growing globally, can be very challenging. Agency heads want to constantly increase client work. Creative teams want more time to do their work with faster approvals and less changes. Clients want work done yesterday. And you need to coordinate everyone to get the work done on-time and as smoothly as possible.

To do this, I’ve learnt a number of superhero powers are needed on a day-to-day basis. And, although skills and approaches needed depend on what area executives work in, I believe these core traits are essential if you want to be kick ass at your job.

1. Respect for others: This is key to all communications within relationships, whether personal or professional. Respect what your colleagues, company and clients need at that time, plus respect the experience of people around you who might have more insight.

2. Laser focus: Get up and just do it! Focus on all the jobs you have in-hand and be ready to run, multi-task, keep your calm when you want to scream… just be ready to do your best, always.

3. Pristine management: You have to stay on-top of things, no matter how many clients and different stages of various jobs you are managing. If you struggle doing 10 things at a time, find an app that works for you on the hoof. I tend to remember things at odd parts of the day, so I always write them down to action them in the morning.

4. Exceptional teamwork: Great project managers understand ‘the art of people’, and know how to utilise each person’s skills in the right way at the right time. And with execs constantly managing relationships, both internally and externally, you need to have a good relationship with your team and your clients in order for both to trust you.

5. Acrobatic balance: Between what is best for you and a team member, versus what is in the best interest of the company and the client. And a balance between being knowledgeable, friendly and assertive. For me, the balance between being an executive and mum is the most important juggling act — if that works, then everything else falls into place.

6. Deep knowledge: Keep yourself constantly updated on the current marketing trends to sound ‘in the know’ when chatting to clients or networking at industry events. But don’t just sound it, make sure you are informed so your comments and opinions will be taken seriously. Clients want and need executives to guide them, and you can only do that responsibly if informed.

7. Superior vision: Of the bigger picture. It’s easy to get sucked into day-to-day tasks, but you need to be able to remind yourself of your company’s vision and your client’s objective. Understand what is worth fighting for and when you need to let something go. Choose your battles wisely and you’ll always be victorious when it counts.

8. Personal passion: You need to have a full life and enjoy it to the max. to alleviate any work stress at the end of your day or week. At BRND WGN we have a company culture of employing people with passions outside of the office. I believe this is reflected in the happiness levels of the team. A happy team is a happy office, which produces exceptional work on time. In my case, I find that boxing and running offer a healthy release, and playing with my daughter keeps life in perspective.

While you may not have every single superpower listed above, every kick ass account executive should have attributes that separate them from the pack. The real executive superheroes cultivate their strengths and draw on their personal kryptonite by surrounding themselves with inspirational colleagues and managers they can constantly learn from. And being aware of your skills and talents to personalise and be the best at your role is ultimately the greatest power a marketer can have.

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