Lately, I’ve talked with a few marketing execs who say they want to be innovative, but they can’t right now. It seems their managers want change, so they hire someone and tell them to change the way the company markets itself. But when the marketing execs want to do something different, the CEO vetoes the change.
So how, exactly, are they supposed to make changes, if they have no power (only responsibility, which doesn’t make sense to my Army brat sensibilities)?
One might say that the CEO is ultimately responsible, and should have veto power. But the question remains: why would he hire someone who suggests such risks? Who’s responsible for that decision? And why does it happen so often?
I think my step dad (a retired Army officer) would say that, if he were that CEO, he’d have to turn the blame inward at some point. Because maybe the problem is that he needs to work on his own leadership skills.
The fact of the matter is, saying you want change and being able to lead it are two different things. If the CEO doesn’t understand how to lead change, then he can’t hire someone to take all the risks for him, and then blame that person for failure.
So don’t fire your marketing person. First, hire someone who can help you grow in your ability to lead your organization. Because it has to come from you. When you outsource your own leadership responsibilities to your marketing manager, but don’t give them your power, they can only ever fail.