Check out my conversation with Lynn McClouchic, Director of Brand, Marketing and Business Development, CannonDesign, in episode #83 of the How I Made It In Marketing podcast. McClouchic discussed a proactive approach to leadership, transformation, and growth.
Get proactive about using AI in your marketing. Begin your free trial to the AI Guild at MECLABS.com/AI (MECLABS is the parent organization of MarketingSherpa).
I started my career as a copywriter, and I learned a key part of my value to any client or any employer was not just the way I shaped words or filled a block with text – it was to advocate for the customer. Take their viewpoint.
To this end, being an ‘order taker’ was not going to help me create great copy. Or great marketing. I had to get underneath any requests or feedback I received from a client, to understand what they were really getting at, and hypothesize how the audience might react.
So I love this lesson from my latest guest – ‘Figure out the problem.’ A lesson she learned in her first job as an advertising account executive, and still uses to this day as a brand-side marketing leader.
To hear how she learned that lesson, along with many more lesson-filled stories from her career journey, I spoke with Lynn McClouchic, Director of Brand, Marketing and Business Development, CannonDesign.
CannonDesign is the eight biggest architecture firm in the country, according to Architectural Record, and is the #2 most innovative design firm in North America according to Fast Company.
McClouchic oversees a team of 60 creative writers, graphic designers, digital marketers, business developers, strategists, videographers, and photographers.
Listen to our conversation using this embedded player or click through to your preferred audio streaming service using the links below it.
Some lessons from McClouchic that emerged in our discussion:
McClouchic’s old boss and mentor in advertising was a serial procrastinator. She could never move things forward – he was always putting her in a bad spot with the client. She was always waiting for him. To read something. Review something. Approve something. So she stopped asking for permission. At the same time, she never cut him out of things.
She gave him every opportunity to weigh in while keeping him informed – and importantly, being responsive and responsible to the client. She changed the dynamic of their relationship. And that changed her relationship with the client. She gained credibility and respect from both sides. This was a real breakthrough for her in her career – so she really wants people to understand the value of not waiting for things to happen, but MAKING things happen.
When McClouchic left advertising and joined commercial real estate, she inherited an incredibly underwhelming marketing team. Before she got there, they worked in a room with the door closed. The first comment from the team was the fear of working on an open floor with – gasp – brokers just feet away. How were they going to control extremely driven and demanding professionals coming right up to their desks and asking them for stuff?
They had no understanding of client service. Having come from the ad agency life, she knew that clients were your lifeline. No clients = no billings = no agency = no job. Her new team had been living in the comfort of an enclosed space that they controlled. Being gatekeepers to services that their internal clients needed to thrive. They had no interest in understanding their brokers’ problems, hearing their ideas – or working collaboratively or going above and beyond.
This wasn’t marketing. It was totally transactional, like approaching a bank teller with a deposit slip. Everything to them was ‘why?’ vs. ‘why not?’
The team was slow to understand McClouchic’s perspective. She found quick wins with brokers desperate for help (which is why she was hired in the first place). The team saw the reaction. She showed them that brokers weren’t the enemy – but internal clients that allowed her team to showcase their talents. And make them a ‘force’ for the business. It was a huge cultural shift – from being resentful of their brokers to sharing in their success. It started with a simple idea: Always be helpful.
They became a retention tool for brokers who were being wooed by the competition. They stayed because of ‘us,’ McClouchic says. That’s the ultimate compliment.
McClouchic doesn’t subscribe to any philosophy that says, ‘my job stops here.’ She learned so much by doing more than her job required. And working early in her career for smaller, boutique firms that required wearing multiple hats. That sensibility never left her – and she is forever grateful. She was on the executive floor often at her very first job because she was willing to do things others wouldn’t.
She learned everything about advertising because she sat with media planners and creative teams, helped in the studio with mock-ups, and worked with their traffic and production team to get materials out. She earned the respect of brokers because she took extra time researching little-known facts about their clients to help them differentiate themselves. Do more. You’ll learn. You’ll get noticed. And you’ll find more avenues for growth – in all kinds of ways.
You probably know the quote – "80% of success is showing up.” The other 20% is follow-up. But, if you know how to make things happen, you’ll be 100% successful.
McClouchic also shared lessons she learned from the people she collaborated with.
via Mark Mueller, Creative Director (various ad agencies)
Collaborating with folks who see their ideas – and only their ideas – as the solution, means staying in and on the problem. McClouchic was always quick to tell the creative team ‘What the client wants.’ But a very wise – and willing to help – creative director, Mark Mueller, told her that client feedback isn’t about what they asked for – it’s about understanding the motivation behind what they’re asking for. It’s not about whether it should be blue or green. It’s about whether blue or green is the best solution to the problem.
Figure out the problem. THAT was her job. That was powerful knowledge. It creates stronger collaboration between client and agency. It leads to seeing that it’s not about sides. It’s about getting people to focus on the problem and invest collectively in finding the best answer. Shared ownership means everyone wins. And that strengthens the client/agency relationship. Any relationship, really.
via Kyle Schoppmann, President, Mid-Atlantic Markets, CBRE (formerly Executive Managing Director, CBRE NYC)
McClouchic did so much in the first part of her career based on what others didn’t give her or do for her. When she started the second part of her career – on the client side, at CBRE – she had an incredible woman as her boss, Kyle Schoppmann, now President of CBRE’s mid-Atlantic region. Before then, she never knew what a ‘good boss’ was. It was incredibly empowering. Schoppmann trusted her, partnered with her – and let her do her thing. Schoppmann was the first person to say “you’re the expert” – and gave her the runway to execute.
When someone trusts you and supports what you do, you trust yourself. You take more risks. You grow. And when you have the chance to do it for someone else, you need to pay it forward. It was so powerful to have that dynamic—and it’s been just as rewarding for McClouchic to create that dynamic with others.
via Jim Tenny, Former President of Della Femina Rothschild/Jeary and Partners, currently founder and owner of Blackbird (advertising)
Another advertising lesson is from the most infuriating and brilliant person McClouchic knows from her years in advertising, Jim Tenny. He now has his own agency after they spent many years at Della Femina together (Jerry Della Femina is one of the original ‘Mad Men’). Tenny helped her realize that selling your idea can’t happen unless you acknowledge what others put forth, first.
She remembers coming back from client meetings saying, “What they asked us to do is such a bad idea…” and then proceed with our “much better” ideas, only to get them rejected. Even worse, the “bad idea” would come up. They were dismissive. They gave the bad idea power by not demonstrating why it didn’t work. They held onto it like a stubborn child, unwilling to see past it because they were ignoring it.
When they started to give the client what they asked for – and only after that, introduce their ideas – they elicited much better results.
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Not ready for a listen yet? Interested in searching the conversation? No problem. Below is a rough transcript of our discussion.
Lynn McClouchic: It really be a magnet for everything around you so that, you know, you're able to really benefit and learn from everything that happens? Because I will tell you, I just don't think that anybody stops learning. There is never the end to any profession, including this one.
Intro: Welcome to How I Made It in marketing from Marketing Sherpa. We scour pitches from hundreds of creative leaders and uncover specific examples, not just trending ideas or buzzword laden schmaltz, real world examples to help you transform yourself as a marketer. Now here's your host. The Senior director of Content and Marketing at Marketing Sherpa, Daniel Burstein. To tell you about today's guest and.
Daniel Burstein: I started my career as a copywriter and I learned a key part of my value to any client or any employer was not just the way I shaped words or fill the block with text. It was to advocate for the audience, for the customer, take their viewpoint to this end. Being an order taker was not going to help me create great copy or great marketing.
I had to get underneath any request or feedback I've received from a client to understand what they were really getting at and hypothesize how the audience might react. So I love this lesson from our next guest. Figure out the problem, a lesson she learned early in her first job as an advertising account executive and still uses to this day as a brand side marketing leader.
Here to share the story behind how she learned that lesson, along with many more lesson filled stories from her career journey is Lynn McLeod Schack, director of Brand Marketing and business development at Canon Design. Thanks for joining us, Lynn.
Lynn McClouchic: Sure. Hello. Thanks for having me.
Daniel Burstein: So let's just take a quick look at your background. Just to cherry pick from LinkedIn. You have been on both sides of the ball, so to speak. On the agency side, you are, for example, SVP, director of client services for Della Femina, advertising on the brand side. You've been senior director of business Development at CBRE, and for the past four years Lynn has been at Canon Design.
Canon Design is the eighth biggest architecture firm in the country. According to architectural record and is the number two most innovative design firm in North America, according to Fast Company. And the Kaushik oversees a team of 60 creative writers, graphic designers, digital marketers, business developers, strategist, videographers and photographers. What? So that's a lot there. So what is your day like as director of Brand marketing and business development at Canon Design?
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, that's a good question. You know, a lot of it has to do with working with lots of audiences, lots of people, lots of audiences. And, you know, that requires a lot of pivoting, a lot of perspective and a lot of energy. So I feel like I get the privilege of moving across the firm in many ways so I could be working with my team, all those folks, all those 60 plus folks that you just mentioned, everything from business development to communications to graphics and marketing.
It could be meeting with the assets of my team. It could also be meeting with cohorts that have been collected across the firm to work on initiatives like client leader training or national builder relationships or, you know, bringing on a new CRM platform comes to mind because that's front and center right now, but it can also be something in the office level.
You know, I'm very involved with the New York City office. That's where I work out of. And so I'm part of that leadership team. And that really gives me the opportunity to understand end to end how to run a business at an office level at this firm. And that's so incredibly important to me because before I took this Firmwide role, I did operate more sort of on the ground.
And creating that connection in this role is so incredibly important to me because I experience the disconnect of sort of that corporate enterprise level connecting with folks who are doing the stuff and making stuff happen on the ground. And if I can't do stuff and connect with those folks and create things that are relevant and that resonate with them, then I'm not being helpful and then I'm not being good at what I do.
So that's really in a nutshell what I think about every day when I when I get here.
Daniel Burstein: That's great. And I can see like from the diversity of your past experience, how that's fed into what you've done today. So let's kind of let's, let's uncover some of that. Let's look into that first. We begin by talking about stories about the things you made. As I've said before, I've never done anything else. I've never been like a podiatrist or an actuary, but I don't feel like other careers.
I get to make things like we do as marketers. We get to make things and that's a lot of fun. So your first lesson was up Obstacles are opportunities to make things happen. So how did you learn that lesson?
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, so this is back when I was in advertising and you know, my boss, we love to call him the productive procrastinator. I never knew there was such a thing called productive procrastination until I met him. If you ever wanted something else done, you would ask him to do something else. And then suddenly the thing that you didn't need him to do he was doing, but the thing you needed him to do, it was not getting done.
And, you know, when you're working as an account executive, as I was working with clients and client service being so important, trying to get things pushed through and having to wait and wait and wait for him to get to the thing that you needed him to do caused a lot of stress for me because it put a lot of pressure on me being able to service the client and making a lot of excuses and putting me just really in a bad spot.
And I feel like I tried to have a conversation with him about it and it went pretty poorly because first of all, I got very emotional, which was just the thing you just don't do. And so then it became about, you're emotional, you know, are you okay? And it's like, No, I'm not okay. And I'm not okay because of you.
And so it went really poorly. And I walked out of his office thinking, I'm not going to let that happen again. And so I sat there and thought, What can I do to get past this obstacle? Because it clearly wasn't going to come from changing him. So something else had to change. So I started to think about how can I push things forward but keep him informed so that I'm not doing things without him knowing and blindsiding him, but at the same time being able to take control of the situation and push it forward.
So I started to have conversations and document those conversations with him copied. I started to tell him that these are the things that I'm doing and and things were going fine. And I think it allowed him to see what I was capable of. And I started running with it. And once you start running with something, if you can run fast enough, you can get away from those balls and chains that are kind of holding you back.
And the client was happy. Things were moving forward. They started to see me as being more of a leader, and so did my boss. And really it changed a lot of the dynamic that was going on in my role in the agency with my client. And that was incredibly empowering for me. And it started to make me realize that making things happen is a really important part of being a marketer.
And it's not even just being a marketer. I mean, it's a skill being able to creatively problem solve those kinds of things, to get those kinds of barriers and challenges out of your way. You have the ability to chart that course and to wait for others to do it for you is a lost opportunity.
Daniel Burstein: So there's a lot to unpack there. I want to get to the obstacles opportunities, but you just said two things that jumped out to me that I love. One thing. Okay, know this fantastic. One thing he mentioned like like he wasn't going to change. So, you know, you had to and this sounds like pretty early in your career.
That is a life lesson some people never learn in their entire lives. So to learn that early in your life, I've heard the quote I love. Everybody wants to change the world. Nobody wants to change themselves, Right? Because we're all looking like it's somebody else's fault like that. Like you could be frustrated in that role for ten years.
Like, I'm going to change that person. They're not. Whether in your personal relationship to your career relationships, I just want to call that out. That is just a beautiful life lesson. The other thing I'm going to mention is in this industry, it feels like there are a lot of productive procrastinators, right? I am not one. And I agree.
It drives me nuts like I am not one of those. We're going to pull the midnight oil and make this amazing client and blah blah. I'm doing I'm like three weeks ahead. What do we have to work on? So I love what you mentioned that, too, because, I mean, that frustrates the heck out of me. And that if you're not a procrastinator and you're working in this industry, you better take Lyn's approach and figure out how to work with those people because you will be working with them.
But the thing I want to dive deep into this is this this is a great lesson. So how did this mindset, this obstacles are opportunities mindset when shifting through different industries in your career? How did you use this? Because, you know, for example, when I interviewed Michelle Huff, the CMO of user testing and how I made it marketing, her lesson was obstacles are opportunities.
If you choose to view them as opportunities. And she talked about like career obstacles and how she would use those and move through those. And looking at your career, right, you have experiences and these different industries, right? And someone could see that as an obstacle, trying like, like, okay, I'm in my industry now, I'm staying in my lane, boom, boom, boom.
I'm going through here. Or I would imagine it could be like a real beginner's mindset. It could be an opportunity. You're like, Hey, I don't have experience in that industry. I'm going in, but I'm bringing some stuff with me. I'm bringing, you know, what I learned over here, and I'm going to have a unique insight here. So I wonder if that same obstacles are opportunities when you're when you're moving through your career progression.
Did it did it help you?
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, and absolutely help me. I mean, you said a couple of things that really resonate with me about sort of like bring your stuff with you. I mean, yeah, for sure. You always you always can repurpose. I mean, look, the beauty of marketing and, you know, I think about this is that the idea of repurposing or translating, I mean, those are magical words to me in marketing.
And I think that, you know, there are always things that have the ability to be transferred that to bring with you, whether that's how you work with someone like good example, I just got done talking about my boss and how that was a very frustrating situation for me, so I knew I could do that. So you're confronting that with that again in a different situation.
It's like, I've done this before. Let me think about how I can apply that to here. Or I used to work this way with a team and it was really successful. different industry. But you know, the work habit, that practice can certainly translate. So I'm always looking for cues to pick up and to see how things that I've done before can be repurposed and brushed off in sort of a new way.
And you learn things because you can either learn that, Hey, I thought that would work and it didn't, but with a couple of tweaks it actually works pretty well. So it's that constant fluidity of what you're doing and to always be brushing up and to always be gathering things, bringing things, gathering things to really be a magnet for everything around you so that you know, you're able to really benefit and learn from everything that happens.
Because I will tell you, I just don't think that anybody stops learning. There is never the end to any profession, including this one.
Daniel Burstein: I love that being a magnet idea. Like we publish case studies at Marketing Trip and people love case studies about their industries. I get that right. But sometimes some people are so myopic. They're like, okay, well I'm in the auto industry, but that auto industry that was about a parts supplier for new cars, but we're a parts supplier for used cars, so we can't learn from it.
And it's like, like we have published like some of my favorites would be like someone in B2B learning from like a nonprofit or, you know, like something so different because like you said, you have to be a magnet for those ideas. And it kind of brings me to your next lesson of this kind of kind of thought approach we need to take as marketers and way we view the world.
It's about why versus why not. So how did you learn that approach and how do you use it?
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, so when I when I moved into, you know, we call it I'm in England where you're in the agency life, of course you call it moving to the dark side. But, you know, I moved, I moved to the client side and, you know, I was pretty pumped about it. I had done my research. I had actually gotten that job through through my experiences on the agency side.
So that's a lesson into the never burning bridges and to always keeping those connections. Right. And, you know, I mean, coming from the agency side to being sort of on the inside of things, I inherited a marketing department who really didn't understand inherently the, you know, the importance and the sensibilities of client service because they were internal clients.
And so when I was at the agency, you know, you knew that servicing your client was paying the bills, keeping the lights on. And, you know, that's a you know, and that's that's a huge responsibility as an account executive to manage that relationship constantly to make sure that we're doing the right things for the client, that that relationship is secure.
Because if you don't have clients, you don't get paid and then the lights go off and you don't have a job. And that is not what an into the internal marketing department that I inherited thought they thought they came for a paycheck. They decided what they wanted to do, what they wanted to spend time on, what they didn't want to spend time on.
And then they clocked out. They didn't really have that connection to their internal clients and have that passion to really partner with them. So it was really interesting. I kind of had this lightbulb moment where I realized that they were always questioning it from the perspective of why, and I was always saying, Why not? Hey, new ideas, new opportunities, chance to breakthrough, do something exciting like increase our capabilities, show people what we can do.
So we had to meet somewhere in the middle and a lot of it had to do with leading by example, being able to show what it looks like when you help someone and they get excited about your idea and you can partner to help make it happen. And then together you see success and then it comes back around and you're sharing in that experience.
And when people started to see that on the team, wow, someone's coming down to the floor to talk to Lynne. What are they talking about? Wow, They seem like they're having a good time. What's going on in there? wow. They just did something together. What did they do? How can I be part of that? So you need to kind of build that excitement about why it's okay to do something that feels a little strange and a little different, and that might put you out there and might actually ask you to work kind of harder than you're used to because there's lots of reward in that.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah, I mean, feeling a little strange and different, I feel like it's what we as marketers are supposed to be doing to push the envelope. But it also gets me thinking when I hear that story. Okay, you go from the agency side to commercial broker side. I mean, it's a story I've had. I went from agency to software companies.
A lot of people had you go for it. So this is probably going to sound bad and rude to anyone working in those industries. You go from a creative creator type of environment to a kind of boring, gray, lawless, you know, environment, right? Yeah. And so that could be a culture shift. But I kind of wonder for you, you also went to work for an architecture firm where it seems like they're like kind of almost people like us like that.
That is a creative group. And I wonder what that has been like for you and if you if you've learned from those architects anything, because, for example, you use it, why versus why not? I love it from George Bernard Shaw. He said, You see things and you say, Why? But I dream things that never were. And I say, Why not?
And like men, when I that to pick a career. And then I found out about advertising and marketing. That is the way I thought. And I loved it to be able to push that creative envelope. So why call this this podcast? How I made it in marketing, it's again, not just, okay, we're successful, it's we make things, we are creators, you know, we get to create.
And like I said, many of the, you know, companies I've gotten work in or most marketers I talk to, they're not of that same ethos. But I mean, come on, architects, it seems it seems pretty cool. So I just wonder like, what have you learned? Something not just being marketing and advertising stuff, but being around also a, you know, architecture design type of firm and those type of creators as well about this idea of taking a look at something saying why not?
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, absolutely. Interestingly, I ended up in architecture because of the fact that a lot of when I was building out the team when I was in commercial real estate, interestingly enough, a lot of the folks that I hired came from architecture and I was just amazed at their knowledge and their work ethic and their creativity and their willingness to go there with me.
So ultimately, when I landed in architecture, I was really excited because I thought, Wow, this is going to be great, and it has not disappointed on any level. I will say that I have I have the pleasure of working with some of the most talented, smartest and curious people, you know, that I've ever met with. I, unfortunately or fortunately, depending on which way you look at it, never the smartest person in the room.
And that's a good thing. You know, I feel like, yes, we all like to feel like we're in control. We all like to feel like we know things. But it's really great to feel as though you walk into a room and there's someone that's going to tell you something that's going to blow you away, that's going to challenge you, that's going to make you a little scared and a little fearful about what's going to come next.
We work in, you know, our team works with an incredible amount of ambitious people who are really pushing the envelope and they're really asking us to help them do that. And that's an incredibly challenging but rewarding experience. So it is you are correct in saying that design, you know, being in an architecture firm is incredibly creative. And it also, you know, they also make things.
So that's that's a lot of fun too. So we like to be makers and creators and, you know, I think they're extremely appreciative of how we bring their ideas, their dreams, their challenges to life. So there's there's kind of a mutual appreciation which I think is also incredibly important to making things kind of hum and fire on all cylinders.
Daniel Burstein: I mean, one thing I appreciate from architecture, from the outside is, you know, I've never got to work in India. It is they can be creative, but it has to function, right? Like the Guggenheim is amazing, but it functions. And I think we as marketers or advertisers fall short is we have some amazingly cool website or app or something, right?
But it just doesn't function for the user. Or we have this awesome campaign because it's so creative, but it doesn't function because it doesn't get that message across. And so that's something that's always marveled me You know, the only thing I knew in school they had these cool models, right? But when you look at like a beautiful, great building of the world, you see, it's so creative and stuff.
Let the fact system work and the toilets flush and all these things happen like it functions. So externally, that's something I've always appreciated about that industry. But your next lesson, which you know, ties in very tightly to, is don't stay in your lane. So I love this idea too, because again, like I said, whether it's deciding what we're going to learn from or what we're going to do in an industry, sometimes we're just like so focused myopically versus what can we learn from across that organization and really be part of it.
And like you said in your previous story, not just be these kind of markers off to the side here, but be part of it. So how did you learn this? Don't stay in your lane lesson.
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, I mean, I think I had the benefit of starting out my career in smaller places. So, you know, and I, I had a, you know, a training, a management training job where I kind of my, my like got, you know, I feel like I saw the Bernie shaped light of advertising thanks to a coworker. And so when I first started my career in advertising, I was working for boutique firms and boutique firms.
You know, at the time when I was starting out, you know, lots of hats, right? You know, your weren't you know, it wasn't like you had the luxury of being able to do just one thing all day. We were operating across the board and, you know, and I was also very excited about advertising. And so that afforded me the opportunity to really get to understand advertising from end to end.
And, you know, it was interesting because as I got older in the profession and, you know, I was sort of more in a senior position where I was hiring people to be part of the team was always interesting to me when we would hire people from larger agencies, they were very much trained to work in a very specific way, in the very specific lane, and it really kind of freaked them out too, to work in a smaller agency that where they were being asked to do things to, you know, step outside of their normal comfort zone.
And so I really looked at that and thought, wow, like that's you know, that's interesting to me because I never really thought there was that that way was the way to work. Like I was brought up and, you know, seek out the things like learn all of the things that you can do. Always show up because showing up allows you to do so much more.
And so I was always if somebody were to talk about something that they wanted to get done, I was there to think about doing it because I was going to learn. And I think that that's a really important thing to think about as you develop in your career. And it doesn't mean that you have to go off and, okay, now I'm going to be this or now I'm going to go do that.
But that context, I mean, content, I talk about this all the time. Context matters. What you are doing has an impact on what somebody else is doing or what that end product is going to be. And if you understand that, I feel like you can be so much more impactful than what you do because you're understanding the ripple effect or your understanding how it builds up to something larger.
And, you know, I just always find that to be a fascinating aspect of, of, of working. And I've just really opening your eyes and thinking about the multitude of things that are going on around you. It's it's really valuable. And I just really think it makes you a more valuable input to any any initiative or any process or any job.
Daniel Burstein: You know, I like it's I like what you say, but I worked in a small agency, and when you're about to bring in someone from a big agency, you're excited. You're like, we're going to learn this person. You're like, Of course, man, they can't do anything. What do you can't do? I can't, but you're getting so funny.
But that gets me thinking. So now fast forward. You are a leader, right? So is there anything you do with your team to kind of help force them or ask them to get out of their lane or to to kind of get them thinking that way? Right? Because for example, when I interviewed Sarah Bernhardt, director of marketing for the Communication Solutions Services line of TerraCycle, one of her lessons was Find your joy.
And I love that. Find your joy because, you know, sometimes we just overlook that part. We're focused on KPIs or this or that. And when we're starting out early in our career, at least in this country, like there's no real guidance on what you should do or how you should do it right. And to find that career that you end up really liking until you dabble in.
A lot of people kind of fell into this industry. So I wonder for you, do you do anything specifically with your team to kind of encourage them to get out of their lanes to experience other elements of the business or the industry or anything to, one, help them find, you know, what they really want to be doing, but also to to get that context about the bigger picture.
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, I mean, that's a really good question. And I think as a leader and this is not just even from a marketing perspective, but any leader needs to realize that there's kind of a responsibility that you have to help people kind of find their passions and experience things. And a lot of times I feel like people figure out what they want to do by experiencing things and realizing I don't want to do that right.
So I feel like sometimes we have to kind of go through those moments where we experience something and yeah, that that really wasn't for me. And that's good. I mean, I think that it's good to think about, to know what it is that you do, like, what it is that you don't like, what it is that you're good at, and what it is that you're not.
And I also think that it's really incredible to watch people kind of like, I don't know, like moms are attracted to like you can sort of see in your people, like what turns them on, what really brings out the best in them. And I think it's just something that I always look for. I always look for. I always ask about it too, to not just kind of let it happen organically, but to really have open conversations, to really understand what people maybe don't understand and need to learn, maybe where people might be struggling and there might be an opportunity to strengthen their skills or something that you can really tell like, Hey, I really want
to get involved with this and to make room, because that's another thing as leaders that we need to do, there are things that I love to do and I would do them all day long, and I have to realize that, yeah, I love doing those things, but there are other people on my team who probably would like to do those things or are interested in taking a stab at those teams and those things.
So how do I back away from that and stop that auto response that I have? Like, I've got this? It's like, well, I could have this, but I could also lean back and let somebody else who I know is excited about that, try it and utilize me as a sounding board instead of me just doing the things that I like to do because I know I can get them done and it'll be checked off the list.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah, that's true. Leadership and growth right now when you now when you're able to do something. But the next level is when you're able to enable someone else to do something. And collaborating with those people is a key part of our career as marketing and that is what we talk about in the second half of our podcast. We're going to talk to Lynn about lessons she learned from people she collaborated with.
But first, I should mention that the How I made It in Marketing podcast is underwritten by McLeod's Institute, the parent organization of marketing Sherpa. You can get 10,000 marketing experiments working for you with a free trial in the Mech Labs Guild at MCA, ABC.com slash A.I., that's MSE Labs dot com slash A.I. to get artificial intelligence working for you.
So as I mentioned, lessons from the people you collaborated with. Let's take a look at this first lesson. You said, figure out the problem. You learned this from Mark Mueller, creative director at various agencies. So how did you learn this from Mark?
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, well, you know, that was at my first advertising job and he was, you know, an experienced creative director and someone intimidating. And so coming back from the client, I always thought that the thing to do as an account executive was go to the meeting, take copious notes, come back and tell them everything the client said. Good, bad or indifferent.
And then, you know, you know, I think we talked about the idea of being an order taker. You know, I've been a waitress. I know what it's like to take an order. So but this is not a waitress job. This is this is the ability to hear things and to really understand how to deliver feedback in many ways to people who are very married to their ideas, in fact, in love with their ideas, so much so that they can't hear anything else except their idea.
And so, you know, when I had a really bad conversation with him once, he really helped me understand that, like, if you want people to listen to what you're saying, think about who you're talking to. Think about what it is we're trying to do and figure out how to give somebody a problem as opposed to the solution. So if the client says that they like the color blue and there's Marc Mueller saying the green is the best color, it's not really about green or blue, it's it might not even be about the color at all.
What's the problem that we're trying to solve? And if we can kind of think go back to that and realize that we have to solve a problem as opposed to pick a side, then I think it becomes a much better, more collaborative conversation and people are invested in getting the right answer as opposed to quote unquote, their answer.
So, you know, having those having those really tough conversations with very, you know, important creatives in our firm was a tough thing for me to figure out. And I think when I was able to kind of level set and to get people to focus on the problem, then we could have a conversation and then we could really, again invest collectively to find the best answer.
And, you know, and then it becomes a win win for everyone. It's not about, the client got what they wanted or we got what we wanted. It's like, No, we got it right.
Daniel Burstein: So let's flip the script now. You're on the brand side. I assume you're working with agencies on some level. Like what do you do or do you have any advice in how you work with agencies now to make sure you're getting this side of the point across? Right. Because I remember like when I worked on the agency side, it was always like, the client, they don't know what they're doing and like, we're saving them from themselves.
You're just trying to work around them to get good work done. But then coming on the agency side, you have some agencies do stuff and you're trying to screen like, that's not right for our brand. Like not what you're doing is bad or wrong. It's like, this is not us. It's not right for us. It's not like, you know, and, and even like getting into some of the more technical work, like SEO type work or some of that and they like, no, no, this is how Google works.
So it's kind of like, I don't really care how Google works. Like, yeah, we want traffic, but like we're, we're who we are. That that's first let's serve our customer and then let's worry about serving Google. So I wonder like, have you learned something from that experience of being that account executive and being on the inside to now work within enable agencies?
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, you know, we work with a few. We do a lot of things I will say internally and so internal clients it's it's interesting to have conversations with internal clients and help facilitate those conversations but with working with outside agencies till and in a few instances, you know, certainly it's like I kind of know what's happening. So, you know, it's like, here we go, here comes the cell, here comes the wow, you know?
So I kind of feel like I've got a little inside intel going on, Like I can sort of figure out like the psychology of what's happening on the other side. But at the same time, I also think it's really important to be a good client. And, you know, because I've been you know, I've worked with clients that are just not nice, you know, And I mean, we all have we've all worked with bad clients, clients that don't pay you enough, clients that don't value your thinking, clients that you know, tell you that they want to partner with you.
With the end of the day, they just want what they want. And so you feel as though you have no control and you feel less invested in success because you feel like it becomes too transactional. So I really have tried to be a good client to understand what giving good direction is and to being able and being able to help people understand the why.
So okay, so we don't like it. It's very easy to just say, Hey, we don't like this and walk away. Go figure it out. I mean, if you want a good result, I mean, garbage in, garbage out, right? You have to be able to articulate what it is about something that you don't like. Why isn't it aligned with how the direction of our brand or why isn't aligned?
Do we feel like it's not going to serve the purpose that we're we're looking for this particular thing to serve. So you have to kind of lead them to understand what, again, going back like what is the problem? Like, I'm not I'm I've hired somebody to help me figure to solve something. So if I'm going to sit there and say, well, here's the solution, then what have I hired them for?
I mean, I need them to go away and to think about all of that input that I'm giving them and to come back with something that's even better than what I thought could be the solution. So you have to lean into it. You have to stay in the problem. You have to be able to articulate the problem in a way that gives people a way out.
Daniel Burstein: And your next lesson you mentioned support is everything. It sounds like you are supportive of not only your employers but your agencies. Good for you. But you learned this lesson from Kyle Shachtman, the president of mid-Atlantic Markets for CBRE and formerly the executive managing director of CBRE New York. So how did you learn this from her?
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, I mean, first of all, like, she's a wonderful person. I can't say enough about her and I miss her every day. So she's out there. Hello, Kyle. I think Kyle was my first introduction to a really great boss. I never knew what that was like. I would say that I spent the first half of my career figuring it out myself, and there's a lot to be said for that.
Absolutely. I think that, you know, you you want to figure things out. You don't always need people to tell you exactly what to do and when you have to have and build those that muscle of like good instincts. But I would say that the first half of my career was a lot about looking at what others did and not doing that.
So it was kind of like, okay, don't like that, didn't think that looks successful, so I'm not going to do that. So I'm going to find something else. But when I worked with Kyle, I mean, she hired me, first of all, without real estate experience. And we go back to the idea of fresh perspectives, right? That there are just fundamental things that you learn throughout the course of your career and you find ways to translate.
You find ways to be that magnet, as we talked about, right, to pick up on things and to figure out how they work. So I give her a lot of credit for looking at me and saying, I like this person. I think she could work here. She's going to provide a fresh perspective. She's not going to have all of that sort of real estate.
This is the way we do things. She's going to challenge the status quo and she let me do it. I mean, there's a lot of people who say, yeah, come on, like you can do your thing. And then they don't let you do your thing. She really hired me as a marketing expert and she trusted that I was the marketing expert.
But then I said I was and she gave me that runway and she gave me that true advocacy. Even in the very beginning when things were a little dicey, you know, like, what is this Lynn doing? Like, do we think do we think she's a good fit? What's going on with her team? Why is she coming up with these sort of things that we've never heard of or never have done before?
And and I you know, she was right there beside me to be my advocate. And that was a really, really wonderful thing. And, you know, it just it filled me with a lot of confidence. It made me more confident as a leader. It made me trust myself more. I feel like those are really, really important things. If you want to grow because you'll take more risks, you won't be afraid to fail if something go well because you know that somebody is there and has your back.
And I just find that to be a really wonderful lesson that I learned that really makes me very intentional about how I pay that forward with other team members to make sure that they know that I'm there and then I'm willing to support them and I'm willing, whether through success or failure, all of those things, because that's really an important part of understanding who you are, what you're capable of.
Sometimes your strength is by other people seeing your strength. And when that becomes a measure to you, it really allows you to push yourself and not be afraid.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah, those are best people to be around, right? The people that see something on us that we don't see in ourselves. Yes, but it gets me thinking. Do you talk about her kind of bringing you into this industry, into something new, hiring you, kind of taking a chance on you when you're hiring, when you're looking to hire, what are you looking for?
Because it's always funny to me when I see these job descriptions and the thing they're looking for, things that anyone who's motivated to learn and like, you know, two weeks with an Internet connection, you know, how to use analytics or something. But on the flip side, architecture seems like a complex industry. So I don't know how easy it would be to bring someone in from outside the industry and train them up.
So, I mean, how do you find that balance of, you know, not just looking for these kind of silly qualifications anyone can learn, but at the same time making sure they can hit the ground running?
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, I mean, that's a really good question. I feel like that's something that most folks I would say in a position to hire people probably grapple with institutional knowledge is always a plus. You know, you see somebody that's got, you know, as I'm sitting at CBRE, I see someone who's got real estate experience. You're like, well, this is good.
You know, I won't have to explain all this stuff. And they'll kind of come in, be able to hit the ground running. At the same time, I feel like the gas in that tank depletes quickly that, you know, there's a lot of diminishing returns that. Right. It's like that's that's a plus. And that's an advantage for only a certain amount of time.
Because if you hire somebody who's a quick study and has the ability to learn quick and, you know, be a sponge, that person at some point is going to reach that level. And so then you're looking at what are those true fundamental skills that are going to relate to long term success. So I feel like, you know, fundamental skills like I love people who are good communicators, I love people who have great energy, I love people who are curious and who ask good questions and who have a good work ethic.
You know who. And I would say that when you're when you're having conversations with people, you know, in an interview, you can generally, at least from my perspective, I usually can tell when I'm getting a good hit, like, I could see this person here. The way that they're talking about things, the way that they're answering questions, I feel a connection.
I feel like they get it. And I realize that these are not I feel like these are not very specific things, but I think as you become a more experienced interviewer, you can really start to see have a sense of what someone's giving you in an interview and whether it's something that they think that you want to hear versus what they really truly are.
And I get that feeling in my gut and that's usually what I use. But certainly, you know, you have to look at qualifications. But I'm not I'm not looking at institutional experience as like a key thing. And a lot of it has to do with the fact that how I came up, I got into advertising because somebody was willing to take a chance on me because I had energy and I demonstrated curiosity.
Someone decided to take a chance on me in real estate because they thought that some of the fundamental skills, the creativity, the writing, the kind of client service that I was doing in advertising could potentially be a good fit and a fresh perspective that would be a poke in the arm to the marketing team and CBRE. So I want to pay that forward.
And because I do think that there's a lot of value in bringing people that aren't sort of in it to a new environment because they can see things that maybe others can't because they've been in it for too long.
Daniel Burstein: So I get what you're saying in a hurry, but just to kind of challenge it and push it a bit for anyone listening who might be able to use something. Is there anything like specifically your structurally you've been able to do because the things that you mentioned are the types of things that we would all generally agree we would want in an employee?
I mean, I've seen like tests or different things. So I'll give you an example. I used to do what I loved when we were hiring for a copy editor, right? The hard thing when you're hiring for copy editor, if you're looking for someone detail oriented, right, and nobody in an interview or a cover letter is going to say, I am not detail oriented, that would be a rare person, right?
And so what I used to do is I would put a typo in the job description on purpose and I would get three responses. I found some people would not find the type on the job description. Right. Like I know we're all busy. We don't re job descriptions. If you don't want to read the job description, you're not going to want to read the like hundred 50 page benchmark report we already mean and you're not going to notice things, so you're not a fit.
Then there are the people that would catch the typo, but the way they would communicate it, right, they would come in and they would lay it down on the table when they need it. Let me tell you, you need me. You can't even get a job description. Right. I'm let's go. Let's start talking about salary. And you'd be like, all right, I don't you know, we don't need that person in there.
And then there are the people I remember, like one of the most recent ones I hired. The news came and we had this all great interview. And at the very end, she's like, paid by toxic comments. And I hope no, I hate to bring this up, but, you know, and I kind of wonder you might have did this intentionally, but I look here, I just printed out a circular for you.
You made a little mistake here in the job description. And, you know, I just wanted you to know so you could you can fix it. And I even thought, like, maybe if you kind of meant to do that, to see if we'd find it, You know what I mean? And it's like, Wow, that's who you are. You know what I mean?
Because that's what you're going to get in the trenches with people. And you don't want this big ego going around. And the bad copywriter is the one that's pointing at the writers and making them fix it and do it their way versus like, let's collaborate here. And like like you talked about understand context. Like have some rapport with the person on the other side of things and something like that.
So that worked for me. I just wonder, has there been anything I mean, hiring is so hard. It's so hard to guess if people have those types of values and and and kind of abilities that you talk about. And that's that's part of our nature. Has there been any little I don't say tricks being techniques. You've been able to use with your team to kind of help you get a better feel for that?
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, I tell you, I like yours a lot. I'm a stickler for I'm a stickler about it.
Daniel Burstein: Now you can apply for top editor because you'll know the trick.
Lynn McClouchic: So yeah, I'll do the trick. But yeah, the see something, say something. Thing is great. I mean, there are specific times where I mean, asking for samples is always interesting to me because A it creates an understanding of how that person puts things together. So I feel like sometimes when we're hiring, it's kind of, I think to myself, we shouldn't really be asking them to look for things and cover letters and love to recover letters.
I love to read again samples of work because it helps me understand what people think, and it's an opportunity to get them to talk about their work and to hear how they talk about their work, which is great. I also love thank you notes. I feel like it's becoming like a lost, lost art, which is sad. I mean, I will tell you I can't tell you how many interviews I have over the course of my career where I have come back from interviews and have crafted very specific you notes based on conversations that I've had with a variety of people.
And, you know, sometimes it goes over, sometimes it doesn't. But I am a keen appreciator of that. I'm a keen appreciator of thank you. In general, as the two most powerful words in me in our in any language. But what I loved is when I got hired at CBRE, every person that I interviewed with commented on my thank you note, and I was like, Yeah, that's cool.
That's cool. It served its purpose. So for those of you out there who don't think thank you notes matter, I think they do.
Daniel Burstein: So I assume it wasn't just that you wrote a thank you and it must have been something you said in there.
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah. Like in other words, everyone had connected with one another to say, I guess, like, did you get a thank you note from the candidate? And it turned out to be a very different thank you note than the other person had gotten. So they realized that I had taken the time to draw upon the insights that I had gotten in the interview to create a thank you note that resonated with them specifically.
And so as they were comparing notes, they realized that this person went to the trouble of actually not just thank you very much. It was a pleasure speaking with you. Looking forward to hearing from you soon by now. So I feel like that's a lost art and I think that that really can help people distinguish themselves. And it also shows that, you know, it shows a couple of different things.
Right? It shows your work ethic. It shows that you've been listening. It shows that you know how to write. So there's a lot of stuff going on there that you.
Daniel Burstein: Can understand that person. Yeah, you mentioned samples. One thing I mentioned real quick, something I learned is that, you know, back when I would, you know, in advertising, have your book and share your portfolio of and the thing I love about it is the stories behind the things. I mean, it wasn't just the thing which is funny, this kind of this whole podcast.
And so that's one thing I really learned to and interviewing. It's like you see these pieces in books and it's like, okay, were you like the lead art director or like a junior intern that stood up and you I mean, it's kind of rude to ask, but getting, you know, right. And just getting into the okay, how did you come up with this idea?
Not just how did you come to how did you pitch it to the client? How did you get the client to buy and how did you get the aid to buy and how did you work with the writer? You know, kind of getting those can kind of break down to like, okay, what role did they really have on this piece?
And so that's another thing I learned one last lesson here, and I feel like this is the the the the other side of the coin or we talked about don't be in order taker. You said dismissing an idea makes it more powerful. Right. And I think this is so key to you said you learned this from Jim Tenney, the former president of Della Femina Rothschild jury and partners and currently founder and owner of Blackbird Advertising.
So how do you learn this from Jim?
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, you know, I mean, I want to give a shout out to Jim. He was a mentor to me throughout my career in advertising. I don't think I would have stayed a Della Femina had it not been for Jim, although I do love Jerry, but he really has a brilliant way of thinking and, you know, he just always really you could just see his mind working and, you know, when we would get disappointed or deflated about a client not accepting an idea or our client being difficult, our client not listening, and, you know, you just keep doing the same thing over and over again.
And I mean, we know that that's like, you know, running into a brick wall is never a pleasant experience. So how do we get past that? Right? How do you get past that obstacle? And, you know, he helped us realize that if we're not talking to the client in a way that is lifting them up and giving them and their ideas, credibility or validity, if we're not doing something with that, then we're just kind of being dismissive and that can really break down a relationship.
So you have to get a client whether it's, you know, an external client, if you're working at an ad agency or if you're working, you know, here I am a canon designer. Anybody that's working internally with internal clients, you have to figure out how to get them in the boat with you and throwing them out there, throwing their ideas out of the boat is only going to make them feel as though they're not valued, that their ideas aren't valued.
And sometimes it's it's their ideas could be good. You're just not listening to them. You know, you're not listening to them or you're not looking for that problem. And so how do you take those ideas? How do you potentially see the value in those ideas and figure out a solution? Or do you also realize that if somebody is interested in an idea and passionate about an idea, they want to see what you think of it.
They want to see the result of that. And if you keep it off to the side, it just gets bigger and bigger because it's like, Well, why aren't they doing something with this idea? I really need to understand why. And if you're not paying attention to it again, it just becomes more and more important to them. They're not going to see anything else.
They're only going to see that you're not paying attention to something that they've asked for. And so when we started to think about that, we started to realize like, okay, yes, it's more work. And of course, that's the other piece of it. Great is, you know, you're going to make me you're going to make me do this.
You know, this this idea that doesn't work. You know, you're going to put me through this. And it's like, Well, think about it this way. If you want your idea to be listened to, if you want people to really see what you're trying to say, you have to be able to show proof of concept. So if you don't think their idea works, show them.
Explain to them why it doesn't work by demonstrating something, bring it to life and then show your idea. And then that way give them what they asked for and then give them something else. Because a nice you give them what they ask for. They're always going to go back and wanting. They're always going to go back and want you to fill that hole and you're not going to get that engagement and investment that you're looking for.
Daniel Burstein: You know, the approach I've always taken and this is somewhat controversial because there's a lot that don't agree with me is you kind of give them what they expect. You. If there's three options, let's say, right there, and there's got to be one that they expect in there. And then there's the one or two few that you really want and you want to sell.
And some people like now no, they know declining buy the wrong one. They'll go with the wrong one. Right. But that's part of pitching. Right. Pitching is a core thing we do and you have to take them from where they are to where they should go. Like a famous thing in public speaking. Nancy daughter that great, you know, teach about public speaking, very senior to teach about like the MLK speech and I have a dream.
She talks about you're taking people from where they are to where they need to be. And so I agree with what you said. I don't think you can just dismiss it and keep trying to push your idea. You need to show them like, here's how that would work and maybe there are functional parts of it, but boy, if we did this, we could really do something better.
Lynn McClouchic: Right? Right. And so much of that about that. And I do want to talk a little bit about this because this is something else that that I feel like Jim was a master at and that, you know, I think we all work on is the ability to sell that. You know, look, if you're a Madmen fan and you've watched the whole thing about the carousel, right?
I mean, that is just beauty, you know, That is beauty in a bottle right there. And it's really about the way that you do it, because I've seen a lot of really great ideas just fall completely flat because people don't know how to present it in an engaging and a compelling way to a client. And so and that's a very important piece of it.
And the other thing that you said, you know, there are different points of view, and I will I will say that we have gone through periods where like, yeah, don't don't present anything to a client that you wouldn't want, that you wouldn't want them to buy because that that's the thing they'll buy and then you've just done it to yourself, right?
So you're in control of the situation. Don't put it out there into the, you know, into the atmosphere because that's the one they're going to pick. But at the same time.
Daniel Burstein: But it's. Yeah, right. That's an advertising. It's there, it's in their head. You can't ignore.
Lynn McClouchic: It. Right. So it's about what do you what do you how do you leverage that that to your benefit. How do you so if you yes they are going to expect you to come with X and so how can you build off of that to show them that you could have so much more? And this is why and that becomes part of the that becomes part of that story that you're helping to build.
So so that the client sees it too. So I mean, that's part of the magic, quite honestly, you know, And, you know, you're not always and look, we know I mean, how many things can you put, you know, everybody wants something for their portfolio and we all hope for the reward shows the pieces. But, you know, you don't you don't you're not going to win all the time, but you do want to win when it matters.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah. And, you know, I think another great thing you said that in pitching is such a core skill in this job, in this industry, like you mentioned earlier, like about, you know, actually you actually have to get things done too when you're talking about your crafting boss. Right. It's not enough. It's not good enough to have good ideas.
You actually got to get things done. And one thing that really resonates with me that you said, you know, I know sometimes when I've got into pitching mode, like you go into a mode and you kind of turn off that listening chip in your brain because you are just so far. No, no, no. Like you're so focused on getting this idea from my head into yours.
That's a really good point. You'd still need to kind of make sure you're still really hearing them or you can really overlook some stuff. So I can't let this piece of your career float by without asking you about it. Jerry Della Femina mentioned Mad Men. He's considered one of the original Mad Men. There are a few boldface names in this industry that is one of them.
So let me ask you, like getting to work with Jerry Della Femina. Was there anything specific you took away from that and learn from that? I mean, that is that is an up close look at you know, a legend, for lack of a better word. And there is that lately.
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah. Yeah. It was really a privilege to work with him. He's an extraordinary person and he's a very human person. And in some ways, like, you know, I never realized that he was actually very much an introvert and that was always, you know, and that's always intriguing to me. You find out a lot of folks who are sort of these larger than life iconic people.
Actually, that's a different version of them. And they have a different, you know, So that was always interesting to me, especially because when we would meet with clients or I would talk to people about what I did and I would mention Jerry's name, they're like, Does it come to the office yet? And I'm like, Yeah, you know, Does he go to meetings?
Yeah, like he loves advertising. He truly loved, you know, and he still loves advertising. I am sure he's still to this day at this moment, sitting on his desk in a full suit, thinking about his clients, thinking about advertising. It's just part of who he was. And and, you know, he was a great he was funny and he was a great storyteller and he was a very approachable person.
There was never a time when I didn't feel like I could walk down the hall to his office and walk into his office and have a conversation with him. And that was really you know, that was a really fun part of being there is being part of that sort of family and that circle.
Daniel Burstein: So, you know, I just love that. You mentioned that he was introverted because I'm usually introverted and I've talked about this before. And, you know, I mean, from his reputation of having to cut through the noise, I mean, some might call bombastic or his book was called From the Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Pearl and the Duke is it was like I think I pitched a Panasonic that didn't go over.
But he did take that approach of, man, we've got to cut through this noise. And so so to know that someone who I mean, kind of like me, part of being an introvert is you don't want to draw attention to yourself, but that can still do this role and do this thing of saying, Hey, we've got to cut through the noise and do something.
I'm saying that is that is a interesting insight to now.
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, it was really amazing. And he admitted it to me and I was just blown away by it. And and by the way, a great copywriter. Yeah, great copywriter.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah. Well, you know, and I think and I'll just do a quick ad for introversion. I think the upside of being an introvert when it comes to being a copywriter, I think it gets harder when you try to do the things like the pitching, like even like putting your own name on the shingle and opening your own, you know, for sure, you know, shop up.
But for being a copywriter is when you are introverted, you are listening, right? And you are curious and you are doing and those are the things like to be a good writer, you need to be very curious about people because all we're doing at the end of the day, I mean, we talk about like a complex industry, like architecture, like commercial real estate, triple net, all these terms, whatever, blah, blah, blah.
It's just human nature, man. Like, why would someone sign that lease with CBRE or why would they not write or why would you know, they decide to go with this design or this firm, or why would they not just gets down to human nature at the heart of it? And so being curious about people, I mean, there's nothing more important, I think.
Yeah, but that's my point, actually. We're at the point in that in the episode where I ask you your opinion. So then what are the key qualities of an effective marketer?
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, well, there's a ton and I'm sure everyone has something to say about this. You know, one what came to mind for me or comes to mind for me is just so much is about knowing your client. And when I say that, I mean that's, that's that means so many things and that's not even, you know, that could be an internal client, that can be an external client or, or in fact anyone that you work with.
I mean, but when I think about working in the agency, you know, knowing their business, knowing what makes them tick, knowing the relationships that exist within their building and what's important to them, I mean, those are all things that have really served me so well in being able to now be on the client side and think about serving internal clients.
So, you know, it's just you always kind of have to be one step ahead. I mean, we always used to talk about that. You have to know what the client needs before they know that they need it. I mean, that is what is going to keep that relationship going and keep that business in your agency. So always think about that.
We talked a lot about listening. I mean, I love to talk. I could talk all day. I could talk to a I could talk to a wall. I could talk to, you know, I could talk to my coffee cup. And that's great. And talking is important, but I'm really, really learning to. Listen, more listening is so important. We like to think that we have the answers to things.
So we like to jump in. We like to say here, let's do this or I have an idea. And sometimes it really is beneficial to really listen and to and to listen to what's not. Said, because sometimes that is the answer when someone is talking a lot, but they're not really saying anything. It means that there's something else underlying that.
So you got to read between the lines. You have to listen for what is said and what is absent from that conversation. I mean, it really helps, I think, to just sort of take that step back and to just because a lot of times things will bubble up to the surface if you give them the room to get in and give them the time to have that life as opposed to always trying to jump in and solve things quickly.
Synthesizing and summarizing is something I want to talk about because I, I feel like there's a lot of folks who say a lot of stuff. And then when it comes right down to it, well, what does it boil down to? Where's the funnel? And I think having that funnel, being able to listen to a lot of stuff, listen to a lot of people, talk about a lot of things and then being able to say, well, to sum it up, it's about this, this and this.
That is something I learned in advertising as an account executive, going to a zillion meetings and trying to help summarize everything that happened and to deliver it back to the agencies so that they understood what we needed to do. That is something that's a skill, and I didn't realize it was a skill until I left advertising and even the ability to do that on the fly.
I had people like I would come out of a meeting and say, well, it's clear to me we need to do blah, blah, blah. And somebody would look at me and be like, How did you figure that out? So I feel as though having that muscle is really helpful and then, you know, at the end of the day, it's about getting it done.
I am all about ideas, Don't get me wrong. I love ideas all day long and I feel like I can come up with a fair share of them. But I also know that ideas are our ideas. Unless you're able to wrestle it to the ground and make it happen. So and sometimes getting it done honestly can take just as much creativity as actually coming up with the idea, because you have to figure out what do you have to navigate, what resources do you need, what challenges are in front of you?
And that, again, is a skill because there's a lot of people that don't really know how to get things done. And I didn't realize that was a skill either. And and so the ability to do that is should not be ignored on any level because there's a lot of reward in being able to take something that's big and hairy and exciting, but challenging and figuring out how to break it all down into and create that path and forge that path and get people on your side to help push and drive it to the to the to the end result.
Daniel Burstein: Yeah, a lot of super creative ideas never happened. You know, when you when you engage in listening, it really strikes me have you, as you've become a leader, had to like kind of train yourself to hold back in meetings you don't like kind of dominate because you strike me as like such a quick witted person who where you got something good to say right in the moment.
But, you know, once you're the leader, if you're if you're not careful, you're just going to dominate everything you like, do like bite your thumb or like, what do you like to do? You have to pull back.
Lynn McClouchic: Yeah, I have. You know, what I actually learned to this is I'm not going to take credit for this, but because I'm still learning and because it continues to be something I work on, I'm going to tell this tip that now and sort of this world that we're sort of in more of this virtual world, folks have learned to put themselves on mute.
So that they're being conscious of coming off mute to say something so that it eliminates that immediate like, I'm just going to start talking and everybody is going to be like, Lynn is talking now. I'm going to sit back and listen to what she has to say. So we just had a discussion about that in a webinar at our firm about the idea that leaders don't have to talk first, leaders don't have to talk the most.
And in fact, maybe we should think about talking last and giving others room to have that diversity of ideas and to give people who otherwise may feel intimidated when somebody takes over of inserting themselves into the conversation. So I will say that I have not mastered it. I'm definitely going to try the mute idea. And I think it's just being more intentional about, you know, what, what what am I trying to accomplish here and what am I doing to help my team thrive?
And me always having the answers is not always the best solution.
Daniel Burstein: Well put. Well, Lynn, I am shamefully bad at thank you notes, but here is my kind of audio. Thank you to you. I, I really appreciate you taking all this time to prepare for this, to share all your lessons from your career journey with us. Thank you so much. It has been a pleasure.
Lynn McClouchic: Now, it's been absolutely great and now I feel pressured to write you a very thoughtful thank you note after this is over.
Daniel Burstein: boy, I can't wait. So and thank you to everyone for listening. I wish I could write thank you notes to every single instance. Well, thank you to everyone for listening.
Outro: Thank you for joining us for how I made it in marketing with Daniel Bernstein. Now that you've gotten inspiration for transforming yourself as a marketer, get some ideas for your next marketing campaign. From Marketing Sherpas, Extensive library, a free case studies at marketing Sherpa dot com. That's marketing s h e rpa Paycom been.
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