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The 4 Personalities You Need on Your Marketing Team Build a high-performing marketing team by seeking out people who contribute to a more holistic vision of the department.

By Heather McLeod

Key Takeaways

  • Now that remote work is the norm, talent pools are bigger than ever, and leaders have the opportunity to tailor their teams to perfection.
  • There are so many ways to put together a dream team, but these 4 personalities are necessities.
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If you work with the right people, you don't need to have all the right answers. I grew a marketing team from two to more than 80 employees in a handful of years. We're still growing regularly to support Authority Brands' explosive growth from one home service franchise brand to 16 brands in just six years. My leadership philosophy is the same now as with two employees: build a strong team, empower them with scalable processes and systems, and get out of their way. Collaborative leadership is about an optimal balance of support and autonomy. The first step is selecting the right people.

A strong team isn't just about hiring for skills and experience. That's the baseline expectation. A long term hiring plan has to take a holistic approach to team structure. Now that remote work is the norm, talent pools are bigger than ever, and leaders have the opportunity to tailor their teams to perfection. Fostering the right personalities within the department is the difference that elevates the marketing team into an example for the whole organization.

Whether your team comprises 5 or 50, here are the personalities you need.

Related: You Have to Actually Know Your People to Retain Them. Here's Why It Matters.

1. The Acrobat: Always impressive and key in a crisis

"Adapt and overcome" is the Acrobat's motto. At first glance they're all calm and confident. But when you know exactly what they're managing, you can fully appreciate their ability to do it all wgracefully Being productive under pressure is great, but Acrobats make it look effortless. They adapt to new realities and find balance quickly, setting an example for the whole team.

The Acrobat is the kind of person you want on your team during a crisis. Even now, most businesses overestimate their preparedness for a major disruption. Of course, there's more to organizational crisis preparedness than having an Acrobat on the marketing team, but their ability to remain composed under any set of circumstances is an invaluable daily asset.

2. The Sunbeam: Brilliance amplifier and ego manager

Keeping a shared purpose at the center of a marketing team is vital. The task becomes more challenging as the team grows, but Sunbeams help immensely. Their genuine enthusiasm is infectious and gently directs the team's focus to opportunities and solutions even through hardship. The presence of a Sunbeam sets the tone at meetings and helps to neutralize ego-driven behavior that can derail collaboration and business-wide progress. As a bonus, their nature helps tremendously with maintaining a sense of camaraderie in hybrid teams.

The Sunbeam's empathetic soul brings out the best in all of us. They lift others up, providing the encouragement and support that allows individuals to blossom and their brilliance to shine. I've learned from the Sunbeams on our team that the kinder approach often results in a greater impact.

Related: Connected for Success: 4 Crucial Values of an Interconnected Organizational Culture

3. The Codebreaker: Interdepartmental MVP and bridge builder

No matter the size or scope of the marketing department, leaders must constantly battle information silos. Building relationships across departments is time well spent, and Codebreakers excel at it. Codebreakers have a remarkable ability to see beyond the surface of business. They effortlessly grasp the intricate connections that define our operations and often "speak" multiple business languages.

One of our Codebreakers thrives at the intersection of marketing and IT. She speaks both languages and bounces between them easily. Then, she turns around and illuminates the path forward for everyone else. She'll always break down confusing lingo, explain steps clearly and teach others while she's at it.

Interconnected thinkers are continuous learners. Their keen insights inspire bold leaps of faith, allowing the department to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

4. The Renegade: Thoughtful skeptic and rule breaker

Marketers love to push boundaries, and no one pushes harder than a Renegade. They revel in critical thinking and challenging the status quo. They aren't contrarians or pessimists. Renegades are driven by the desire for continuous growth, and they are not afraid to point out any opportunity for improvement. At the same time, a Renegade has the good judgment to know when to push with an incisive question and when to go with the flow.

If a process has stagnated, a Renegade will tell me. I embrace their "what-if?"s, which often lead to valuable realizations. They understand the rules well enough to subvert them and empower others to break free from assumptions that might be holding everyone back. Complacency is out the door when there's a Renegade on your team.

Related: How Leaders Can Support and Embrace The Untapped Potential of Neurodiverse Talent

Strengths-based leadership supercharges talent

There are so many ways to put together a dream team, but the Acrobat, Sunbeam, Codebreaker and Renegade are necessities. Seek out the individuals who embody these essential traits and nurture them on your team. They each have unique strengths, but ultimately it's about the energy and attitude they bring to the department as a whole.

I have had tremendous success scaling up a marketing team by empowering teams to lead with their strengths. When my team was tiny but mighty, I needed the Sunbeam to be the Acrobat at the same time. In building out a larger marketing department I've had the honor of elevating these personalities to leadership roles. I still learn from them every day.

Heather McLeod

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Chief Growth Officer of Authority Brands

Heather brings her passion for collaboration, customer experience, and process to everything she does. She focuses on building the right team, then empowering them to be successful through processes and systems that scale and support continued system growth.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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