646: Do These 3 Things to Create a Culture That Produces Results w/ Amanda McGuckin Hager

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Amanda McGuckin Hager, VP Marketing at YouEarnedIt.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amanda/

Wouldn't it be nice to have several fault leaders in your industry know and Love Your brand? Start a podcast, invite your industries thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reaping the benefits of having a network full of industry influencers. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the BE TOB growth show, podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources? You've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green and I'm James Carberry. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BEDB growth show. We are here today with Amanda mcguckin Hagar. She is the VP of marketing at you earned it, Amanda. How you doing today? I'm doing well, James. How are you? I'm wonderful. So, Amanda, we are going to be talking about leadership and organization design, but really, I think, as we're talking offline, I think the big takeaway that listeners are going to get from this is really how do you create a culture inside of Your Marketing Organization that drives really incredible results, like the results that you that you have seen. You learned it recently, but before we dive into that, I'd love for you just to explain a little bit of context or on the business. What is you earned it? How do you guys serve companies, and then we'll dive into the interview from there. Yeah, so you earned it as an employee experience platform. It's based on the science of motivation and what motivates employees and it has the mission of improving the lives of employees everywhere, one company at a time. What we have found is that the employee experience really impacts the bottom line and impacts the metrics that really drives a business forward. It provides that through different types of features such as were recognition, public recognition,...

...rewards, incentive, team insights on engagement. I love it. And so, in talking about kind of transitioning to what we're going to be talking about today, you know, how do you create a really, you know, a highly efficient team that's performing, and how do you create a culture inside that team that really facilitates those results? But before we do that, I'd loved it just for our listeners to understand the kind of metrics that your team is driving, because the rest of this conversation is really going to be what you did as the vice president of marketing to create an environment that allowed these metrics to happen. So could you tell us about some of the results that you've seen in your marketing team since you've been with the company? Yeah, I'd love to. I'm very proud of them. I've been a technology sort of ass it team marketer for almost twenty years now and the metrics that I see at this company are so it's the strongest that I've seen in my career. The MQL to sqo conversion is above industry average. The quality of the opportunities that were driving to the sales team have a very high wind rate, above industry average. When rate and quarter over quarter, the marketing source opportunities drive the majority of the revenue. I really couldn't ask for more. I love that. And so for the rest of this conversation a lot of what we're going to be talking about is what you did as the leader to facilitate those those kind of results. And so when you when you first stepped into the organization, Amanda, Talk to us about and what were your goals kind of coming in leading organization? And then we'll go from there. Yeah, when I joined I was replacing a former vice president of marketing. The team of three existed, so I inherited a few employees. Then I went on to hire a few more employees and build out the team. So one of the first things I wanted to do is try and figure out what is what...

...is my what am I hoping to accomplish, and and that was to really build a high performing, efficient and effective team with little or no drama. Drama sort of disruption and it isn't good for culture. I wanted a place where the team felt that they could trust me and trust each other, but also have psychological safety as well as, you know, not being afraid to take risks and try new things and innovate and, above all, have some fun. I really wanted us to enjoy each other's company and laugh a lot, love it, and so to do that and your your first step is we're talking about it offline. You said that you created a written statement. That was really your statement to your team. That said you know as your leader, and explained a few different things. Can you talk to us about what was what was in that written statement? Yeah, I call that my leadership manifesto. I sat down and and wanted to help set expectations with them. Of You know, here I am, I'm new to the team. What can they expect? So this manifesto is starts out. As your leader, I promised to and list out the things that I promised to do. You know, three different things I promised to do for that team. I also listed out what I expect as your leader. I expect these things from you, and then I went on to say, as your leader, I need these things. I think this level setting was really good for the team and I think it helped sort of everyone understand how we're going to work together, what they can come to me with, what the expectations of them in each other are, and then also to understand what I need. We all have needs. Even as a leader, I need some things. So and when you were delivering that to them for the first time, is that a document that is in it kind of a shared drive somewhere? Was it a meeting where you can have presented it to them in person? What did that look like? Yeah, well, I did present it in person, but it is in a shared presentation on our drive that we can refer to back...

...at any time and it's been great to do that, not only for them to refer back and hold me accountable, but also for me to refer back and and remember what did I promise to do? And Am am I delivering on that promise? And so, after your written statement of to your team, you guys collectively as a team, develop a mission statement together. Can you talk to us about what went into that mission statement? Yeah, I would love to share my our mission statement with you. I actually present it in every all hands that we do again and again and again, just not only to remind the team but also to remind the company. This is what the marketing department is here to do and this is how we serve the company at large. Our Marketing Mission statement incorporates all facets of the marketing team. So the statement is through market leading content, voice and brand we drive market awareness of our company and demand of our platform that yields high quality net new sales opportunities with our ideal prospects. Very simple, it's also very powerful. And again, that mission statement, combined with this exercise that we did on our guiding principles. What are the guiding principles of this team? And then what is the decision making process of this team. You know, when conflict comes up or when things are thrown at us that may or may not, you know, fit into our mission statement or may or may not, you know, violate our guiding principles, how are we going to make the decision right? So we went through this exercise of, you know, what felt the best to everyone on that decision making process so that, again, those were also recorded and archived in a public space so we can go back to them again and again. Gott it was that? So those guiding principles? Was that a conversation that you had collectively with the team that said Hey, let's get all of our ideas, you know, out into the open and...

...then we collectively as a team, choose kind of okay, these are the these are the guiding principles that were really going to document, or was it of you, as the leader, establishing those and then just making sure that those guiding principles were communicated down? Now, very much a collaborative effort and I needed the team to tell me what was most comfortable with them so that we could make these decisions together and on the fly. I also wanted these guiding principles to be sort of owned by them so that they can make those decisions without me. Certainly, I don't want to be a bottleneck. I want to empower them and I want to give them the freedom and autonomy to do you the business that they need to do in order to drive these metrics forward. So it was very much a collaborative thing. I can share some of the guiding principles with you. Some of them are does it support the marketing mission? Does it amplify our brand? Does it silo our team? Is it worth it? Is the time, money and resources for what benefit? The cost benefit analysis does that play out? Does it distract us from our core objectives? Does it match our strength? Is it necessary right now? Do we clearly understand the why? These are the guiding principles under which we operate. And then, from a decision making perspective, the team decided gather all the stakeholders and do a majority vote. I know we're not a democracy, but the team felt like that was the way that we're going to make the most impact and, again, with everyone's buy in, to move forward. If there is some sort of, you know, hung jury, if you will, if they're not able to decide, through a majority vote, that they'll elevate it to the top stakeholder for a final decision. I love the specificity of how you guys have it makes so much sense. But I know that we don't have that internally in our own organization and I would imagine, though, a lot of teams don't either. So that I love that you guys have documented that process. This is how we make decisions as a team and you've written it down and it's in a shared space and everybody knows. Okay, this is what we do. This next piece that we're...

...going to talk about, Amanda, you talked about this the scarf motivation model. Can you talk to us a little bit about that and then how you went about implementing that within your team? Yeah, so, you know, James, you and I have already talked about my leadership manifesto and we talked about the team as a whole. But then this next piece. I wanted to get to know the individuals of the team, right, that the ones that make up the greater team, and so one of the things I wanted to understand is how is each individual motivated, and the scarf motivational model is by the Neuro Leadership Institute and really wanted to understand. The scarf motivation model is five motivational aspects status, certainty, autonomy, relationships and fairness, and what I learned is that by large majority the individuals on my team are motivated by certainty. So that really helps me understand and gives me context on how to best lead them. I do have a couple individuals on my team that are by far and away motivated by fairness and I know that when I'm working with those individuals I need to make sure that I am addressing this is how it's fair or I understand this may not come across as fair, but I'm always trying to let them know. I hear you that you're motivated by fairness and I want to address that with you. So we did the motivation model. It's really quick assessment online, free and available to everyone, and then we did the strengths finder so that we could understand everybody's top strengths and we could play to those. I think that was really important and fun for all of us to get to know who had the shared same strength who had different strengths. And then an optional Myers Briggs personality test, just so that we again understood who everyone was as an individual. That was really fun. That exercise was great fun for the team. We all got to sort of celebrate...

...each other's similarities and celebrate each other's differences. We had a lot of fun with that and what I what I love about how you really operationalized that exercise was you didn't just collect all this data and just let it sit there. But this next thing we're going to talk about because you realize that a large majority of your team, certainty was how they were motivated, and so you went out of your way to figure out, okay, how can I minimize uncertainty? Can you talk to us about some of the things that you did to based on the context of your team and knowing you know, knowing them better because of the exercises that you guys did together, what did you do to minimize that uncertainty? Yeah, that that was a real telling time for me as a as a leader, knowing that if they're motivated by certainty, I have to do what I can to minimize that uncertainty for them. Otherwise that uncertainty brings fear and doubt and disengagement and the and the drama that we're trying to avoid. So trying to create certainty through consistency, things that they know, that they can learn to expect and understand and trust, because it's always there, repeated over and over. So a lot of what I did was create a regular cadence of communication. They know we're going to have a weekly team meeting. They know that in that team meeting it's an opportunity to voice problem solution, celebrations concerns. They know that we will have a quarterly off site where we'll go have some fun. We're also going to have a quarterly planning session where we're going to figure out how we're you know, what we're going to do, how we fold into the company's larger objectives and how we're going to attack that, and then also creating a regular anonymous survey. So once a quarter I send out a totally anonymous survey through a Google form giving the their experience on the marketing team, just a quick and PS score and then optional questions getting into how am I doing as a leader? How...

...are we doing as a team? How's our collaboration? How are we are we meeting deadlines? Are we not meeting deadlines? Are there bottlenecks, and then, of course, an open text field where they can tell me anything they want. Sometimes they rad each other out, sometimes they tell me where I could do better as a leader. All I've appreciated and you know, sometimes they they say how happy they are to be here. So I like to give them that opportunity as well. I love the piece of that, like the anonymity they're in, giving them just the the the free space to not feel like, I don't know, to really empower them to be as open as possible. I also love that you that you ask them to critique your leadership, because I think so many leaders. I recently went through an exercise where I we did kind of a three hundred and sixty review on on our team and having it's just not an easy thing, having gone through it, to ask people to critique your leadership, but the benefit of it far outweighs, at least it did for me, the anxiety of feeling like, oh my gosh, I don't want to be told you know that I that I'm deficient or that I'm not perfect, but it's so beneficial. So I love that you baked that into the survey. A minute of this. This has been incredible. I think you've shared so many just tangible, very practical ways that that leaders can create a culture within their organization that drive results, and the context of what you've done with in your marketing team and the results that your team is driving because of it, I think are phenomenal. If there's anybody that wants to stay connected with you, Amanda, or they want to learn more about you earned it. What's the best way for them to go about doing that? Everyone can connect with me on Linkedin if my linked handle is simply linkedincom in Flash Amanda. Wow, yeah, I know, I got really lucky really early. or they are welcome to email me at...

Amanda Dot Hagar, at Your didcom love it awesome, Amanda, will thank you so much for your time today. This has been fantastic and I really appreciate it. Thank you so much for having me. I enjoyed it. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the bead growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, will talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a be tob growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be toob growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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