Masterclass: What do 'one in a million' marketers think about?

Have you got what it takes to be one of the marketing "talents" that companies can't wait to recruit? Mhairi McEwan has some questions you should ask yourself.

There's a reason why recruitment agencies use the word "talent". That's what they - and their clients - want above all else: the cream of the crop, those who are "one in a million".

Brand Learning has the privilege of coaching and mentoring promising marketing professionals, including some through The Marketing Academy. As we reflect on what sets people apart and makes for a "one-in-a-million" marketer, we believe it is those who understand what it takes to be a great leader.

So if you see yourself as a marketer with untapped potential, who could - and should - end up in the Marketing Power 100 one day, look at the questions below and challenge yourself honestly - do you really get it?

If yes, you're already on the right track. If no, you need to start to think differently so you can start to act differently - your future depends on it.

Am I always learning?

The best people are continually learning about their industry and staying at the forefront of marketing, stretching themselves, pushing their boundaries, unafraid to learn from mistakes, asking for feedback and acting on it.

What will be my legacy?

Have you thought about the legacy you want to leave behind? This is something that sets people apart and identifies the visionaries, as opposed to those who are working day to day.

Can I articulate what my values are?

As a great leader, you should understand your own value system. Ask "What am I leading for?" and "What do I care about?" If you understand yourself, you will be far better-equipped to understand and lead others.

Am I a great leader?

Do you question how to better lead and inspire your team? The transition from merely being a manager to a leader, and then a great leader, comes when you continuously search for how you could do it better.

Do I invest in building strong relationships?

Do you work to forge ties with external partners as well as within your own business? The stronger your relationships, the more you will be able to achieve. Do you make time to advise others on how to improve their skills and learn to act differently and more effectively? The more you give, the more you will get back.

Do I have a balanced life?

Do you lead a rich and fulfilling life both within and outside work? The strongest and most authentic leaders are mindful that life is not forever and strive to achieve the right balance in their lives.

Am I resilient in tough times?

Are you equipped to stay cool in tough leadership situations? Do you know how to diffuse stress in yourself and others? Do you bring respect, authenticity and integrity to address difficult situations?

Are you good enough to look at yourself honestly - as others see you? Are you prepared to make mistakes, admit when you don't handle things well and learn from that?

Great leaders inspire future direction and engage others to deliver results for your organisation - while not losing themselves.

Mhairi McEwan is chief executive and co-founder of Brand Learning.

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