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What has been the greatest accomplishment made when you’ve had to influence others without authority and did it make things easier for you when you needed buy-in on other projects?

Jessica Gilmartin
Jessica Gilmartin
Calendly Chief Marketing OfficerAugust 18

No matter where I am in my career, I always consider my work in the context of how I’m making the company more successful in achieving its goals. In other words, rather than focusing on my personal priorities, I spend my time thinking about how the problems I am solving show up across the organization, and how I can partner with key stakeholders to solve them.

As a marketer, our challenge is often understanding how our work supports sales. I learned early on in my career that partnering closely with SDRs and AEs will make my team more effective and the company better. So I make sure to build strong relationships with the sales teams (at every level, from our Head of Sales down to individual reps) so that we build trust and connection right away. I also ensure that my team co-creates the marketing roadmap with sales so that we feel like equal partners. 

By putting the work in up-front to build trust and relationships, when it’s time to influence the sales team (who I definitely don’t have authority over) they are more willing to listen and act because they know I’m coming from a place of shared goals, respect, and empathy for their needs.

2174 Views
Tamara Niesen
Tamara Niesen
WooCommerce CMODecember 5

Last year I led a mission that was outside of my discipline. The greatest challenge of leading without authority in my career:

  • I was successful because we had alignment at the exec level that ‘it’ was [one of] the most important things we needed to accomplish. 
  • When we asked leaders and individual contributors from across the organization to join and contribute to the mission, we ensured the goals, expectations, timelines, deliverables were clear.
  • If the individuals had conflicting priorities, we got buy-in and worked with their leaders to delegate those conflicting priorities so they could focus only on the mission for a defined time period.
  • When we were successful in the mission, we celebrated, reflected by getting feedback from everyone involved- we encouraged every member to have a voice throughout.

The key here to leading outside of reporting lines was certainly leading with confidence, but more importantly, with empathy (and there were times where I messed this up).

I had buy-in and a sense of authority from the powers above, but you cannot be successful with authority alone…you need more. You need to establish trust with those you are working with- people don’t do their best work because they are told to, they do it when they are aligned to a common goal, are excited about the work, and motivated by the people around them to deliver. So on that note, make sure you are having fun, too.

360 Views
Erika Barbosa
Erika Barbosa
Counterpart Marketing LeadFebruary 22

My current role has a focus on growth marketing and is all about influencing others without authority because of the cross-functional nature of the role. Depending on the org structure, you’ll need to work with product marketing, customer success, sales, engineering, design and many other departments. I do not have authority across all of these departments. Yet the cross-functional nature is imperative to reach our united business objectives.

I recommend you lead by example. This makes it much easier when you need buy-in on other projects. Be respectful and proactively communicate. This ultimately comes down to building relationships. A big part of demand generation is collaboration. Perhaps if you reframe this and see it as building trust throughout many micro-moments, the getting buy-in part comes much more naturally.

410 Views
Katie Jane Parkes
Katie Jane Parkes
Nexus Communications VP of CreativeOctober 3

I'm not sure I fully understand this question but I will attempt an answer.

When working with others without authority, I found the greatest sense of accomplishment came from being the person who involved them, heard them, listened to them, and helped amplify and execute their good ideas.

When working with others, coming from that empathic place will always serve you well and will make other people want to help you and work with you to reach your goals.

Doing this certainly makes it easier when I need buy-in on other projects, and will just help you generally in your career.

369 Views
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