Archive for May, 2015

10 Unforgettable Quotes From Successful Former P&G Leaders

Every two years, the P&G Alumni Network hosts a global reunion. Since I left P&G six years ago, I have attended two reunions and have been blown away each time. This is an impressive group of people who gather for a weekend of learning, fun, and connections. It is always a fabulous management leadership experience and this past weekend’s reunion at the Fontainebleau in Miami was no different.

P&G alums still feel a strong sense of community to P&G and to each other. Joining P&G is like joining an elite group of leaders. It’s a very intense experience that stays with you long after you leave the company. Like athletic teams, P&G binds people together for their entire life. And P&Gers make it a priority to stay connected. The alumni group covers a diverse group of industries, which makes the lessons and stories even more valuable. These are my biggest takeaways from notable P&G alums at the event:

  1. “Dreaming big is not just an opportunity, it is an expectation.  The best people want to work on the biggest challenges.”  Lisa Gevelber, VP of Marketing, Google
  2. “Make your history a good history. Your reputation is everything.  Keep this in mind every day.”  Melanie Healey, Retiring Group President, P&G / Verizon Board of Directors
  3. “Careers are less like a ladder and more like a jungle gym.”  Gary Briggs, CMO, Facebook (NOTE: Gary is not a P&G alum, but he is a friend of P&G and spoke at the reunion)
  4. “Look for possibilities and progress, don’t compare and justify.”  Alicia Enciso, CMO, Nestlé USA
  5. “Never underestimate the power of basic, simple questions.”  Anne Sempowski Ward, CEO, Thymes
  6. “Think of your career as a happiness journey:  have a higher purpose, be curious, be open to serendipity, integrate your business and personal life, and take time to reflect.”  Selina Yoon, CEO Master Communications / Growth Consultant, The Jim Stengel Company
  7. “P&G’s unique sense of community may be its enduring competitive advantage, and we need to understand why it exists, why it matters, and what could threaten it.”  John Pepper, Former Chairman of The Walt Disney Company
  8. “We need more honest discussion in business, less excessive politeness and politics.”  Melanie Healey, Retiring Group President, P&G / Verizon Board of Directors
  9. “Here is my equation for success on brands and business: [IQ+EQ+TQ+BQ]CQ”
    (Translation: Intelligence, emotion, technology, bloody quick, with a creativity quotient.) Kevin Roberts, CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi
  10. “Levi’s was the original Silicon Valley startup. We blossomed during the gold rush and we need to rekindle that spirit every single day.” Chip Bergh, CEO, Levi’s

This weekend showcased a lot of people speaking personally about finding a great match of passions and purpose of the company they work for. They shared stories of personal decision-making and reflecting on how they want to spend their life. When asked what they are most proud of in their career, these leaders pointed to the people they have developed. There really was a strong sense of leadership and creating leaders.

What are you doing each day to create this type of excitement and energy within your organization? What are you doing to develop these types of leaders on your team?

Categories: Business, CMO Habits, Marketing

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Brand Building with a Purpose: LLS Fundraiser Recap


Last night, I had the opportunity to talk about the future of brand building and leadership with an intimate group of people. The event was hosted at Venue 222, a hip, urban space nestled in OTR, one of Cincinnati’s oldest neighborhoods currently experiencing a major revitalization. It was the perfect setting for engaging discussion about purpose and community.

Cindy Tripp hosted the event as a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Cindy is part of the LLS Woman of the Year Campaign as a way to give back to an organization that made a big impact on her life. In 2011, her mother was diagnosed with Leukemia. A few months later, her daughter was diagnosed with the same disease. The comfort and resources that LLS provided Cindy made an impact on her and gave her a reason to give back to the next generation of families who will have to experience the same nightmare. The research LLS will fund will benefit the future.

Those who attended were there to support Cindy and LLS while learning about leadership and brand building. At the beginning, we went around the room with introductions and we learned most had a personal connection to the ugliness of cancer. It created a strong sense of community that brought an energy into the room. It was a great reminder of how companies can create strong organizational energy by building a sense of community through a common purpose.

My wife Kathleen and I were proud to support Cindy and LLS in honor of my hero, my inspiration, my brother Bob.












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A Soapbox for Purpose

Method_South view

I’ve always been a big believer in higher ideals, guiding behavior in business and in life. I was a strong advocate for building purpose in brands during my time as Global Marketing Officer at Procter & Gamble. I wrote a book about it, backed up by a major study with Millward Brown Optimor. And now I spend my life helping clients find and live up to their ideals. But I’ve never been more inspired than I was last week to see a purpose truly come to life. The team at Method has lived and breathed purpose since Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan started the company in Northern California. They truly exemplify what it means to live up to their higher ideals.

I first came across the Method team during my days at P&G during meetings with Target.  I, along with many others, thought Method was Target’s private label. But once I got to know the team and what they stood for, I was immediately hooked. These are people against dirty (Method’s shortcut version of its purpose) in every sense of the word. Adam and Eric were roommates who wanted to find a cleaner, healthier way to clean their dirty apartment. That meant cleaner ingredients, environmentally friendly products that truly cleaned the dirt and grime that guys build up. And from there, Method was founded on a beautiful purpose: to be a catalyst in the happy, healthy home revolution.

Method’s purpose has been the center of their business model since the beginning. These are green products that you can use without gloves or a mask as you clean your home. Adam even once drank a bottle of soap to prove it. Recycled materials are used to create chic bottles that look beautiful on the sink of a modern-designed home. And now they’ve taken that higher ideal a step further. Actually, much bigger than just a step: they’ve set a standard for all businesses, across all industries.

Last week the collaboration between the Method team, Gotham Greens, Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and many others, came to life. They cut the ribbon and officially opened a factory in Chicago, the “South Side Soapbox,” and I was honored to be a part of the momentous occasion. This is the first new factory in the South Side of Chicago in more than 30 years. The large empty tract at the intersection of East 111th and I-94 is now illuminated with a colorful wind turbine. The 225-foot-tall turbine overlooks the Dan Ryan Expressway, welcoming drivers to Chicago. The awnings over the parking lot are solar panels, so half of the power needed to run the manufacturing plant is self-generated.

The Soapbox is the only factory in its category that is LEED Platinum certified. And the Method team didn’t just stop there, in an effort to “build a cleaner clean,” they built an urban garden on top of the manufacturing plant. The two-acre greenspace will have the productivity of 40 acres. It is the largest hydroponic factory roof garden in the world and will grow 500 tons of fresh produce every year. Talk about going green.

This project was an unreal spirit of collaboration with the community and other likeminded businesses. The factory is a true demonstration on how to do business a different way – a good way. And it’s a win-win-win for Method, the community, and our environment. And it was very special for me to see a higher ideal come to life.

As you go about your workday, think about your company’s purpose in this world. Are you making a difference? Does your purpose drive every business decision you make? Purpose isn’t just a feel good story to keep you and your team motivated, it truly is good for business: Method has been the fastest growing company in its category for the past four years. That shows the power of a higher ideal activated.

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