UK Business Guru René Carayol: When it comes to jr leadership, culture is more powerful than strategy. People are the most important assets of a business by Justin Robinson Director of Marketing Operations & Media Foxtel

In what was the first of a series of lectures as part of my journey as a delegate with The Marketing Academy’s Leadership Programme, René Carayol shared his compelling philosophy on what it takes to succeed as a leader in today’s business world.

He challenged us with awkward and uncomfortable questions and hard-hitting stories. He told us outright that no matter how good we are, our marketing skill and prowess alone would not get us to the top of the organisation. Through his larger than life character, his inspiring presentation was delivered with electrifying effect, leaving me with a clear view of the endless possibilities that lie within my grasp.

Drawing from a series of interviews with successful UK executive Allan Leighton, René shared with us one of the few examples from the UK of just what it takes to rise through the ranks, starting out in marketing, becoming CMO and eventually onto CEO and Chairman. His message was clear and simple, “the single most important thing that will propel your career more than anything else is leadership, not your expertise in marketing, its leadership… and leadership is an attitude”.

René convinced us of three important pillars that support his leadership philosophy:

1. Your heritage will not be your destiny.
 Manage a little less, lead a little more.
3. Culture is more powerful than strategy.

The world has changed and nothing has changed more in business than the marketing function.  As René says, “Your heritage will not be your destiny”. The technical skill that has got you to your level in your organisation today isn’t enough anymore, the world has changed fundamentally, and you need to be a leader to stay ahead and succeed.

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