Given that the Marketing Society’s remit is to enable leaders to have brave conversations in a human way, what better leader to showcase this than Jo Whitfeild, CEO of Coop Food, who oozes bravery, authenticity and GRAVITAS!
So many things about Jo’s journey resonated with me, but I’ve narrowed them down to my top 10 takeaways:
- Our job is to lead through listening to our teams, then help them by enabling change
- You don’t need to have all the ideas and answers on your own, employ experts who understand the detail
- If you want to pivot within your career then networking is essential, so learn how to do it authentically to stay connected, relevant and front of mind
- The best companies Jo has worked for hire for attitude and train for skill and they also aligned with her values
- Having a sponsor within companies has helped Jo to thrive, pivot and progress, so be brave and ask potential sponsors for a chat over coffee!
- You learn the most when you’re being stretched, so take scary roles that take you out of your comfort zone as these will be the most rewarding
- Balance is important and the Coop protects family time, so no one is expected to work whilst on holiday. A fresh insight for me around this is that it can be used as a learning opportunity for those around you to step up while you’re away
- Find your own gravitas and don’t conform to another person’s view of this
- Get as close as you can to the customer and be their voice
- Always inject some fun and have a sense of humour and drink gin at the weekend!
By Rachel Compton, Head of Commercial Marketing at ITV