In partnership with The CMO Club, The CMO of the Week series profiles CMOs who are shaping, changing and challenging the world of modern marketing. For Drew Neisser's complete interview with CMO Award Winner Julie Garlikov, click here.
'Tis the season for celebrating relationships, and not just with our partners and extended family. It's also the time of year for many an office party, meaning plenty of face time with colleagues and professional acquaintances. While exchanging presents with the former happens only once or twice a year, you could argue that we constantly undertake these transactions, albeit in a metaphorical sense, with our work contacts.
So, in the spirit of giving-and-getting, let's turn our focus to the all-important peer network, the must-have gift of many marketing leaders. I recently profiled pro-networker and JP Morgan Managing Director Tim Suther in this column, and this week I'd like to present Julie Garlikov's perspective on building bridges for better business. As VP of Marketing and Retail Sales at Nuvesse Skin Therapies in San Francisco, Garlikov is a 2015 winner of a prestigious President's Circle Award from The CMO Club and brings a bounty of good cheer to those interested in the topic.
Making a list, checking it twice
Building a solid peer network falls on different priority levels for different CMOs, but when I ask Julie Garlikov where it lands on her naughty-or-nice activity list, she says it's most certainly on the nice side. "I've used my peer network as a valued resource and sounding board," says Garlikov, in addition to getting insider information on agencies, partners and potential hires. "I also run programs and ideas by my peers to see what they think of a strategy. You really need someone else with a similar headset to push on your plans before you bring them forward," she says.
Finding time during a busy season
When time is tight-and for today's CMO, when is it not?-Garlikov still carves out a few hours per week to nurture her network. In fact, she finds it integral to her role to do so. "I don't need to rationalize the efforts anymore, as I know the value the fresh perspective gives me and my company." Building networking into her schedule has had far-reaching benefits for both Garlikov, professionally, and her employers. In other words, the ROI is easy to map. Because of her peer network, she says, "I've created bigger ideas, found new ways to solve my problems and just been pushed into new territories."
Garlikov has also discovered several other perks of peer networking during her career. Besides opening doors, she says it also brings new life and vitality to her work. "The energy of connecting with a peer lifts me up and inspires me, giving me a new perspective." What's more, over time, the professional sometimes become personal (in a good way). "I've made some wonderful friendships along the way," says Garlikov. "Some of the people I initially just used as a business sounding board are now friends. We go to lunch frequently or catch-up on all things, both personal and professional."
The joy of giving
While it can be tempting to focus on maintaining a fair give-and-take balance in your peer network, Garlikov echoes the sentiment of several other President's Circle Award winners: don't do it. "I am always willing to help out others and don't see the world as a scorecard or a big mental scale," she says. "Some of my network help me more than I help them and are more mentors. But then I mentor others that way." In Garlikov's opinion, it's not the gift being given or received but the thought that counts. "I see it a bit differently, she says, "and think that if you're helpful and give the time, you'll always find others who will do the same for you."
CMO of the Week is an exclusive Social Media Today column appearing every Thursday