Welcome to the season of rituals—where we welcome cooler weather, darker mornings, and memorable holiday gatherings.
One of my favorite gatherings isn’t what you think.
It happens every November – the CMOs Leading Innovation Conference (CLIC ’23).
Our 7th cohort –themed “The Innovation Songbook”– took us to Nashville, TN this year. Belmont University’s President Greg Smith and Business School Dean Sarah Gardial welcomed us to their gorgeous campus. We also enjoyed our first-ever songwriting session with Lauren Hungate and Caroline Watkins (pictured above). You will be hearing more from them in the years ahead!
Our standing ritual of selecting and celebrating a stellar community member makes this cohort extra memorable.
Our 2023 Beacon Award recipient, Amy Kellinger, is someone you would love to know. She’s Blackbaud’s VP of global demand gen and event marketing–and an inspiration to our global community.
Amy embodies the strategic thinking and core values that makes our 12 year old community strong: promoting shared knowledge and experiences, modeling strategic leadership traits, and staying present and purposeful–especially during times of VUCA.
These values are rare these days. Here’s what I’m noticing: CMOs and marketing leaders are constantly dodging two types of F-bombs: 🔥Fear and FOMO🔥.
The need to squash fears from the Board and the CEO–such as fear of losing to competitors, or the fear of falling behind with AI–pushes them to the limit.
Over two-thirds of my community members report burnout, too many competing goals, and overly lean teams.
In the face of tough moments–a company reduction in force, challenging budget planning sessions, and an unexpected key person taking leave right before their major user conference–she stayed the course. It’s no surprise that CEO Mike Gianoni just announced Blackbaud exceeded the Rule of 40 one quarter earlier than anticipated.
Catherine LaCour agrees, and initially introduced us: “Amy is a remarkable colleague who is always striving to grow and stretch while providing space and support for those around her to do the same. I am honored to witness the positive impact she creates.”
She also stayed true to her passions outside of work: beach time with family, and traveling with service dog Ava to schools and elder care centers.
Amy is one of the reasons why I stay committed to my mission: helping mindful leaders like Amy cultivate healthier companies AND careers.
Through resilience, ritual, and community, we will always have a reason to celebrate.
P.S. Message me to apply to our community, or for details on CLIC ’24. We are headed to the Modern Elder Academy next November in Santa Fe, NM. I’ll be co-leading a session on The Midlife Innovator with my dear friend Chip Conley!
Photos courtesy of Marisa Cali.