6 Powerful Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss - Courageous Minds Only Feb 2024 | The Garage Group

6 Powerful Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss – Courageous Minds Only Feb 2024

The Garage Group (TGG) brought together the global Courageous Minds Only community once again, on February 1st, 2024. Jason Hauer, Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer at TGG, engaged attendees in an inspired discussion with battle-tested leaders from Molson Coors, My Block Skin, Accenture and West Monroe. They discussed how acts of courage can transform your career and how they’re driving disruption in an uncertain world.

Our Courageous Panelists

Jamie Rotnicki (Vice President, Innovation at Molson Coors), Dujon Smith (Founder & CEO at My Block Skin & Co-Lead Black Founders at Accenture), and Rissa Reddan (CMO, West Monroe) courageously shared their stories, insights, and tips. TGG is grateful for their’s and 1871’s partnership in making the event happen. The Garage Group and Courageous Minds Only is dedicated to connecting courageous leaders and sparking creativity to inspire positive change. We empower corporate leaders to stay courageous in the face of uncertainty.

New Insights from Another CMO Event

As you may expect, courage is a big theme for our CMO community events. While we’ve hosted dozens of these, we’ve found that “courage” is a dynamic concept. Guests continuously introduce us to new forms of courage. Courage is not only about being brave for your business, but also as an individual. The speakers shared powerful sides of what it means to be bold. Here are a few highlights. Watch the full video to uncover more!

Courage is…

  1. Aligning personal values with your work
  1. Building internal fortitude to show up with purpose
  1. Being visible and vulnerable enough to allow others in
  1. Nurturing your relationships with others
  1. Checking your truth to see others
  1. Creating space for sharing differences of opinion

Courage is critical for anyone who wants to successfully lead their organization. It takes courage to envision, sell, and build the “right” growth plan. It takes courage to champion innovative new products. It takes courage to truly hear what consumers want and to take action. Last, it takes courage to know you need partners in bringing bold plans to life.

6 Powerful Takeaways to Remember

Our panelists were vulnerable. They shared what’s made them successful and how they’ve used courage to address their business challenges. Here’s some of the important themes we heard.

Aligning personal values with your work

“​​If I’m not aligned to the values or mission that the company and organization the team has, I just can’t get with it. There’s a gut feeling that I have in terms of things that I value, from a moral standpoint and ethical standpoint, when I make choices about taking new roles or going to other companies. I learned the hard way by finding myself in positions where there wasn’t that alignment, so I think you have to really listen to yourself in your spirit and your body.” – Jamie Rotnicki

Aligning one’s internal values with their professional endeavors is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Sustained success and personal fulfillment depends upon it. Countless individuals have attempted to ignore this alignment. This can lead to dissonance, burnout, and a loss of drive. Many of us recognize this scenario – the temptation to jump into a new path without taking pause. We pause to understand whether or not it aligns with our moral and ethical views. We shouldn’t rush forward blindly. We need to recognize our core values to illuminate the right path. 

Building internal fortitude to show up with purpose

“I mean, therapy, mirror work, talking to myself daily to just instill in making sure that my subconscious and my self esteem is where it needs to be so that I can operate where I want to externally. And I always just set intentions for myself, like daily, monthly, quarterly, like Dujon, what do you want to accomplish? How do you wanna feel? How do you wanna make people that are around you feel? I think in just having those retrospectives like we would on a work project or anything we do, we also got to do that with ourselves internally to just know and to allow ourselves to move through this earth with purpose.” – Dujon Smith

Courage isn’t only about facing tough situations. It’s also about building strength from within. It’s about setting goals for yourself. It’s about checking in regularly to see how you’re doing, how you’re feeling. Often, we are too focused on tackling our immediately apparent, external challenges. We fail to address our internal challenges.  We miss the opportunity to build ourselves up. Just like how we plan projects at work, we need to take care of ourselves inside so we can live our lives with purpose. Each day, we should nurture our self-esteem. It is the foundation for how we show up.

Being visible and vulnerable enough to allow others in

“It is key in being a super connector, you know, and leading with the heart and allowing people in my life, both professionally and personally to know my goals, aspirations, challenges and then vice versa always shows up in such interesting ways. As a quick example, when we were talking about our courageous moments and trying to launch My Block Skin as an example because of some of the relationships I was able to cultivate earlier in my career, it made this business venture feel a little bit easier” – Dujon Smith

Being courageous means being vulnerable. We must show others our work. We must be open about our goals and challenges. We live in an influencer world. There’s pressure to appear strong-willed, but true strength lies in authenticity and vulnerability. When we let people into our lives it leads to meaningful connections and unexpected opportunities. When we share our struggles and aspirations, it invites others to contribute. It enables them to better understand how they can support us along the way. Being visible and vulnerable isn’t just courage—it’s smart. It opens doors to new possibilities and helps us get the support we need.

Nurturing your relationships with others

“I have dedicated networking time and it’s every Friday afternoon for 30 to 60 minutes. And it’s who should I be reaching out to or who I have not talked to in a while… Whether that’s a new business opportunity or a win for the business because you never know where things are going to manifest. But if you make the investment in time, it’s fascinating to see where people’s lives take them and how they pop up and become super helpful at a point in the future.” – Rissa Reddan

The saying goes, “It’s all about who you know.” But, it takes courage to put ourselves “out there.” We need courage to continuously invest in our relationships. Relationships are like seeds; when nurtured with care and consistency, they thrive. They become valuable partnerships supporting our collective journeys. Networking is about preparing for the future as much as it’s about addressing today’s needs.  When we connect with others, we not only expand our network but also create meaningful connections. Connections make us human, they are an irreplaceable asset that empowers all of our success. They are oftentimes essential when we least expect it.

Checking your truth to see others

“And so for me, I try to really ensure that like, and passing the mic to everybody, if you’re the quiet person in the back that doesn’t like to speak up in meetings or if you’re the loud one who like wants to be the star of the show in every meeting, like equally, there’s a place for you on the team. And so I think part of the superpower that I have is making sure that everyone feels steam but also like being vulnerable enough where they can see me.” – Jamie Rotnicki

Psychological safety is the concept that everyone in a group or team feels comfortable to take risks, share ideas. It enables people to express themselves without fear of negative consequences or judgment. When individuals feel safe to express themselves authentically, they’re more likely to contribute their unique insights and talents. This leads to greater creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving. Strong psychological safety encourages a culture of trust and mutual respect. Team members can openly acknowledge mistakes, ask for help, and learn from each other’s experiences. It takes courage to slow down, to make sure everyone’s voice is heard. We risk taking the wrong path when we don’t slow down and choose the easiest or loudest options

Creating space for sharing differences of opinion

“But because of the culture we have on our team, everyone could say actually how they felt, sharing differences of opinion and not make it personal, and I think creating those environments is so important. In corporate, we need to be able to have good conversations and be honest and vulnerable and transparent in order to move topics forward, business forward.” – Jamie Rotnicki

Diversity of thought within a team is crucial for fostering innovation and problem-solving. When individuals with varying perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences come together, they bring a wide range of ideas and approaches to the table. Diversity of thought is valuable, but can lead to conflict.  Different opinions and perspectives can clash. It takes courage and effective leadership to manage these conflicts constructively, preventing them from becoming divisive. Teams can harness the power of diverse viewpoints to drive sustained business success. In fact, diverse teams with a variety of viewpoints can be more effective. But How? You may ask. By having a diverse organization, encouraging open discourse and respectful discussion, and leading by example.

We Love Our CMO Community

We love hosting these events at 1871 and online!!!  We learn something new and make meaningful connections each time.  Most importantly, we increase the courage we need to lead in our turbulent and uncertain world.

Thanks for reading the recap.  Check out the full recording for even more insight from our panelists. Join our global CMO community to receive updates for future events.

Interested in sharing your own bold insights at a CMO event? We’re always looking for panelists. Email us at marketing@thegaragegroup.com.

How Might We Partner?

Need a courageous partner to help you crack your high priority innovation and growth strategy challenges?  

The Garage Group is a battle-tested Lean Innovation and Growth Strategy Firm on a mission to unlock courage in leaders. We help them keep their existing B2B & B2C portfolios relevant and growing in the face of uncertainty. 

Our team has 14 years of compounded learning, rolling up our sleeves alongside corporate leaders at BigCos like Kimberly-Clark and Northwestern Mutual to tackle tough innovation and growth challenges through a series of ongoing Lean Workstreams.

Forward-thinking leaders partner with us to build Jobs to be Done-based brand, portfolio, and category architectures; to lead consumer-first Innovation Pipeline Sprints with rapid-fire infusions of iterative stakeholder learning; and to hack traditional research methods, replacing them with a series of agile Learning Loops to build conviction and support for new ideas.

Send us a note at marketing@thegaragegroup.com to start the conversation!

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