Revenue Rehab: It's like therapy, but for marketers
July 20, 2022

Clean Up on Aisle 11: Turnaround Strategies When You've Inherited a Dysfunctional Team

This week our host Brandi Starr is joined by Patrick Ward to discuss Turnaround Strategies When You've Inherited a Dysfunctional Team. Our guest, Patrick Ward is the VP of Marketing for , a custom software development consultancy that digitally...

This week our host Brandi Starr is joined by Patrick Ward to discuss Turnaround Strategies When You've Inherited a Dysfunctional Team.

Our guest, Patrick Ward is the VP of Marketing for Rootstrap, a custom software development consultancy that digitally transforms companies like MasterClass & Google, along with A-List Celebrities like Tony Robbins & Snoop Dogg. 

"In my current role,” says Patrick, “I inherited a ‘growth-hacking’ oriented team that failed to drive any meaningful revenue for the business - in 2 years I built a predictable pipeline from scratch (0-$36M), a team that delivers results the same as one 3X the size and have 4X’ed ($5-20M) the company in the same span of time."

Whether you’re a CMO taking over a team or you have a team that you think can just work better, this episode is packed with real-world advice and strategies you can put into action.  So, join Patrick and Brandi on the couch for 40 minutes packed with strategies on how to turnaround that dysfunctional team.

Bullet Points of Key Topics + Chapter Markers:

  • Topic #1 Step One; 0-6 Months Where You're Doing the Initial Team Assessment [11:21] Why just ‘cleaning house’ isn’t necessarily the path to success. Patrick explains how this stage is all about evaluating the skillsets of the team you’ve inherited. 
  • Topic #2 Step Two; 6-12 Months Where You’re at the Critical Make or Break Point [24:18] This is where your transitions of team members are actually taking place and your new hires are pulled in.
  • Topic #3 Step Three; 12 -24 Months Is Where You're Solidifying the Alignment for Your Real A-List Team [30:20] Patrick shares specific tools for managing your newly turned around team and examples on how to keep momentum going and buy-in from the whole company.

So, What's the One Thing You Can Do Today?

Along with the strategies already shared, what’s the one thing Patrick wants any marketing leader to take away from this? “it's really getting honed in on identifying what each individual in your team wants,” he says, “because that is the key to your success”.  Patrick emphasizes that it isn’t as challenging as one might think and the results are definitely worth it.

Buzzword Banishment:

Patrick would like marketers to stop using the word Personalization, everything is this, he says and because it is so overused, it has become meaningless.


Get in touch with Patrick Ward on

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[0:05] Intro:   

Welcome to Revenue Rehab, your one stop destination for collective solutions to the biggest challenges faced by marketing leaders today. Now head on over to the couch, make yourself comfortable and get ready to change the way you approach revenue. Leading your recovery is modern marketer, author, speaker and Chief Operating Officer at Tegrita, Brandi Starr.

[0:34] Brandi Starr:   

Hello, hello, hello and welcome everyone to another episode of Revenue Rehab. I am your host Brandi Starr and we have an amazing episode for you today. I am joined by Patrick Ward. Patrick is the VP of Marketing for Rootstrap, a custom software development consultancy that digitally transforms companies like MasterClass and Google along with A-List celebrities like Tony Robbins and Snoop Dogg. He is also the founder of NanoGlobals, an expert led platform that helps mid-size tech companies tap into global markets through remote hiring, offshoring and international market expansion. A writer by trade, Patrick's international brand and b2b marketing expertise has been featured in The New York Times, Ad Age, Fast Company, Morning Brew, Hacker Noon HuffPost and Business Insider. Patrick, welcome to Revenue Rehab, your session begins now.

[1:36] Patrick Ward: 

Thanks for having me Brandi, really looking forward to it. 

[1:39] Brandi Starr:  

How cool is it to have part of your claim to fame be being behind both MasterClass and Snoop Dogg? Like, you know, these are like two very different but very much powerhouse entities. So super, super cool.

[1:56] Patrick Ward:   

Yeah. If you told me that a young humble boy from Australia could have worked with Snoop Dogg and MasterClass, I would have told you you're lying. No chance in hell.

[2:08] Brandi Starr:  

Awesome. Well, here at Revenue Rehab, I like to break the ice with a little woosah moment that I call buzzword banishment. So Patrick, tell me what buzzword would you like to banish forever?

[2:25] Patrick Ward:   

I'm probably going to get a lot of hate for this. But the one word that I want to banish forever is ‘personalization’. Because it's not that it is a bad word. It is something that is inherent in every marketer, that we try to personalize our experiences for our customers, our clients, our stakeholders, but I think it's just become too much of a crutch. Like most words, marketers overuse them to the point that they become essentially meaningless. So anytime I hear someone say, oh well, our solution offers you the ability to personalize or unparalleled personalization. It just doesn't mean anything anymore. So stop using it.

[3:08] Brandi Starr:  

Yeah, it sounds like one of those things where they stuffed all the buzzwords into the promotion. As much as I love personalization, I do agree that at this point, it is over utilized and quite often not even used correctly. So we will take that, we will put it in the box, put a bow on it, throw it out the window, we will not, at least for this discussion, use the term personalization. So now that we've gotten that off our chest, tell me what brings you to Revenue Rehab?

[3:49] Patrick Ward: 

Well, what really brings me to Revenue Rehab, is this idea of inheriting a dysfunctional team. Because many marketers, including myself have gone through this and it can be a little disheartening, especially when you're fresh into a new job, and you're ready to get things started. But you realize that the team's not really operating in the way that it should be. And so I think what we're going to talk a lot about today is how do you turn that around?

[4:21] Brandi Starr:  

Okay. And that is something that I mean, every head of marketing deals with is when you walk into a company unless they just cleaned house, you are coming in to an existing team and figuring out what to do with it. And I believe in setting intentions, it gives us focus, it gives us purpose, and most importantly, it gives our audience insight into what you would like for them to learn today. So I'd love to hear from you what you'd like to be different or what are your best hopes for our talk today?

[4:57] Patrick Ward:    

My best hopes is that the audience walks away from this realizing that turning around a team is not actually that challenging. In fact, I've got a pretty simple three step process that I want people to take away, and you time bucket it into a few different areas. One, 0-6 months where you're doing the first initial stage, 6-12 months where you're getting a real strong ramp up and 12 - 24 months where you're creating a real A-list team. We'll dive a bit deeper today. But I think this sort of omen that often happens, like you say Brandi, when people jump in, and they realize they've inherited a large team that is doing things, some things in the right way, some things in the wrong way, it can seem very overwhelming. But with a pretty simple process, you can tackle it and turn any team into an A star team.

[5:50] Brandi Starr:

Okay, so before we get into your three step process, I know that you have walked into a dysfunctional team, and I joke and say clean up aisle 11. So tell me about that. Tell me your story in terms of what you inherited, and what challenges you saw in that team.

[6:10] Patrick Ward:   

So I walked into my current company Rootstrap where I was told, look, we really haven't got marketing figured out. And why was that? Because I was inheriting a team of seven and they were all operating like a growth hacking team. What do I mean by that? They were doing weekly sprints where they would change their marketing every single week, you had some content writers working on personal brand for a Chief Revenue Officer at the time. And then you had other people working on technical writing that was completely in a different voice. And so suddenly, none of it was directed towards any sort of demonstrable metric that you would measure any b2b marketing team by. It all managed to get a lot of hype, a lot of viral coverage. I remember at the time we were getting millions of views on LinkedIn. Not a single view of that was translating to any metric that your or I Brandi would really consider a proper marketing metric. And so that was really horrifying and yet, then an exciting challenge for me to dive into. It's like, how do I get this entire team that is measuring themselves in completely the wrong way, to just think about some of the fundamentals? To think about how do we create a sales qualified pipeline? How do you measure which prospects are going all the way through to closed won deals? How can you show that b2b marketing is actually a growth driver for the business?

[7:51] Brandi Starr:

And it's really interesting, because if you think about it, like with social media, there is this sort of concept of everyone wanting to go viral. How many eyes can we get on this thing? And in a b2c environment or if you're an influencer, that is great. But if a million people see something, but none of them are your target audience, what's the point of going viral? What does viral really mean for your business? And so what it sounds like, to me is like, there were a group of people doing a whole lot of marketing activity, with no real purpose. Just we're going to do all of the things and see how it turns out.

[8:40] Patrick Ward:    

Yeah, that's 100% accurate. I mean, I had seen this multiple times in my career before where if you do all of the things, suddenly your marketing is ineffective. You're not driving towards a common goal and more importantly, you're just looking at random vanity wins. That's the thing. It's like I mentioned, okay, we're getting millions of views on LinkedIn but who are those views coming from? Suddenly I look, oh, most of our posts were geared towards students, as well as early stage career developers. Well, that's great that we have that awareness but we're trying to get a sophisticated technical buyer who's 20 years of experience as a CTO of a series B and beyond company and who can spend $150,000 or more. And it doesn't really matter that we've got a million views from these students.  I love students like the next person in terms of mentorship, but if the goal is revenue, why are we even doing this activity?

[9:52] Brandi Starr:   

Yes, and you know, I talked to Maija Hurst, Episode 8, we talked about the people part of leading marketing and that's a key. It's like, even though our careers are very much focused on, we get into the head of marketing role because of all the things that we've done the ways that we've been an individual contributor and then are able to lead a team, but that people part is in many cases, half the job, some would argue sometimes more than half the job. And one of the things that she was saying in that episode was really talking about the importance of carving out the time to really dedicate to the team. And when we talked, it was more not around dysfunction, just in general, as a leader. So I'd love to hear as you got started. And you really saw like, not only do I have to jump in and figure out how to lead marketing and drive revenue, but I got this whole other challenge that I've got to uncover. How did you start to get your arms around where do you spend your time? How do you have the fastest impact? Had you been through this before and so you already kind of came in with a three step process? But once you figure it out, like I got a problem here, what was your thought process and how you were going to tackle it and turn it around? 

[11:21] Patrick Ward:    

So I certainly hadn't done it before because I had to basically create this process as I went, because every step of the way, what ended up happening was I got push back. And only after the fact would I get congratulated when it was realized that what I had done actually was more successful. So let's talk about the first stage. This is 0-6 months. As I entered into this, and I'm talking like two weeks in, I was basically told, look Patrick, you have carte blanche to fire everyone. And it's like, whoa! Okay, like, you've told me this is dysfunctional, it's not what you want. But firing a bunch of people is not the immediate answer. And so really, I am covered, really at a discovery process early on, to just speak to each of these team members. Do you enjoy what you're doing? What are your career aspirations? What are you trying to accomplish? Now, if that's still with our company, and this is where I'm starting to bring in my vision for what the team is and if you want to play a part in that, sure, like, let's find you a new role in this team. And if not, I'm going to not get rid of you immediately, I'm going to make sure you transition to something successfully, so that you feel comfortable. Because the fact of the matter is if we look at those individuals, like yes, they were not doing the right things. But it's not because they didn't know what to do. They were just doing what they were told. And that is really unfair. And I'd seen time and time again, like I've always said that. The only reason I'm a good manager is because I've had so many god awful managers over my career. And I've just learned that, well, if I just do the opposite of what they did, then I'll probably stumble into a pattern of management that is caring, respectful, but also drives results for people. And so I think that was the biggest part in those early stages saying look, I am going to try and gear us towards revenue, because that is my mandate that I've been given from the executive team. Would you like to be a part of that? Now, chances are, as was the case, there were many team members who were on board with that. I think the best example I have is I have one guy who was a project manager. Really underutilized his skills. He was the one who did the cold outreach email that even won us the MasterClass deal in the first place. So I knew he had marketing talent. I moved him into a demand generation manager role. Suddenly, he flourished with the right support the right training. And sure enough, after putting him in this for six months, I got feedback from the executive team. We've never seen this employee do so well. How did you do it? What sort of magic dust? No, I just made sure that what he wanted was aligned with what the company wanted. It's not rocket science. You just need to get that level of alignment and that level of care. But I think that's the important thing to say with step one. Take the time to understand each of these individuals because you've got to remember if you're coming in as a new marketing leader, there's going to be some scepticism. You're going to have to build some trust early.  People are not going to go, who's this guy? What's he going to do? Can I trust it? You got to show them upfront, I care about your best interests, I've got your back. If you're going to keep being with us, here's what I need, here's what you need, let's find a match. If not, that's okay. I'll help support you as well. Because as soon as you've got team members working against you, that is the worst recipe in those early stages.

[15:21] Brandi Starr:

Yes. And that, it is so many heads of departments but especially in marketing, when they come in, and they're trying to, let's say, they know they're coming into a situation where revenue is not happening or there's things that they know going in aren't working. So many have that initial, I'm going to just come in and clean house mentality, that I think you're right, it has created distrust amongst employees. Because anytime there's a new leader, it's that walking on eggshells, how are they going to behave. But I think something else that you said, that's really, really important that I want to call out, is you talked about really being human in how you handle where it's not a fit. Because you are -- and I've seen this in my career, where you set forth to do the direction that you're taking the department, or that you're trying to move the organization and there are some people, they're clearly just not with it. And that is where most people, not most, I will say a lot of leaders will sort of make that mental note, this person's got to go. Instead of just saying, look, it's clear, you're not for us, we're not for you, let's develop a transition plan. Instead of just forcing someone out, and they're not necessarily doing anything wrong. Let's give you some time, that you're going to do what you need to do, and we can do what we need to do. And then we'll part ways and it be a good thing, because everything is not a fit. And in some cases, in order for people to grow, they got to go elsewhere. And so really thinking about the fact that you're inheriting a group of humans. Yes, they're a team and yes, your priority is the business, but they're still people and really like being open to that dialogue. And having that authentic conversation is huge.

[17:23] Patrick Ward:   

I think one of the perfect examples here was my social media strategist at the time. Because he was again, focused on I think like you said earlier, about a b2c mentality. Specifically, he was way more interested in the cannabis space. And so I had already told him, look, I'm going to move this ship and I told him this in about March of 2020, that I'm going to move this ship towards being focused on b2b, more mid-market, definitely more enterprise, larger deals. And I know that's not interesting to you. You care a lot more about some of our older clients. Funnily enough, some of our Snoop Dogg days. Because I can tell you Snoop Dogg, we did a lot of cannabis work with Snoop Dogg. 

[18:15] Brandi Starr:

I'm shocked!

[18:15] Patrick Ward:

But sure enough, we were able to transition him where we found him a cannabis incubator that was helping cannabis dispensaries. He started working with them. And sure enough, it was a seamless transition that happened around June or July. So yes, did it take me longer to fire him than you would have expected? Of course. But you're dealing with a human, he was an exceptionally talented social media strategist. It just wasn't right for us. And that's okay. We were able to part in good faith, he now has no animosity towards us. Because that's the other really important thing that I think a lot of brands don't often think about. But your employees, and even more importantly, your ex-employees, they will spread the word about you. And if you've treated them with respect, that can be some of the best marketing you'll ever receive. But if they start talking shit about you, you better believe that spreads. That spreads in the marketplace. And you can't underestimate that. So I always think just treat each individual as a human and be good with them for the time that you are together with them. It's a very simple process to follow. But why not? As we did with him, it just makes a lot of sense.

[19:43] Brandi Starr:   

Okay, so that gives us the first 0-6 months in really focusing in on hearing from each of your employees, understanding what they want, where they feel they work best. In that process, did you reorg the roles? Did you kind of rejigged your org chart to align people to where you saw their strengths? Did everyone just stay in roles? I know that's always a debate is, maybe I need to just sometimes it's shake things up, maybe I need to just restructure not necessarily letting go of anyone, but really redefining all the roles. So I'm interested on your thoughts there coming out of that 0-6 months before we shift to talk about 6-12?

[20:29] Patrick Ward:   

Certainly, there was a lot of reorganization in terms of taking people, understanding them, and then giving them new titles with new roles and responsibilities. I think that was critical to do in that stage. And doing it from a perspective of less about a semantic org chart, and more about, are we getting the most out of each individual person skills. And I think this might have been a little unique to my situation. However, I will say that it's probably fairly common across many small marketing teams, particularly in b2b, it's fairly common to have over invested in the engineering side of the house more so than the marketing side of the house. It's more a latter stage investment. And so what often ends up happening is you do have to just kind of make do with the people that you have, at least as you formulate that transition plan, because you still got fairly aggressive revenue goals to hit, fairly aggressive pipeline goals. And so my perspective on that has always been, most people, particularly within the marketing field are fairly flexible. They have a lot of diverse interests. And so if you can tap into what they do best, that's when you get the out-sized results. And so that's why I mentioned the previous example of my guy who was a project manager, and then got moved into a demand generation role. That was really the structural case. It's not that he was doing things bad, he just needed the guardrails to be put up so that he could do more of what he was best at. So that was similarly when we looked through at the content writers, we go, okay, right now you're spending your time doing personal brand, would it be better getting you to interview some of our executives about specific technical topics? Is that close enough to your skill set that you would still like to do it? And for most of our writers, they were okay with that. There was one who wasn't okay with that. And again, when you formulated a similar transition plan, but for most of the writers, they were okay. But yes, it is less about the org in terms of I mean, yes, you need to do that for managing upwards towards the executives to show hey, I'm putting my own marketing flavor on this, I've got control of the ship, at the same time for the individuals, you need to think about their day to day. How are you repositioning them towards skills that they have inherently, but also that they enjoy? I always think that a manager's role is to get [Inaudible] every employee is only going to give you 51%, that's the default for most employees. A good manager will get them giving 80%, 90%, 100%, because they inspire people. And why do you inspire people? Because you care about them?

[23:31] Brandi Starr:  

Yeah, that is such a valid point. I know, that's one of the big things for us is, as we bring people in making sure that we are bringing them into roles that they are naturally good at, and trying to give them the space to flourish, the support, all those things. And it leads to great retention. I mean, we're a small company, but when I look especially at other small companies, our retention rates are amazing. And it really is because we do put our people first because we know that that means our people will put our customers first and that's a win win for everybody. So I want to talk about your next step, your step two, when we get to that six month mark. Between 6 and 12 what does that look like?

[24:18] Patrick Ward: 

Okay, so this is really critical, and this is make or break. I've had a couple of times it's worked really well for my career. I've had other times I butchered it and needless to say, it hasn't worked so well for myself. But this is where you make critical foundational hires for what your specific vision of the team is. So what did this look like in practice? So up until this point, I've been trying to align people towards their different skill sets. I've tried to align people towards whether they're going to stay or transition out of the team. But this is where I need to make two key hires: a demand hire and the content hire. And the reason is, is I was about to pull the plug on one of the biggest shifts in the team. Where suddenly, we're not focusing on social, we're not focusing on podcasting, we're not going to focus on press, we're not going to focus on any of these other things. And it kind of shook up the team. They're like why? We're going to focus on three things. We're going to focus on SEO, we're going to focus on PPC, and we're going to focus on review sites. And the reason we're going to focus on only these three things is because our pipeline, I showed them the chart. Our pipeline of revenue for qualified, potential deals for this company is zero right now. You've done all this activity in the past, and you've been told it's growth hacking, it kind of works. But here's the numbers, zero. And so we're going to focus on these three foundational pieces, because they are critical for our particular industry of b2b software. If we get them right, we're going to get a predictable pipeline. I told people, if you're willing to stay with me on this journey, then I will re-explore social, podcasts, other things, but we need to get this right first. Now, this was at the point in the early stage of the 6-7 month range, that's when a lot of those transitions that I mentioned earlier, this is when they happened, and then replaced with these two key foundational hires: a demand and a content. Now my goal in this is to get the quickest win possible, because as you can imagine, with the average tenure of a senior marketing leader, depending on the company, it's anywhere between 13 and 18 months. I need to get a win out of this. Luckily, the great thing about PPC is that being paid media, it's fairly quick to get a win, because it's the shortest lead time in terms of seeing a result. We changed all the positioning away from start-ups, away from early stage entrepreneurs, all the way up to the enterprise space. What do you know? From previously only getting $200,000 off deals from PPC, we turn that around into getting $5 million in qualified

[27:33] Brandi Starr:

Wow! I was going to say virtual confetti! That is amazing. I think focusing on those foundational hires, I think it gives you two things. One, you get your quick win, because you're bringing in people handpicked to focus on the things you know need the focus. But then the other thing is, because those are peers to those that have already been there, they start to really like pass along that goodwill, that motivation, that energy of this direction, without allowing any of the naysayers. So transitioning out those people who you know, don't want to be there, at the same time is bringing in people that are going to live and breathe your strategy, that is definitely genius move that I don't know that everyone does. But it really is just, can't come in and fill all your gaps but at least getting, you know those one to two really key functions.

[28:40] Patrick Ward:    

Exactly, because you're still focused on delivering a result. But to get that result, you need a motivated team, especially when you're dealing with small teams. I think one of the things that I talk about that I'm most proud about my team, is not the amount of pipeline that they generate but the fact that they deliver results, when I look in the marketplace, the equivalent of a team three times the size of them. But that only happens when people are able to do what they're best at, feeling inspired to do what they're best at, and feeling motivated. Because the fact of the matter is, I know I'm one person. As much as I want to be that shining light, inspiring force for my team, I know that it's not all down to me. There are incidental interactions that are happening between my team members on a daily basis. And so if I've created enough of a positive culture where people are all directed towards the same goal, then they're going to start giving each other motivation independent of anything that I do. And that is a really positive environment to be in. When you when you get your department operating in that way, outside of any direct impact you have as a marketing leader, suddenly you see really amazing results.

[30:03] Brandi Starr:

Okay, so step one and step two. Sounds amazing. Tell me about step three in that 12 - 24 months. So we are getting now fully ramped in, we've got our people, what's the strategy there?

[30:20] Patrick Ward: 

So it's pretty simple. At this stage you're trying to completely align your team, with the metrics that matter, crush the goals, but the final thing, be sure to tell people about it. And I've got a couple of quick strategies here of how you can do that. So like I mentioned, we had zero pipeline before. What did we do? We created a leads Slack channel, which we tied from our HubSpot form via Zapier, it's a pretty simple integration to do. And we didn't just have our marketing team, we didn't just have our sales team, we had our three owners of our company in that channel. And so suddenly, they're getting the dopamine hit every day of new qualified leads coming into that channel. The other thing we tried was a publicly facing marketing channel. We have our own little internal one where we're dealing with the day-to-day, but a publicly facing channel is the one where we share all the wins, awards we get recognitions, increases in traffic, all the metrics. And funnily enough, our executive team always says, this is my favorite channel, because it's the most positive channel in the entire company. Now, it might seem a little show-offy to do but this is a critical part of your role as a marketing leader, narrative building. Because if you're going to come into a dysfunctional team, and you're going to put in this process, and you're going to turn it around, and you're going to build towards a much better state for your company, if you're not telling that narrative, you're going to be left behind. And the reason for this is, is unfortunately historical. Marketing has been much maligned over many, many decades. For a while we were considered the people who just made things look pretty. Sometimes we were considered the party people, or we were considered cost centers. All of these historical ideas about marketing, unfortunately, still exist within C-suite today. And so you're going to fight against that perception more often than not. And I think it's a big contributing factor, why the average tenure is 13 - 18 months. So the best way to get ahead of that, is build a narrative of success. Show that, hey, the reason that we're now in a better place is because of the pieces and the foundational steps that we took. And so it wasn't just enough for me to say, well look, it was zero pipeline, now it's $36 million. In two years, we built 36 million in pipeline. And we have now 4x the company from 5 million, we're now at 20 million. So that's great. But it was important for me to show that difference in state. Here's where our company was, here's where it is now. And that is a big part is because of marketing. And if you can do that right, especially in that 12 - 24 months, not only have you turned around the team, but you have gained major respect. And this is really important for marketing leaders, because time and time again, other departments kind of get respect as a default. Sales gets a respect because they bring in the money. Finance gets respect because they handle taxation and profit and loss statements. Even engineering gets respect because they're technical. So I can't change those initial perceptions. But I can at least create a new perception. And I encourage every marketing leader to do the same. 

[34:17] Brandi Starr:  

I am so with you there and I've talked quite a bit about that same thing around the importance of marketing, tooting its own horn and gaining the influence and actually showing the impact on the business. Because so many organizations feel like all revenue comes from sales. And it's like, while yes, it might in most cases, it is a salesperson that has to close the deal, but there is still a key role that marketing is playing in getting that there. And I love that you brought that narrative across the organization. We do something similar, we have a revenue hype Slack channel, which is the same thing where it's just, along the way, not just that we closed something. But if we had a great call with a prospect, or someone shouted us out on LinkedIn, or whatever it is it, we put everything in there. And it even helps those that are not directly involved in driving revenue, to see what's happening and in some cases, be able to contribute. We've shared some times like, oh, just had a great prospecting call with this company. And someone's like, oh well, I know the director of demand gen there. I can help to introduce you help to open the door. And it's like, there's so many of those things that can help to build goodwill. So I love that as the 12 - 24 month plan.

[35:47] Patrick Ward: 

Yeah, and not only that, but when you're doing that, it then provides the support for your team. Because if you've earned the respect as a marketing leader, you've done it for your department as well, and then they start getting respect, and they start feeling inspired about their work. That is so critical to their own motivation. If you've done all of that turnaround work, the last thing you want is those key hires that you've made to now start feeling undervalued. If you know that they know what you're doing matters, I think one of the best stories I had, because I love how you mentioned people who are not necessarily directly tied. I had my content guy, and he is not really tasked. He's just tasked with focusing on increasing visibility, and a lot of its taught leadership, so it doesn't really directly tied to revenue. But I was very quick to shout him out, when he wrote a piece about the pros and cons of outsourcing to Latin America. Like most SEO content, took six months to rank, he kept doing optimizations. Well, what do you know? 12 months after he put that piece out, we got Wolters Kluwer came in as an inbound prospect purely from that piece. I was very quick to shout him out. Because those are those little moments that really matter. They really matter to an individual in terms of like you said, retaining that talent, if you treat them as human, if you give them recognition when they've done a good job, they'll stay with you for a very long time.

[37:23] Brandi Starr:

So awesome. So we talked about our challenges, that's just the first step. And I think you have given a really great framework for anyone walking into a new team. Whether it's dysfunctional or not, I think, you know, any CMO or head of marketing can follow those steps. So Patrick, if you could, re-summarize those three steps for us and I'd like you to give our audience that one thing, normally in real therapy, the therapist gives the client some homework, but here we'd like to flip that on its head and allow you to give the rest of us some homework. So you could start by summarizing and then give us our one thing that you would all want us to do.

[38:05] Patrick Ward:

So the quick summary is 0-6 months, figure out what your team wants to do, and transition those who are perhaps not aligned with the rest of the team. 6 - 12 months, this is your make or break, you've made those transitions, you're trying to make those foundational hires that will really get you both the quick wins, and the quick success metrics so that you can have more room for the mid to longer term. And then finally, for the 12 - 24, you're aligning your team around the metrics that matter, you crush your goals, and you make sure you starting to build that narrative. And if there's one thing that I want people, any marketing leader to take away from this, it's really getting honed in on identifying what each individual in your team wants, because that is the key to your success. When you help people operate 80% of their time, 90% of their time, what they do best, they are going to outperform anyone who is just kind of doing their time, doing their dues, whatever it may be. Because the fact of the matter is, yes. Is there parts of our job that we don't like? Of course. Like the data entry may be dealing with CRM. I'm not saying you're going to get rid of that. But if you can help each individual in your team maximize their time so they're spending more of it on what inspires them, what excites them, what helps them achieve their professional goals, their personal goals, their financial goals, once that happens, that's when your team starts performing at an A-level, that's when they really start moving the needle, and they start driving your organized organization to heights that you never thought possible.

[39:54] Brandi Starr:

I love that. And to give the one thing to make it a little easier for people to be able to do, one of the questions that we ask in our one-on-ones with our direct reports is describe a best day ever. And when you get people talking about a recent or perceive what is a potential best day ever, you really start to hear from them, where they thrive most in their role. And so the one thing is to in your next one on one with your team, to ask them, when was the last best day at work or how they would define their best day at work, so that you as a leader can start to really funnel your team into doing the things that they are most natural at. Well Patrick, I have enjoyed our discussion but that's our time for today. So thank you so much for joining me. 

[40:56] Patrick Ward: 

Thanks Brandi. Really appreciate it.

[40:58] Brandi Starr:

And thanks to everyone for joining us today. I hope you have enjoyed our conversation with Patrick. Can't believe that we are already at the end. See you next week.

[41:12] Outro: 

You've been listening to Revenue Rehab with your host Brandi Starr. Your session is now over but the learning has just begun. Join our mailing list and catch up on all our shows at We're also on Twitter and Instagram at Revenue Rehab. This concludes this week's session. We'll see you next week.

Patrick WardProfile Photo

Patrick Ward

VP of Marketing

Patrick Ward is the VP of Marketing for Rootstrap, a custom software development consultancy that digitally transforms companies like MasterClass & Google, along with A-List Celebrities like Tony Robbins & Snoop Dogg, and the Founder of NanoGlobals, an expert-led platform that helps mid-size tech companies tap into global markets through remote hiring, offshoring, and international market expansion.

A writer by trade, Patrick's international brand & B2B marketing expertise has been featured in The New York Times, Ad Age, Fast Company, Morning Brew, Hacker Noon, HuffPost & Business Insider. He is currently a member of the Forbes Communications Council, an invitation-only organization for senior-level communications executives, and Pavilion, formerly Revenue Collective, a private, invitation-only community of sales & marketing executives at growth-focused companies. He earned his Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies), majoring in Marketing and Political Science, from the University of Sydney.