Welcome to another insightful episode of “Peak Performance Leadership” with your host, Scott McCarthy. In this episode, we delve into the fascinating world of leadership, entrepreneurship, and marketing strategies with the brilliant Karen Sullivan, owner of Sullivan Solutions. Unraveling the intricacies of leading oneself, a team, and an organization, Karen offers invaluable insights for entrepreneurs navigating the growth of their businesses.

Meet Karen

Karen Sullivan is a fourth-generation entrepreneur and award-winning designer with a life-long passion for persuasive visual and written communication. She founded Sullivan Solutions nearly 25 years ago to help entrepreneurial companies augment their in-house marketing with expert services that help drive sales further and faster. Their expertise enables clients to develop effective strategies that are built upon their unique strengths and make confident marketing decisions that drive demand for their products and services.

Marketing from the C-suite™ is marketing solutions focused on SMB owners who overwhelmingly prefer to spend their time running their business and helping customers solve problems rather than marketing to potential customers. It’s about building a marketing foundation that will fuel sales and liberate the visionary of the business from the minutiae of the marketing machine. By Marketing from the C-Suite, owners will realize that if you can document it, you can delegate it, and if you can delegate it, you can lead it.

Lead the Marketing Topics

During this interview, Karen and I discuss the following topics:

06:45 – 11:20: Challenges Faced by Entrepreneurs

The duo delves into the challenges entrepreneurs encounter as their businesses expand, emphasizing the struggle of letting go and delegating tasks, particularly in marketing and bookkeeping.

11:20 – 15:40: “Marketing from the C Suite”

Karen Sullivan introduces the concept of “marketing from the C suite,” emphasizing the need for structured processes and foundations for robust marketing approaches, aimed at fostering sustainable business growth.

15:40 – 19:10: Unveiling Marketing Superheroes

Karen presents the intriguing idea of “marketing superheroes” and offers a quiz designed to help business owners identify their strengths and weaknesses in marketing, shedding light on characteristic personas such as Captain Fabulous, elastastica, HotDaga, Slasher, and Wonderworker.

19:10 – 23:30: The Importance of Delegation in Leadership

Scott McCarthy underscores the pivotal role of delegation as a force multiplier for leaders, questioning why leaders often find delegating marketing activities different from other tasks.

23:30 – 28:15: Leadership Hesitation with Marketing

Karen and Scott reflect on the hesitation leaders harbor towards marketing, attributing it to a lack of vision and communication rather than an inherent marketing problem, fostering a compelling dialogue on the underlying dynamics of leadership and marketing associations.

28:15 – 32:50: Empowering Leadership Strengths

The enlightening conversation encompasses the significance of leaders recognizing and empowering their strengths, advocating for the objective outsourcing of marketing to facilitate peak productivity in the leadership sphere.

32:50 – 35:00: Closing and Call to Action

Karen Sullivan provides valuable advice on outsourcing marketing, underlining the indispensable objectivity essential in this area, while Scott McCarthy advocates for recognizing and leveraging strengths in leadership endeavors.

Guest Resources

If you are interested in learning more about Karen and her resources be sure to check out the following links:

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The following is an AI generated transcript which should be used for reference purposes only. It has not been verified or edited to reflect what was actually said in the podcast episode. 


Scott McCarthy [00:00:00]:
Today on episode 136 of the Moving Forward Leadership podcast, we have Karen Sullivan, a marketing expert on the show, and she’s gonna tell you how you can get more clients to your door. That’s right, folks. Today, we’re going hard business, and we’re talking about marketing. Are you ready for this? Alright. Let’s do it. Welcome to this episode of Moving Forward Leadership. Jim, stick around and learn how to achieve, excel, and become a leader that people willingly follow. Lead, don’t boss.

Scott McCarthy [00:00:38]:
And now here’s the host of our show, chief leadership officer, Scott McCarthy. Welcome 1. Welcome all to the Move Before Leadership podcast. It is your chief leadership officer, Scott McCarthy, and welcome to the podcast where we talk about the 3 domains of leadership. And those are leading yourself so that you can be the best leader possible, leading your team so that you can build teams to be high performing teams, and finally, leading your organization so that you can increase that organizational output, whatever that is. Maybe it’s profits. Maybe it’s votes. Maybe it’s something else in between.

Scott McCarthy [00:01:22]:
Don’t really care because it doesn’t matter because here, everybody needs leadership and the principles apply to everyone. It’s so great to have you here. And, hey, if you want to check out more within the Moving Forward Leadership ecosystem, be sure to go to moving forward leadership.com. And the show notes here for this shows will be how is that moving forward leadership.comforward/one three six. Alright, folks. We’re talking marketing today, and that’s something that we often don’t do here at, Moving Forward Leadership. We I I don’t go often into those hard business topics because it’s more revolving around influencing people, inspiring people, motivating people, developing teams. But as I said earlier, we need to lead our organizations.

Scott McCarthy [00:02:19]:
And in order to lead our organizations, we need to be able to tell people what it is we’re bringing to the table, what are we offering to them, how are we going to help them. Why? Because at the end of the day, it helps put food on the table of the people that we serve and lead when you boil it down. So that’s why I got Karen Sullivan on the show, and she is the owner of Sullivan Solutions, all in one marketing agency that will help organizations and leaders bring marketing solutions to light, help them know where their blind spots are, what they’re doing right, what they’re doing wrong most importantly, and they help increase your bottom line, whatever that is. So She’s got some pretty cool stuff that that we talk about in the show, including your marketing superpowers, and we actually go into what my marketing superpower is or and is not, most importantly, pretty funny. And As well, we just have a a really great time discussing this really important topic for you. Karen has a huge history in the realm of marketing, including becoming a VP of a large organization. So you know she knows what she’s talking Came out right. And with that, you know what? It maybe it’s time for you to hear from her and not hear from me, but one last thing before I hit play on this interview and that is if you know someone who could use this message, If you know someone who needs help in marketing, why don’t you hit pause and share this episode with them right now? So go ahead and do that right now before I hit play.

Scott McCarthy [00:04:04]:
Alright. Time’s up. Let’s do this. Here’s my interview with Karen Sullivan talking about how to lead the marketing and not do the marketing. Karen, welcome to the Moving Forward Leadership podcast.

Karen Sullivan [00:04:30]:
Thank you. I am excited to be here.

Scott McCarthy [00:04:33]:
I’m excited to be here mainly because we just had a bunch of laughs and before I hit record. So I think we’re gonna have a lot of fun talking about, marketing and talking about how to properly lead marketing within the organization. But, really, before we dive in, let’s Let’s get a bit more bit about you. Let’s get to know Karen Sullivan a little bit deeper. So what do you tell us about, you know, who you are and how you got to where you are today, which is leading your own company.

Karen Sullivan [00:05:02]:
Wow. That’s that’s, how much time do we have?

Scott McCarthy [00:05:06]:
I Close notes. Close notes.

Karen Sullivan [00:05:08]:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. So I grew up in a family business in, Was essentially rural Ohio and, 4th generation entrepreneur. So, Basically, what that means is, it’s in my DNA to think outside the box And probably not take orders very well. So, I made my 1st sale in the family business in, you know, When I was probably about 7 years old, literally worked All through all through school. That’s that’s just the the the family culture.

Karen Sullivan [00:05:53]:
I learned very early that you have to make yourself useful, and if you wanna be really useful, you have to make things Sell more and that fascinated me. So what can we do To make people wanna buy more. It wasn’t so much about changing the products. It was about It it’s about perception. It’s about marketing. So I gravitated very early towards the marketing, Advertising, merchandising, and please remember this was a very small family business, so there wasn’t a budget. It was It was the the first advertising I did was literally hand drawn, but it it was fascinating. So that that’s Where I’ve always been and, I find the problems I like to solve are the ones where You don’t just throw money at it, you have to throw some creativity.

Karen Sullivan [00:06:56]:
And and one of my favorite quotes has always been David Ogilvy who said, It’s not creative if it doesn’t sell. So that’s kind of been my my motto, growing up in a small community. Moving into high school, we founded a high school newspaper And within the 4 years of my high school career, I was award winning photojournalist and Advertising with with national awards and that really just solidified it for me that, hey, I wanna work with Smaller businesses that are privately held, the owners running the business on a day to day basis, I can help them make things better. I can help sell more, and that’s all I’ve really ever done. I spent a a few years after college In a Fortune 200 company, sort of learning the learning the ropes of how to how to play with other people, Might be a nice way to put that. But very, very soon after that, I I was doing enough freelance that it just made a lot of since to go ahead and launch Sullivan Solutions. So I did that officially in 1996 and really have never looked back. Throughout that time, I’ve worked for a wide variety of clients anywhere from solopreneurs to 20, thirty $1,000,000 companies.

Karen Sullivan [00:08:33]:
But, again, the the common common factor is always that they’re Being run on a daily basis by the owner. It’s very personal. They’re there every day. They take an interest in in what they do and, you know, it it it’s like, In in a lot of cases, it’s more personal than their kids. But that understanding that that often changes Or it it it certainly impacts and colors the business. Yes. We’re in it to make money, but there’s always a Passion behind the the financial piece. You know, why do you do this? So understanding what the What the owner wants and their goals and, you know, are they building this for their kids? Are they they building this For themselves, are they doing this so that they don’t have to go get a real day job? You know, a lot of things, but those all color The decisions, the operational decisions and the and the marketing decisions, some for the for the better, some for the worse.

Karen Sullivan [00:09:43]:
My job is to be objective and say, this is all well and good. I understand where you’re going with this. I understand your vision, but your primary customer probably doesn’t understand it this way. They don’t see it the way you do, so let’s Flip this around, and let’s get them to understand what’s in it for them. It it it’s really simple, and and there’s, a lot of times, it it it’s it’s almost like blinders. You you get so focused on your business that you forget That other people don’t see it that way. So that’s that’s some insight that I typically bring and then help understand how to change that message, and that’s the marketing foundation and and the marketing problem solving, the Sullivan Solutions, it’s always been about.

Scott McCarthy [00:10:38]:
That’s awesome. Awesome. Love it. And that’s pretty impressive. 4th generation entrepreneur. That’s a lot of experience, being pushed up through through to you. I’m I’m gonna be a, again, first in, generation, solopreneur, side hustler right now at the moment. So I’m learning a lot through the school of hard knocks per se.

Scott McCarthy [00:11:00]:
Now you you talked about business owners, and you work with a lot of small business owners. And we have a lot of entrepreneurs who listen to the Moving Forward Leadership podcast, and they’re hungry. They’re frothy yet for now. If they wanna learn, they wanna be the best leader that they could be. And here at the show, we talk about 3 domains of leadership, and that is leading yourself better. So how you can hit your own peak performance, how you can, you know, optimize how your workday, etcetera. Leading your team, how you can, you know, may build that team to a cohesive unit to take care of Jane, Jan, Joe, Bob, everybody, and then how you can lead your organization, you know, that institution to make sure that it gets its highest output. Now I feel a little bit We’re gonna kinda hit a kinda a little bit across all 3 because one common trend I see with entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurs I work with in helping coach them and involve or evolving their leadership skills as as entrepreneurs.

Scott McCarthy [00:11:56]:
They grow they grow the business, like you said, you know, like their kid almost. Right? They’re they’re they’re they’re there. They’re intimate with it. They bring it up. They create it. And when they get to the point where they have teams, they just they they kinda have this grasp on everything. You know what I mean? They they’re like, They they got their fingers into everything. They know everything, but to the point where it’s kinda it’s it’s almost holding them back.

Karen Sullivan [00:12:22]:
Absolutely. It

Scott McCarthy [00:12:23]:
it to the point where it’s holding them back. It’s holding their business or organization, whatever that is because we have nonprofiters that listen to the show as well. And and it it’s holding them back. So how can we get these people to understand that You can’t be the you can’t be the, the the perfectionist of everything.

Karen Sullivan [00:12:46]:
Exactly. You you you’ve you’ve Said that extremely well. And and I I see exactly the same thing with Every single entrepreneur I’ve ever worked with. And as the business grows, you know, if you’re if I’m gonna say if you’re lucky because there is a lot of luck to it and and a lot of hard work and sweat, but as the business grows Organically, the more you tighten your fingers around it, it’s like the more opportunity slides to your fingers. So you have to learn to delegate And you cannot scale without processes. The Probably the first thing every business owner will delegate is the bookkeeping. Very few of you know so Yeah. Yeah.

Karen Sullivan [00:13:39]:
Yeah. I don’t wanna I don’t wanna do that. I don’t wanna do my taxes. I don’t want you know? So so this the accounting piece is really easy for people to delegate. The last thing they seem to wanna delegate is the marketing. And I think that’s because, you know, sort of on the right brain, left brain Continuum or the complete other end because they see marketing as being, Creative and somewhat mystical and and and, you know, it’s not black and white or red and green like numbers are. Right? So Over and over, I hear, no. I can’t delegate the marketing because nobody else gets it.

Karen Sullivan [00:14:20]:
Or I hear, I’ve Tried to delegate the marketing. We’ve tried to outsource it, and it it it just went all wrong because they didn’t understand it. So, yes, that’s true. But, again, it it comes back to letting go enough to kind of see from an outside perspective. So One of the things we’ve developed in trying to help people understand how to do that is a concept I’m calling marketing from the c suite. And that encapsulates what it takes to lead the marketing rather than to do the marketing. You’ve got a a leader in order to scale their company, to to scale anything. They’ve gotta pull back from the minutiae.

Karen Sullivan [00:15:13]:
They’ve got to be able to delegate, but they do still have to be able to lead it. And if you can document it, That’s the 1st step to delegating it. So marketing from the c suite is about pulling back and looking at the processes because there are. There are Defined processes. There are defined building blocks that go into creating a foundation for your marketing. And unless you have those in place, everything else out there is just taking a stab in the dark. So getting those foundations and and a a lot of it is is the stuff that you hear over and over. You know, your brand, your your brand identity, your logo.

Karen Sullivan [00:16:01]:
Some of these things, it it’s your voice. A lot of it comes back to your mission statement. That a company’s mission statement should very definitely drive their marketing. So all of these pieces that go together, unless you nail those down and people don’t have an understanding of this, You can’t delegate it. You can’t even do it effectively yourself. I can’t market from from my company if the rules change every time I go to posted an ad. So establishing those those things that are not going to change are essential for scaling your business, scaling your marketing. So with that being said, what we’ve done to sort of help illustrate that is we’ve developed Marketing superheroes.

Karen Sullivan [00:16:53]:
And we thought we’d have a little bit of fun with it. You know, you you gotta have some fun with your marketing. My premise is if you have founded your own business, and I don’t care if you’re a solopreneur or if you have a $500,000,000 Manufacturing company. If you founded your own business and you have successfully run it for more than 6 months even. You are a marketing superhero. You’ve you had the vision. You have the idea. You have something creative in you to start this business.

Karen Sullivan [00:17:31]:
But like any superhero, you have your strengths, but you Very likely have your weaknesses. So understanding those strengths and weaknesses is the first step in learning to delegate. So we’ve got this little quiz. You go to our website, www.sullivansolutions.com, and you’ll see right on the front, You know, which marketing superhero are you? Take the quiz, and some of these questions are gonna are gonna look very familiar. But in my 30, 40 years of working with small businesses, they’re the ones I’ve heard a lot. And you answer the questions And it’ll give you a somewhat lighthearted feel for your your superpowers and your weaknesses. And based on those, we have some tools that illustrate some of the documentation that we expect to have in place In order to be able to delegate, lead, and then, oh, more importantly, benchmark and get the return on investment, Understand the value of the marketing that you’re doing because that’s that’s what’s ultimately You wanna be able to to delegate it, but you wanna be able to delegate it so that you know you’re getting your money’s worth out of it.

Scott McCarthy [00:18:54]:
That’s a such a comprehensive, answer I was not expecting, but it’s so

Karen Sullivan [00:18:59]:
I’m sorry.

Scott McCarthy [00:19:00]:
No. No. No. No. But it’s so good. There’s so much

Karen Sullivan [00:19:04]:
to That’s what you get. You know, we we do this visually, and you looked interested, Did so I kept talking.

Scott McCarthy [00:19:11]:
But it’s a there’s just so many good nuggets in there. And To point back to delegation, I am a huge fan of delegation. If the listeners out there have listened to the podcast more than 30 seconds, they know that I love delegation. I believe they’ll I refer to delegation as a leadership force multiplier. So that means that enables you to do so much more as leader. Now with that, I I I totally resonate with what you’re talking about and how, you know, marketers, entrepreneurs have a hard time letting things go and stuff like that. And, and like I said earlier, I I see it myself with people who I coach. Now one of the things that that I’m wondering that’s sticking out in my mind is what makes delegating marketing so different than anything else.

Scott McCarthy [00:20:09]:
Because if you think about it, as soon as you hire an employee, you’re delegating something. As soon as I hire as soon as I hire our 1st person to run a cash, I’ve now delegated that responsibility to that individual. So what makes running the cash or running your example of the books so different from marketing in the 1st place? Why do people why do leaders look at it with a different lens?

Karen Sullivan [00:20:36]:
I I don’t think All leaders do, but I think there’s definitely a tendency to Still think of it almost like a black art. You know, it’s it’s it’s creative. There is no one right answer. So I can’t if you if you’re doing the accounting and you add 2 plus 2 and you get 5. It’s pretty obvious that’s the wrong answer to most people and I can I can monitor that? I can get my head around it, and and and I I know that even if I’ve delegated it to you to to do that task, It’s it’s clear what’s wrong, but when you marketing is so broad. It’s it encompasses everything from signage at the point of purchase To SEO and digital app, you know, maybe people their eyes just start to cross because there’s So it is such a broad concept and there’s so much detail to it. It’s virtually impossible for Any 1 person to be an expert at all of it. So I I think that that broadness just really scares people And they have a perception that it’s it’s even more difficult, and they they feel out of control with it.

Karen Sullivan [00:22:05]:
They can’t they don’t feel like they can control it. I can control my tax accounting or I can control my, accounts receivable Because I know what the benchmarks are. I know I know what to look at on my financial statements to know where I’m at. I know I know I can, Assess my operations because I know how much product is going out the door and how much material is coming in to supply that. And I look at my, my labor, my my employment reports, and, you know, I I I see these things and it makes sense. Marketing is sort of over here with outside that realm with things that we Don’t always understand and my premise To the to the marketing from the c suite is you don’t have to understand it. If you’re for for, you know, for most companies, SEO, Search engine optimization is is a huge, factor in their their digital presence and their their online content. You don’t have to understand Google’s algorithms to know whether it’s working or not, but you do have to have benchmarks in place.

Karen Sullivan [00:23:23]:
And so That’s marketing from the c suite is about helping these leaders understand what those benchmarks are. And if if you go through The Marketing Superheroes quiz, the goal is to show that there’s a 1 page dashboard, if you will, For this issue or for that issue. It’s not it it’s oversimplified to a point, but There is a formula. There’s a there’s a formula to how to publish your email calendar. There are formulas that you can establish for reaching your audience and and and processes, again, that you can put in place That you can control that. And I teach them how to look at what numbers, you know, You yeah. You can have 50,000,000 Facebook likes, but is that really the number that you use to hold your Marketing department accountable to your social media strategy? Probably not. There’s there’s some other numbers we need to look at, but, again, we can put those into a fairly straightforward report or dashboard that you can look at quarterly and hold your team accountable.

Karen Sullivan [00:24:45]:
You you can hold them accountable for creating content That fits your mission statement, that that, illuminates the 5 benefits of your key product. You can hold them accountable to those things if you have documented that those are the things that are important to you.

Scott McCarthy [00:25:06]:
You’re a leader. You’re busy. You’re busy taking care of your people. You’re busy taking your your organization. If you’re a small business owner and you’re at the top of the food chain, you’re here to listen to this podcast because you want to know how to lead your people better. You don’t have time for that nitty gritty details that revolve around marketing. Believe me. I get it.

Scott McCarthy [00:25:27]:
I’m with you side by side. So that’s why, you know what, I tapped into using Pengy. If you look around at all my social media, banners, and logos, They’re all developed by Penji. Jonathan Grzislavski, cofounder of Penji, has been a great supporter of the podcast, and I’m supporting him. So if you go to penji.c0penji.c0 and use the coupon code MFL 15, You’re gonna get 15% off your monthly subscription, and that isn’t just 1 month. No. That is for Life. As long as you’re paying into them, you’re gonna get that 15% off, which is huge.

Scott McCarthy [00:26:06]:
Check it out and see if Penji is right for you. Because you know what? I know they’re right for me. And that is Penji, penji.c0, and use the coupon code, m f l one five. And now time to get back to the show. Makes absolute sense to me. And in a fact, the way you explain it to me makes me feel even more so that, You know, delegating marketing isn’t different than anything delegating anything else. You you empower your people. You give them your vision for the organization.

Scott McCarthy [00:26:45]:
You give Give them the parameters which you want them to operate within, and you let them go and do their thing. Because one would think if you’re hiring people to do marketing, they would be marketing first. I am not a marketing expert. I tell you right now. I I I can talk leadership all day long. I can talk on a podcast all day long. Video, probably not the greatest thing. I’m, you know, a voice for radio or a face for radio as they say.

Scott McCarthy [00:27:10]:
But the point is is that That’s my lane. That’s my thing. That’s what I do best. Marketing, like, oh god. I yeah. I could post on my personal social media, but trying to do, you know, the hashtags and all this stuff, my eyes glaze over. I start frothing at the mouth, and and, you know, someone is ready to call the ambulance because I’m just like, this does not make sense to me. That’s why I empower people, bring them in, say, alright.

Scott McCarthy [00:27:34]:
This is my vision. Here’s our products. Here’s the services. This is what people are gonna get out of it, blah blah blah. Do your thing. This is our budget. This is what I expect at returns, etcetera. You know? Come back and let me know.

Scott McCarthy [00:27:47]:
And and it’s no different than delegating to anybody else anything else. No.

Karen Sullivan [00:27:53]:
You that that’s absolutely right. A a leader Has to be the visionary, and they they have to understand how to share that vision, Empower their people to embrace that vision and then hold them accountable to that. And and marketing is the same way. A lot of times, the hesitation with the marketing is the leader doesn’t know what they want. They don’t have a vision. They can’t communicate their expectations.

Scott McCarthy [00:28:22]:

Karen Sullivan [00:28:23]:
Ergo, you cannot lead it.

Scott McCarthy [00:28:25]:
Therefore, it is not a marketing problem. It’s a communication problem and a leadership problem, and hence why they should come see me first before they go see you.

Karen Sullivan [00:28:34]:
Yes. Actually, I’m a big fan of Seth Godin and, you know, I so I I avoid, trying to I I will quote him rather than try and be I I I don’t I don’t feel the need to be original on everything. He did a blog post about 2 years ago titled you may have a marketing problem if.

Scott McCarthy [00:29:01]:

Karen Sullivan [00:29:01]:
And it and it really illustrated how so much of the the leadership And the of a company truly is a marketing problem. It’s perception, expectation, follow through.

Scott McCarthy [00:29:19]:
Nope. It totally is. That makes absolute sense. Now I’d like to double back to your superheroes because while you were talking, I took the test.

Karen Sullivan [00:29:30]:
Okay. Great. What’d you get? Let me see if I can do it later.

Scott McCarthy [00:29:33]:
Apparently, I’m a slasher.

Karen Sullivan [00:29:40]:
Okay. So if you’re a slasher, That means that you do all the okay. So we’ll read your answers here. You say you do all your marketing yourself and You have 0 people, that are actually selling for you. If you’re a slasher, You’re probably really good at sales. So sales is your superpower, But your weakness might be missed opportunities.

Scott McCarthy [00:30:09]:

Karen Sullivan [00:30:10]:
So if you’re out there driving sales, your numbers are looking good, and and stuff’s going out the door, you might have some missed opportunities in, Not only in driving additional sales, driving some product development. One of the things we often overlook as a marketing problem is recruiting. So if you may actually be selling the product, but is your marketing supporting your recruiting efforts? Is it supporting your diversity initiatives? Is it supporting your vendor, qualification program. Is your marketing greasing the wheels In the other areas of your of your business. So there’s there’s a broader perspective there where Slasher tends to be very focused on sales And not very focused on everything else that ultimately does drive Customer perception. It and it drives the scalability of a company with all the pieces that aren’t directly Sales oriented.

Scott McCarthy [00:31:24]:
That makes absolute sense to me. Like, as you explained that, I And I’m like, at first, when I saw, like, sales, really. But then as I started thinking more and dissecting more, I started realizing, like, No. This actually makes sense because, you know, this podcast, it’s a it’s a sale. It’s it’s I’m I’m selling it for free, but it’s Still, it’s a sale. It’s a

Karen Sullivan [00:31:47]:
It is a sale. Exactly.

Scott McCarthy [00:31:48]:
Right? And now I talk about my services, which are sales. But the other things are the things which I need to work on, and I fully acknowledge that. And I’m working on them right now, in fact, to getting better in my other areas. So that that makes sense. Now how about the other superheroes out there? What are what are they, and what are their benefits and pitfalls and all this stuff for for the audience?

Karen Sullivan [00:32:15]:
Well, the the the first one, and I’ll I’ll take them in alphabetical order. So the the first one and I I will freely admit that I’m a little bit sexist on this. All of my all of my They’re

Scott McCarthy [00:32:27]:
all women. Hey.

Karen Sullivan [00:32:28]:
Feminine. Not make not making any kind of a statement here other than the fact that I originally released this at a presentation for the National Association of Women Business Owners, and it’s, It it just made sense at the time. So, anyway, Captain Fabulous is, is a superhero, a business leader whose superpower is actually delegation. They’re very good at delegating. Their weakness is more in the lines of interpretation and accountability. So I’m all about delegating and giving someone else the responsibility to do this, but how do I hold them accountable? And how do I interpret the results that they bring me? Because often the frustration of marketing is That the return on investment is theoretically justified by numbers I don’t understand. And I get all this information that is meaningless to me, so I I don’t know how to hold these people accountable. So that that can be a a weakness.

Karen Sullivan [00:33:46]:
The the next one is elastastica, And this persona, their, the the superpower for this one is experience. This is someone who has done a a wide variety of things. They’ve they’ve they’ve tried a lot of marketing. They they Feel they know what’s successful. They they understand their sales funnel or their sales pipeline. They know what works Because they’ve been there, done that, but too often, they find themselves saying, I know what I want, so it’s just easier to do it myself. In this case, the weakness truly is delegation. They just can’t let go Because they can’t put words around.

Karen Sullivan [00:34:33]:
They can’t manage the expectations that come out of that that experience. This this is truly the one that says nobody else gets it.

Scott McCarthy [00:34:43]:
Just easier if I do it myself.

Karen Sullivan [00:34:45]:
Exactly. And who has not said that at least once, you know, like today? But, anyway, the the third one is HotDaga. And this lady, superhero, her superpower is experimentation. And I’ve had a lot of business owners who have tried a lot of different things, and these are the these are the folks that literally have Multiple balls in the air at any one time. They tend to be the ADHD types, you know. Oh, squirrel. Let’s go off in this direction and try this and see if it works. They’re very good at that, very open to trying new things.

Karen Sullivan [00:35:23]:
They’ve already tried almost everything so, you know, they’re they’re very open minded, But the weakness then is is effectiveness because it’s difficult to pick 1 thing and do it well. In this, In a leadership situation, your your team can’t be effective because they don’t know what to focus on. They’re they’re looking at the leader Trying to to do their job and do it well, but they’re getting mixed signals all the time that this happens, and and that’s very difficult. So we talked about the 4th one, Slasher, the one that that came up in your, your profile. So Clearly a strong manager. Never overspends on marketing. You you you you are able to set your expectations, but As we talked about, you you know, you may be missing some opportunities to go the extra mile and and really get the extra bang for your buck that’s gonna scale your business. Wonderworker is the 5th one.

Karen Sullivan [00:36:23]:
This this one is sort of the person that just seems to be good at all this stuff and and really juggles well. It has nothing to do with whether they’re new at their business or whether they’re a veteran, but they’re just they’re really good with With putting all the pieces together and being entrepreneurial and being visionary, but their weakness is time. There just Isn’t there just aren’t enough hours in the day for them to be to to get it all done, and, you know, and this Can easily lead to the delegation issues. So, you know, as a as a leadership coach, you know, you you’ve gotta Invest your time where it makes the greatest difference and, and and learn how to Make the best use of of you of the resources that you have. So with each one of these, we’ve got a couple of hacks, a couple of Worksheets, if you will, that we suggest might help get you in the frame of mind for attacking some of your weaknesses and and and actually working them through your marketing Your marketing strategy.

Scott McCarthy [00:37:41]:
Oh, and I just pulled up mine. And, yeah, this you know what, folks, to listen, Go to the show notes because the link’s in there, and check this out because a lot of this stuff, people have to pay for, what what I’m looking at right now often, and you’re giving it away for free. So that’s that’s, you know, thanks thanks for that, and I’ll be diving into this later, after work tonight.

Karen Sullivan [00:38:04]:

Scott McCarthy [00:38:05]:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I’m actually very, very deliberate with my times. I have set podcast times. I have set, editing times, at coaching times, etcetera. So and then I have to revolve that around my my work life, which as a senior Canadian army officer in a high readiness unit. So that means right now, at any time, I could receive a phone call, and 12 hours later, I could be getting on a bus for an airplane for any of

Karen Sullivan [00:38:31]:
the Aurora.

Scott McCarthy [00:38:33]:
So, yes, I need to be very deliberate in essentially every aspect of my life. And, oh, not to mention, I have 2 young boys and a wife.

Karen Sullivan [00:38:40]:
Oh, yes. So so so you know all about, you’re you’re an you’re an expert at, at at at juggling already.

Scott McCarthy [00:38:48]:
Oh, yeah. Yeah. I know. It’s it’s insane. Most people don’t know how I how I support

Karen Sullivan [00:38:52]:
But in in one way or another, that’s really what almost every small business It it is easy to get into firefighting mode. You you don’t know what’s coming down the pike. You don’t know who’s coming in the door the next day. You don’t you don’t know what’s happening. You you Have to be in a in an instant or in in a constant state of readiness.

Scott McCarthy [00:39:11]:
Nope. And and and, well, it goes back to planning, prioritization, which are all leadership Great. Right? Now as we wind down the show here, if you’re to give, you know, that One golden piece of advice to leaders out there who may be overseeing a marketing team or is, you know, in charge of a company. They’re the entrepreneur. They’ve they’re they’re the biz small business owner. What would that golden piece of advice

Karen Sullivan [00:39:46]:
Wow. That’s a tough one. And and you want this in how many seconds? I think the one piece of advice is you can’t do it all yourself And, probably, marketing should be the first thing you outsource, not the last Because it’s it’s it’s the thing you will be the least objective about.

Scott McCarthy [00:40:15]:
Like it. Actually, you know, it it makes it makes sense. Right? Because if you think about it, marketing is the thing that brings people into your business, your company, your organization, whatever. And I really like the part about how you you connected it to recruiting as well because You need to market your company to attract the best people. So attract the best clients, attract the best people to work with you in it, and that frees you up to do what your strength, you know, your strength is. And if in my case, if it’s sales, then that frees me up to do sales because all of a sudden, I have someone bringing people to me. But it’s me trying to bring someone to me and then trying to talk to them and say, okay. This is where think we could be a good fit.

Scott McCarthy [00:40:59]:
What do you think?

Karen Sullivan [00:41:00]:

Scott McCarthy [00:41:01]:
Right? And that allows me to focus my efforts.

Karen Sullivan [00:41:03]:
And you have a limited amount of energy. There’s only so much. You’re doing this clearly because you love it, but the things that you aren’t As effective at will drain your energy faster, and it it’s it’s a very slippery slope. So you’ve gotta And this and this all feeds back into your your leadership philosophies, to be effective.

Scott McCarthy [00:41:29]:
Awesome. Karen, I love it. I’ve had a great time talking to you today. Before we wrap up the show, I do got a couple of last questions for you. And the first one being a question I ask all the guys here at Moving Forward Leadership. And it is according to you, Karen Sullivan, what makes a great leader?

Karen Sullivan [00:41:49]:
Someone someone who recognizes my strengths.

Scott McCarthy [00:41:55]:
Wow. Short, simple, to the point. Love it. And it’s so true. You know, someone who recognizes your strengths and empowers you to act on them, Absolutely. I’ve had a number of people out there do that with me, and it’s it’s night and day compared to those who don’t. And the final question is, how can people find you? How can they follow you? Feel free to give yourself a shameless plug. It’s all but you right now.

Karen Sullivan [00:42:17]:
Easy to find. It’s sullivansolutions.com. One Sullivan, multiple solutions. And, we’re on most of the social media. Karen Sullivan. You know, I’m just just another Karen, but, Old enough to to be, usually, easy enough to find out there. So everything’s linked from our website, and that that’s probably the best place.

Scott McCarthy [00:42:44]:
For you to listen, it’s easy. Just go to moving forward leadership.comforward/136, 136, and the links are all there in the show notes for you already. Karen, again, thanks for coming out. It’s been it’s been a pleasure. It’s been honor. Marketing, you know what? Something that, as I said, I need to get my head wrapped around because I can’t do it all even as a as a leader. So, thanks. Thanks for coming up.

Karen Sullivan [00:43:08]:
This this has been great, Scott. Thank you so much.

Scott McCarthy [00:43:21]:
Alright. That’s all I got for you fine folks today. I hope you enjoyed the show. I hope you enjoyed the interview, and most importantly, I hope you got something out of it. And if you did, remember r squared, s squared. Right? Right and review the show so that it gets a little bit noticed a bit more. But most importantly, I can help more people because that’s what I’m here for. That’s what my guests are here for is to help more people become better leaders and not being bosses.

Scott McCarthy [00:43:50]:
Right? So remember that. R squared, rate in view. S, share the show. Share this show with someone who you think can relate to the podcast as a whole and today’s topic. And then finally, subscribe. Subscribe so that you never miss another episode, and you can do that via your podcast playing app of choice through moving forward leadership .comforward/subscribe. That’s it for today, ladies and gentlemen. And as always, Stop bossing and start leading.

Scott McCarthy [00:44:23]:
Take care now.

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