True North is your orienting point – your fixed point in a spinning world – that helps you stay on track as a leader. It is derived from your most deeply held beliefs, values, and the principles you lead by. It is your internal compass, unique to you, representing who you are at your deepest level. – Bill George, Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School and Author of six bestselling books including Discover Your True North.
I’ve always had a strong connection to my True North. As a kid it showed up as stubbornness (and still does), and later in life as a feeling of restlessness connected with work or people. This may explain why I’ve been back and forth between being an entrepreneur and working in the corporate world as a marketer. Separately these roles satisfy unique experiences I crave, but neither has been able to deliver the sum of what was needed to realize my calling. In order to explore this further, I thought it would be interesting to deconstruct what attracted me to these roles:
- Highly Creative
- Connected to Purpose
- Exploring the Unknown
- Personal Accountability
- Bettering People’s Lives
- More Control Over Life & Career
Corporate Marketing Experiences
- Helping Brands Connect Promise to Customer Experience & Growth
- Opportunity to Learn from Peers & Leaders
- Greater Financial Security
- Time to Provide Mentorship
I recognize that these qualities and experiences should be present in order for me to feel fulfilled at work. Now my focus is to examine how I can bring these once separate roles into alignment in order to demonstrate the unique contributions I have to offer the world and create work I love.
This True North Manifesto will serve as a guide to building a career that allows me to reshape, reinvent and reinvigorate brands so that they deliver remarkable experiences inside and out.
True North Manifesto
Act with integrity, a growth mindset and in alignment with the customer’s best interest.
Practice in-service leadership.
Evangelize the belief that remarkable experiences always win.
Be Curious. Be Thorough. Be Consistent.
Maintain the belief that marketing just to keep busy is worse than no marketing at all.
Eradicate the term (and practice of) “Email Blast”, permission based marketing only please.
Remember that the truth is always the answer.
Apply these filters “Who does this serve?” and “Why now?”
Know that the right decision will come at the right time.
Respect your creative process.
Remember that a quality for being transformative is the ability to erase existing boundaries and start from scratch.
Surround yourself with smart, innovative and diverse people.
Never stop learning.