David Maister On Leadership In Marketing

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David Maister is one of the world’s leading authorities on management strategy and leadership. His books are known world-wide for their insights and candor. David Maister walked into PodCamp Boston 2 this morning to share those insights and talk about his latest book, Strategy And The Fat Smoker. Julien Smith from In Over Your Head made the connection (and arranged for this surprise visit) and everyone at PodCamp Boston 2 owes Julien (and David) a debt of thanks. Normally, David chargers ridiculous fees for speaking engagements. In this case, he believes in the Podcasting community (David made some pretty big waves when he ported a lot of his thought leadership into his excellent Blog, David Maister Blog, and his Podcast, David Maister Podcast), and figured PodCamp Boston would be a good place to potentially pick up some new fans.

Mission accomplished.

I have been following David Maister since he co-authored, The Trusted Advisor, and have been subscribing to his Blog for a long while. It was pretty funny to watch the twitter tweets fly when David started presenting. In what was one of the most valuable sessions – from a content perspective – at PodCamp Boston, Maister then opened the floor and asked the community what he could help us with. This portion went into a long Q&A where David really simplified many management concepts and how they apply to Marketing.

From a Marketing perspective David recounted the story of a lawyer he encountered who immediately started to help him understand the situation he was in (and the opportunity). Instead of sorting through the price and the value, David expressed how this Lawyer’s tactic of helping first, without expectation of getting the deal (while we all fully understand that this is always the intent), is one of the best Marketing tools there is.

In hindsight, this is exactly what Social Media and Web 2.0 is. Beyond the collaboration, the truth behind these "conversations" is that individuals are either providing solutions, entertaining or educating their readers to create affinity. They’re providing high value for free in the hopes that we, as Consumers, engage them. David is a big fan of this tactic. Relationship Marketing, Trust Economy, call it what you will, Maister told the PodCamp Boston crowd that he has built his business on this model and it works. It’s also the reason that he’s using these many new channels (Blogs, Podcasts, Webinars, etc…) to spread the word.

I had the pleasure of spending a half hour with Maister and recorded the full conversation. Look for it in a future episode of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast.