Tag Archives: Stephen Gates

The Crazy Ones: How to be a Leader that Inspires Creativity and Innovation

Photo by paul bica
My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.’ – Steve Jobs, Apple, Inc.
Many companies are striving to achieve Apple’s level of creativity and innovation, but they don’t have the type of culture and leadership to support this goal.
Stephen Gates, VP and Creative Director, Global Brand Design, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, presented “The Crazy Ones: How to be a Leader that Inspires Creativity and Innovation” at the Total Customer Experience Leaders (TCEL) Summit in Miami, Florida. Here are the seven characteristics of leaders vs. managers he shared:
  • Execution vs. leadership: Managers think that anyone can lead a team. Leadership isn’t telling people what to do. Leaders empower them to find their own solutions and embrace their own process.
  • Status quo vs. beliefs: Managers believe in the status quo of doing things the way they’ve always been done. Leaders know that having beliefs gives your team something to rally around and it creates an identity.
  • Best practices vs. real insights: Managers think they will find innovation in studies, conferences, and consumer research, but they keep you at the same level as your competition. Leaders know you have to look beyond shared knowledge and have your team spend time finding unique perspectives.
  • Execution vs. ideas: Managers have deadlines. Leaders have ideas. Deadline-driven groups are a commodity. Idea-driven groups are a critical asset.
  • Words vs. actions: Managers are all talk with little to no follow through. Leaders value actions over words.
  • Emotional deafness vs. self-awareness: A lot of leadership has nothing to do with your team and everything to do with you. Leaders take time to understand how their teams work. People need to feel inspired, invested and protected to do their best work.

  • Good vs. great: Managers do good work. Good work is a compromise. Leaders understand that good work is the single greatest threat to great work. Great work is born out of passion, investment and attention to detail and creates a culture of dedication beyond reason.

Stay tuned for more customer experience insights shared at this week’s TCEL. Stay connected at:
  • twitter.com/TotalCustomer #TCEL14
  • linkedin.com/Total Customer Experience Leaders
  • facebook.com/TotalCustomer
Peggy L. Bieniek, ABC is an Accredited Business Communicator specializing in corporate communication best practices. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and on her website at www.starrybluebrilliance.com.

    Mobile Marketing for The Travel Industry

    January is a big month for the travel industry: with the holidays behind us, many consumers are dreaming of that getaway to escape from the long winter ahead. I see the evidence of this trend every day as my inbox fills up with sales and specials from various travel sites.

    So, with this in mind, how should travel brands ramp up to 2012 marketing? Stephen Gates of Starwood Hotels & Resorts (who will be leading our workshop at The Mobile Marketing Conference “Best Practices in Creating Mobile Websites”) recently shared the video interview below with mobithinking.com.

    Starwood Hotels and Resorts is one of the world’s largest hotel groups focused on luxury brands, and Gates discusses here how Mobile and HTML5 allow Starwood to create a mobile brand experience that stays true to the unique personality of each of their brands.

    Some key takeaways: Travelers are more likely to turn to mobile for information, as it is easier to access in a distant location than traditional internet.
    Travelers are looking for largely utilitarian, transactional information (a reservation number or address) and are in a hurry to find it, make it easy to find this information via your mobile site.
    Mobile provides an immediate conduit to your consumers while they are currently using your service, users largely access information via mobile while they are staying or just before.

    Stephen also shares some ideas about how HTML5 will impact the future of Starwood’s mobile presence. Head to mobithinking.com for more or to view their full series of mobile expert interviews.

    Or, to hear more from Stephen Gates, join us this March at The Mobile Marketing Conference. Download the brochure to learn more about his workshop. Save 15% when you register with code TMMC12DIGITAL here.

    P.S. Join our social media community! Our new LinkedIn Group is a place to share expertise and brilliant ideas on anything mobile marketing and you can also follow us on Twitter or on Facebook for conference updates and industry insider news.

    Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a specialization in marketing. She may be reached at mleblanc@iirusa.com