Advice to a Managing Director

Advice to a Managing Director

Post created by Rebecca Andrews
Applied IMC (Spring Quarter 2023)

Three months ago, I stepped into a new role in my Integrated Marketing Communications class as Managing Director. Being self-assured as I am about IMC, I quickly outlined my responsibilities by learning from my predecessors and previous 6 months of  IMC. While those responsibilities do still pertain to my role as Managing Director, I have only begun to understand my place as Managing Director on the Executive Team in the past couple of weeks. My goal is to share those lessons with you so you can continue to build on my knowledge. Whether that be for WWU’s MKTG 488 IMC class or running a marketing team at your agency.

I hate to admit this, but I think it’s a valuable anecdote so I will share it with you. When I first started my role as Managing Director, I was so excited to be hands-on and create a bunch of helpful documents and processes. However, every time I came up with a new idea, that new thing would get pulled by another member of our Executive Team. I was quite confused by that and ashamed to admit a little bit angry. Because I began to question the value I brought to the team as I wasn’t doing nearly as much hands-on work as the other executive team members. It only recently dawned on me that my job as Managing Director isn’t to be working on operations, having client relation meetings, or working on analytics. My job as Managing Director is to be looking at the bigger picture. Looking at upcoming due dates and helping the Executive Team and the Product Managers to reach those due dates. If you become Managing Director after having been a Content Creator and a Product Manager, that is a whole six months of IMC experience and tools you have under your belt. As Managing Director, it’s your job to take those tools and apply them. Another part of that is taking the incentive to apply your knowledge in ways to improve the course and the sprints without being asked too. For example, it didn’t occur to me that as executive team members, we should be applying sprint retrospectives into our sprint cycle. I just thought that because we aren’t Product Managers anymore that stuff is behind us. But one thing about IMC is that, what you learn builds on each other. So while you might not be building a product, your team still can still apply sprint retros and I wish that would have come to me early on in the quarter. This is all to say that by applying your vast IMC toolbox to the executive teams sprint cycles and looking at the bigger picture, the Managing Director can help the team succeed!

With that said another lesson I learned towards the end of my time being Managing Director is that you need to learn how to delegate, delegate, delegate! This might just be a problem that I have but I wanted to include it in because it might be something that someone else needs to hear as well. When you are looking at the bigger picture and applying your IMC tools to the sprint cycles, you are going to naturally come up with ways to improve the process. However, you should not get stuck in the weeds trying to make that new idea come to life. For example, my IMC professor taught us a new framework in class to help Content Creators understand how to implement Message Strategy Methods into their executions. I thought it would be handy to take that framework and make it into a graphical process that can be passed off from one IMC class to the next. It took me about 2 hours to create that document and it would have taken me longer if I had turned that table into a more aesthetic document on a platform like Canva. However, Dan gave me the great advice of delegating that task to our Director of Operations instead of getting too stuck in the detail. So, my advice would be to delegate tasks when they fall under the tasks of other Executive Team members. With that said make sure to provide other executive team members with the most information and resources when you do provide them with a new task.

The last piece of advice I can give to a Managing Director would be to make sure to always be showing appreciation to your team. Whether that be other executive team members, product managers, or content creators. By simply expressing gratitude to your team for all their hard work, you can tremendously improve the morale and work environment of your team. Showing your thanks will make your team feel appreciated, build confidence within your team members, and spread positivity among your team!

2023 Spring IMC Executive Team: Makenna Miner, Arnav Sengupta, Dan Purdy, Rebecca Andrews, Glory Burford


I have spent the last 9 months of my academic year in Dan Purdy’s Integrated Marketing Communications class and throughout that whole time, I have learned something new with each new role I took on. Now I am ready to move on to a new journey to learn new lessons! Make sure to subscribe to ReDrew Innovations to get a free resource filled with lessons I am learning along the way!