Name: Jethro Marsh
Title: Head of Enterprise and Commercial / Director, Advisory Council
Organisation: Hudson TPT / DG Sentinel
Head of Enterprise and Commercial @ Hudson | MBA, CIM CMO and Director Advisory Council @ The DG Sentinel | Media, Mental Health, Global Growth Leader with Strategy, Marketing, and Customer Expertise With over 20 years of experience in diverse industries and markets, I am a growth leader who combines strategy, marketing, and customer expertise to deliver value and performance. I hold an MBA, a CIM diploma, and a Master of Music degree, and I speak three languages.
Currently, I lead the enterprise business at Hudson, a global talent solutions company, and I am also the Chief Marketing Officer at The DG Sentinel, a nonpartisan, independent, and ethical media site that uplifts marginalized voices from around the world. In both roles, I leverage my skills in strategic planning, customer centricity, operational excellence, financial management, and innovation to drive growth and transformation. I am passionate about building strong relationships, fostering a culture of trust and engagement, and making a positive impact on society.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Jethro's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
I think the thing that is most challenging as you grow as a leader is the concept of "teach someone to fish" as opposed to fishing for everyone. We being our careers as single contributors, mostly - which means our frame of reference for success tends to sit within what we can do ourselves. As you become a manager and leader, you need to pivot away from the instinct to do yourself, and towards the act of coaching and mentoring. The influence and power of a leader to amplify positive impacts is significant - and in the longer term, you achieve far more by helping others learn and grow than you could possibly achieve alone.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
My journey is atypical! My first career was as a professional solo violinist, which unfortunately I had to retire from in my early twenties due to an issue with my joints. In my first role, I worked as a managing editor for an online education news site, in which role I managed a large team of freelance reporters. It was very much a baptism of fire in leadership - but it was also a really great learning experience in how to build engagement and ensure that performance was achieved, without having the control inherent in a standard FTE approach.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I like to start my day with exercise - with the idea of a healthy body leading to a healthy mind. Then, when I first start work, I have a thirty minute block where I don't check my emails or respond instantly; instead, I keep that time clear to make sure that my plan for the day and key priorities are covered off, and I prioritise anything that has changed or occurred overnight or over the weekend. In today's world of instant response and engagement, it's critical to keep a small amount of time sequestered for thought and planning! The hardest thing to do nowadays is to switch off from work - especially with BYOD, we are now constantly and entirely connected - and as a leader, you have to make sure that you make the effort to model balance in work and life, rather than model a lack of balance. There's nothing whatsoever wrong with loving work - but as a leader, your behaviour is about more than what works for you, it also what you want others to emulate.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
One of the hardest things to do is not to leap in and try and put a quick fix in place - and that extends to finding the right people, too. I have always known that bringing someone into a role because the vacancy is urgent rather than the candidate being the absolute right match is not a recipe for success. Most of the time, I have kept to that - but on occasion, the pressure to hire can be strong! It isn't a mistake I will make again - as leaders we have to be mindful of all the people this impacts, from the hiree to the team members to the customers and stakeholders.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Brenee Brown's Dare to Lead. Her model of authentic leadership, transparent communication and engagement, is powerful. It also reinforces those Six Sigma lessons that can be easy to ignore. The aspect that really stands out to me, in this area, is one I will cover in the "piece of advice to a young leader" reply! Every time I refer back to it, I am reminded of those examples of leaders in my past who have led with vulnerability, and how much more discretionary effort they earned through the respect and trust they showed.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
The biggest piece of advice is to remember that a leader isn't a manager - a leader is anyone who leads. That means that the things you do, the skills you have as an individual or specialist, are actually not the most important asset you have. The biggest impact you can have is to demonstrate through your behaviour what your "how" is - because that is what will transform the way your team or area of remit performs.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
I don't know if this is a story, but it is a quote that resonates with me so strongly, and is also a Brenee Brown reference as she uses this. I won't directly quote but it is a quote from President Theodore Roosevelt - "The Man In The Arena". That quote talks to me about the power of authentic and all-in engagement in a team, business, community.