Final Thoughts and a Fond Adieu

Final Thoughts and a Fond Adieu

The Society’s vision is “Business Transformed Through Marketing Leadership.” As I was thinking about my last Marketer QuickLook message to you as president, I thought I would share four thoughts that helped me transform myself into a better leader this past year. Hopefully, something will resonate and help you transform yourself into becoming a better leader as well—whether it be in your firm, SMPS, or other capacity.

Be a little uncomfortable. Most of us like consistency and change can be a little uncomfortable. In order for us to transform ourselves or our businesses, we need to get out of our comfort zone to lead the change. If you aren’t changing, you aren’t growing. I challenge you to change something that might make you a little uncomfortable. Do it consistently and wait for the transformation to occur.

Find an open ear. Speak with those you trust. I remember saying to one of my mentors; “I don’t know if I’m ready to lead the Society because I’m not a strategic thinker.” Their response: “You are a strategic thinker, just in a different way.” Having that open ear and honest opinion was the push I needed to pursue something that, at least in my mind, I wasn’t ready for.

Lead by example. All leaders must be hyper-aware about what they say and do. Others may scrutinize our actions and words. As we grow in our careers, we become a role model for others. We must lead by example and make sure we look and carry ourselves as a professional—even when the curtain is down. But we can’t lose our sense of humor. There are times we need to be serious, but it’s so important to have fun along the way.

You do you. There are a lot of great leaders we can try to emulate but trying to copy another’s leadership style isn’t the answer to our own success. We each have unique experiences and life lessons that make us who we are. Yes, you can get great tips on how to lead from folks like Stephen Covey or Simon Sinek, but you can only be the leader you were meant to be. Use the talents, knowledge, and skills you were given to be the best YOU.

I hope these final thoughts inspire you to realize that we can all be leaders in whatever role we serve in our organizations. I also hope it inspires you to become a leader in SMPS someday.

This has been an amazing year. One that I will cherish forever.



SMPS President Chris Rickman, FSMPS, CPSM, is executive VP and chief operating officer at ZFI Engineering in Oklahoma City, OK. He can be reached at


Scroll to Top