Many marketing leaders find themselves reassessing their team’s needs and year-to-date performance this time of year. With the calendar over halfway behind us, there’s no better time to consider whether or not you’re on pace to hit your goals for the year.

Thankfully for employers, the pendulum is swinging once again after an ultra-competitive market that saw far more openings than qualified talent available throughout the first half of the year. Layoffs across the fintech, VC/PE, and finance industries coupled with hiring freezes at tech companies coming to a reckoning with sinking (or at least stagnant) valuations are starting a ripple effect that will be felt across the marketing industry for quarters to come in terms of talent available relative to open positions.

This is good news from a hiring standpoint, but it’s still critical to not just get the right people on the bus, but to also get them into the right seats (shoutout to Jim Collins!). Many marketing teams don’t need personnel changes, though- they just need to address their relative dysfunctions.
That’s why all marketing leaders would do well to revisit Patrick Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team. The easy read describes each of the five dysfunctions affecting most teams- Inattention to Results, Avoidance of Accountability, Lack of Commitment, Fear of Conflict, and Absence of Trust- as well as how to address them.

Any of the five dysfunctions could single-handedly keep a marketing leader and their team from hitting their goals. Before making hasty personnel changes, the savvy marketing leader will ask themselves whether or not the team as a whole needs to address one or more of the dysfunctions first.

These same dysfunctions don’t just apply to in-house teams, but to brand-agency relationships as well. Consider an agency Account Manager that is afraid to speak their mind and just tells a brand what they want to hear, a brand putting the account into review every other quarter, and one or more parties asleep at the wheel when it comes to results. Any one of these issues could doom the relationship- and should if left unaddressed.

At a time where success comes at a premium, marketing leaders would do well to assess the health of their internal and external teams- and rush to correct those issues first- before dipping their toes back into the water for a new hire or agency.


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