Unlearning How to Be a Leader

By Sara Counihan

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Scott Stratten has built a brand that unlearns everything you thought you knew about marketing. His company is aptly named UnMarketing, and he’s the unofficial “Un” man as his brand has expanded to include unselling, unbranding and unleadership, which he will be speaking on during the general session of the NACS Show on Saturday, October 1st.

“There’s a way to do things in sales and branding and marketing and leadership that doesn’t have to be just snapping your neck and cashing checks. I just really think, especially now today more than ever, there’s a place for people who believe in people,” Stratten said on this week’s NACS Convenience Matters podcast episode.

Stratten says there’s a difference between being a manager and being an executive. He addressed the silent dismissal movement, which means you should stop going beyond your responsibilities at work, and brought up sham firing, which means employers do the minimum possible for their people so they don’t fire them, but they do want to go .

“It can go both ways. That’s the problem. We never have this back and forth. And I’m here to pass that back and forth,” he said. “You want reference checks for my job? You want three of these? No problem. Can you give me three reference checks for people who have worked for you including one who has left in the last six months I would be happy to chat with you.”

Stratten believes that empathy and confidence are the strongest leadership qualities. He said they were the most powerful before the pandemic, but now they have come to the fore.

“Today, dealing with the public is more difficult than ever. people insult people. People just lose their minds to people,” he said. “We have to be able to work as a team. We have to be able to be leaders who stand up and care about our people because they expect us to do that.”

At the end of the day, it’s a company’s front lines that stand behind the brand, Stratten said.

“It is your frontline that drives the world. Talk to them.”

Hear more from the “Un” man on this week’s NACS Convenience Matters Podcast Episode #353 “How To Stop Marketing and Start Engaging” and don’t miss his talk on “Unleadership” from the General Sessions stage of the NACS show on Saturday, October 1 at 3:45 p.m

Read NACS Magazine’s interview with Stratten on “Unleader of the Pack” in the September issue of the Pre-NACS Show.

Sara Counihan is Associate Editor of NACS Magazine and NACS Daily. She can be reached at [email protected].

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