CMO Impact
Achieving Personal & Career Success

CMO Club Spotlight: Randa McMinn

Averi Melcher
September 20, 2016


Randa McMinn, The CMO Club

Randa McMinn, Consultant and Former VP, Marketing, Essex Property Trust

This week, we’re turning the spotlight onto Randa McMinn, Former VP of Marketing at Essex Property Trust.

1. What was your favorite job?

It was probably my second job, working for an advertising agency called Jordan Associates. I had the best boss – who still holds the title to this day – and I was able to experience some really fantastic clients and project work (like managing Tiger Woods’ media relations. Fortunately, before any of the scandalous media affairs).

It was also where I had the opportunity to learn the foundation and different functions of the creative process, understanding what it takes to weave them all together and produce a great product at the end of the day. Although I worked my longest hours and days while in that role, it was by far one of the most rewarding and lasting experiences I’ve ever had.

2. What are the 3 most important components for you personal and professional success?

a.) Put people first
b.) Inspire others
c.) Be self-aware

3. Name an “inflection point” experience that prepared you for your current position.

I would say this happened early in my career while I was managing the trade marketing efforts for Dannon yogurt kids brands. I worked closely with our in-house AC Nielsen rep to evaluate shopper baskets in order to explore trends in shopping behaviors and cross-promotional product opportunities.

Currently, I am consulting and in transition by way of a “current position,” but I am looking to focus my next career move around customer insights.

4. What characteristics do you value most when hiring new marketing talent for your team?

Intellectual curiosity, grit, tenacity, and creative problem-solving. 

5. What technology are you looking forward to using or implementing in the next six months?

I look forward to seeing how we might tap into the up-and-coming Augmented and Virtual Reality technologies.

6. Which book would you recommend to your fellow CMO Club members right now?

Someone recently recommended that I read Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for A Complex World by Gen. Stanley McChrystal. I think it is so relevant right now as we are experiencing changes to our workforce. It discusses how organizations have historically been focused on efficiency; but, in order to thrive in a complex world, organizations now need to focus on adaptability and agility, executing through the development of a team of teams.

Ideally, this process breaks down silos and builds a foundation of trust and purpose. It shows leaders how to now focus on enabling – not directing – our teams. It’s an “eyes on, hands off” approach. As CMO leaders and Future CMO mentors, this book offers a great look into much-needed leadership and organizational transformation.

Here’s one quote I loved: “‘Thank you’ became my most important phrase, interest and enthusiasm my most powerful behaviors.”

7. Name one Head of Marketing who impresses you today and tell us why.

I’ve been impressed with Dawn Hudson and her incredible career trajectory. I admire that she was willing to take on the CMO position with the NFL during a time of great controversy, and I’m looking forward to seeing how her efforts make a lasting impact.

8. Do you have a personal mantra, words of wisdom or favorite inspirational quote?

“Let me fall if I must. The one I will become will catch me” – Baal Shem Tov 

I believe there is great value in the fails and falls that happen throughout life’s journey. I make sure my teams understand it is not only okay to fail along the way, but also quite necessary for growth. Equally as important, is to take away learnings from those experiences to make us stronger for the future. 


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