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Episode 4: Jim Stengel

Host, The CMO Podcast

Discover how brand purpose and leadership shape effective purpose-driven marketing strategies, fostering deep consumer connections.

Full Transcript

Purpose Haze, a new series featuring Scott Goodson, founder of StrawberryFro together with New York festivals. It will defog purpose through in-depth interviews with those at the forefront of purpose driven companies. Watch what Happens when the smoke clears.

Scott: Welcome back to Purpose Haze. And today we have an amazing show. Purpose really came into this modern era on the back of the gentleman I have beside me today, Jim Stengel. Used to be the Chief Marketing Officer at Procter and Gamble, and has always been very passionate about purpose. And I was very inspired actually, when we met probably about a decade ago. He was already…I think I had, he had no gray hair…

Jim: And hair, and I had hair too.

Scott: And back then he was really advocating for purpose. And really you have caught the imagination and the ear of a lot of business leaders here in the United States, but around the world. And I've followed you and I've always admired your leadership and the way you think about it. So what a better way to start this, you know, next season of our show by having you here. So welcome.

Jim: Great to be here, Scott. It's been too long. It's been more than 10 years, I think. Since we met. We've seen each other since then But it's 15 years since I left P and G, which I can,

Scott: Oh my goodness. 15 years.

Jim: Which I can't believe.

Scott: Oh no. It's like the blink of an eye.

Jim: I'm very proud of what they're doing, but it's been 15 years. It's been a great run. Have a great life. But it's been a long time.

Scott: It's actually interesting, if you think about it, the speed with which life tends to move forward, almost makes you want to lean in more on this idea of being a force for good, to leave a positive mark. So it's actually a good starting point. Do you think that purpose today, in the face of, here the United States people talk about woke and fear of, you know, getting too much into social issues that are, you know, driving positive change, should business be in that or not?

At the same time, we see an increase among younger, you know, millennials and even younger consumers buying brands that are purpose driven. In fact it seems to be a major differentiator for them. My own son has chosen to work in sustainability because he's very passionate, he's very passionate about that. So in light of all that, does purpose still have a role?

Jim: Absolutely. Purpose has a role. I think what's been happening, frankly, purpose has been around forever. I once researched, what's the first company that used the term purpose, and actually took me to an Italian bank from like the 1400s.

Scott: Oh wow.

Jim: That started lending money in a reasonable way to people who needed it without like bankrupting them. So it's kind of the first institution that was talking about it, so it's hundreds of years old. The issue I think we have today is that it's still a confusing concept even by people in our industry. I went to the Cannes Festival a year or two ago. I go every year, the festival of creativity, and a prominent thought in the industry got on stage and talked about purpose as social good, as philanthropy. No! The issue companies have when they get confused is they don't link it to the business. So to me, when a company calls me and asks if I can help them with purpose, I first say, what's your business strategy? What problems are you trying to solve in your business? Uh, how's your organization feeling? How do you talk about your company? How do consumers or customers think about you? So you have to start with that. If you embark on a purpose journey, because Stengel talked about it, or saw a Ted video, no. It begins with what impact are you trying to make in your company to make life better for customers, for consumers, for communities, through your categories and through your product. You know, why is P and G 182 years old? They have that in their soul. They think about customers, they think about impact, they think about doing the right thing. And they reward it, they measure it, and they have leadership shares. That's just one example, but there are many, many more. But I think purpose is more relevant than ever.I think it starts with a deep commitment to continually improve, to make life better for the people you serve, which includes your employees. And when you start that journey, especially when you start a consumer centricity journey, and not every company is as consumer centric as they could be. Those that aim to reach higher in terms of their customer centricity, they end up understanding people better, understanding their values, so the implications of purpose can result in doing things that are important for your customers, that might be seen as cause marketing or social good, but doesn't start there. It starts with the impact you're trying to make through your business, through your brands on the people that are important to you.

Scott: Could you go back actually a little more, and let's say you're the CEO of a company or CMO and you're faced with a business problem. That has nothing to do with trying to find, you know, your values, but rather need to sell more X. Could purpose actually be the, the vehicle

that helps you solve that business problem?

Jim; Almost always.

Scott: Almost always.

Jim: Almost always. And when you start peeling it back, so maybe the problem is we are losing market share with gen Z because we're just not relevant. Well, why? What do we know about why we're not relevant to Gen Z? Is it our products, our approach, our communication, our personality? So when you start peeling it back, you end up getting to something where you start asking that question: well what could we do that's more meaningful for them? I just recorded before our show here a podcast with the chief experience and marketing officer at H&R Block.

They have a deliberate strategy to reach out to Gen Zs who are starting to earn money and file their tax returns. All of their old ways of working weren't connecting. So they did a deep dive with what they could do to delight Gen Z and have their company H&R Block in their consideration set. And it got back to doing things that are meaningful to them and sharing the values of their company in a way, in a tone of voice that Gen Z would…and now their business with Gen Z is going upward. So, it doesn't start with purpose. It has to start with your business.

And the reason I got passionate about purpose when I was at P and G, and the reason I left P

and P to pursue purpose a hundred percent of my time, is I think it is the best growth driver, and growth done the right way. So to me, I wanted to write a book about that, which I did, I wanted to study it, I wanted to learn more about it, I wanted to share my ideas, share my learning, meet people who were on the leading edge. I think I'm doing business a different way. And I've seen transformation happen in automobile companies, real estate companies, consumer companies, software companies. When a, they say, let's figure out the impact we wanna make and let's understand that people are important for us and let's pivot the organization on trying to have a greater impact and meaning with the people we serve.

Scott: I wanna ask you about your book, but before we do, can you just, you just rattled off a couple of sectors, could you name a couple of companies and or brands that you look to and say, wow, those guys are great examples of brands.So anyone watching this can learn from them?

Jim: I mean, there are a lot of sectors that I like what they're doing. I mean, I like actually what's going on in automotive. I think the stance at Ford and General Motors and others have taken regarding their place in the world and their focus on movement, and mobility, and sustainability. And so I think they've taken some big bets. They've done it with courage. So I like what's going on in that sector. I mean, a company that I just have continual admiration for, which I would say goes back decades, that gets better and better is Microsoft. And I think the way they communicate their purpose in the world, their employee value proposition, their constant innovation. You know AI is obviously the latest example of that. I think the way they showed how they're thinking about AI on the biggest platform of the year in advertising on the Super Bowl, I think was a brilliant piece of communication.

Microsoft Ad Plays

Jim: So I think that's a company that I admire. And I, you know, I had this joy in my life of interviewing a CMO or a CEO every week on my podcast. And I've been doing that for five years. Which is just crazy.

Scott: Met some great stories.

Jim: Unbelievable stories, but I mean, it gives me a laborator for how, how are people thinking about purpose and growth and business. And I just continually get inspired by the people I talk to. I'm a big Delta Airlines fan. I fly them a lot.

Scott: Delta's doing a great job.

Jim: They've done a great job in every way organizationally…And even these small companies, there's, this is a near and dear to, there's a company founded in Cincinnati, and it's two people

who have been in the food business for a long time. You know, canned food, and taking produce out of the fields and packaging it and getting it to grocers, and they just kind of said time out one day. And said, there are so many issues with farming and produce and how we go to market.

Why do we grow lettuce in California and ship it 3000 miles to New York City? And by the time it gets there, it's not that great tasting, it's lost a lot of its nutritional value. So they went through all the issues with the current way we think about farming, waste of water, bad for the environment, farmers having a tough life. And said what would be a leveraging technology in consumer understanding, what would be a different way to approach to make farming thrive in our country and have the end result of people getting better products that are better for them. So they come up with a company called 80 Acres Farms, it's urban farming, leveraging unbelievable technology. The farms are 80 x more productive than a typical farm. And Kroger's crazy about them. They've got tremendous partners…

Scott: They can grow them on the roof with their stores.

Jim: Yeah. I mean,and you grow close to where the customer is. And it's a scalable model. Their name is 80 Acres Farms. They want to be the first major consumer brand in produce.

Scott: Wonderful.

Jim: So again, that's just a, you know, it's a live example. But they started with a problem.

Scott: I guess in a way, what purpose can also do is almost like force you to question everything. And that allows you to stop and say, well, hold on a second, horizontal farming, that's kind of old news. Maybe vertical farming is an opportunity. That's great, that's a great way to go. That's a great way to think about it as a leader in a company, it forces us…Actually, I'm working with a financial institution now where the CEO is trying to engage with the younger generation. And we used a similar approach to get them to really lean in on something that probably in the past they would never have thought of doing. Cause it perhaps is a little too, perhaps foreboding in a way. But in the end, they got their head around it, they said, well this is actually really a gross driver. So I think that's a really great insight. I love the way the Australians deal with this, cause I don't know if you've ever come across it. It's a small company, but growing in the toilet paper, household paper industry, it's called Who Gives a Crap? Have you heard of that company?

Jim: Good name.

Scott: Great. And they're all about using bamboo as opposed to paper. Australians always have a, they bring a wit to the purpose category. Great for storytelling. Maybe you could talk for a minute about your book and what you uncovered through your research. Cause you're not just coming to this with your own purpose and your own passion, which you have a great deal of.

You also have done a lot of empirical study on businesses that have grown. In fact, that's the name of your book, right?

Jim: It's the name, the book, the name of the book is Grow. And it's really how great companies grow. And I really wanted to understand what was it about companies that had a track record of long-term creating financial value. So I partnered with a research firm. The book is about 10 years old. The companies that I studied, many of them are still thriving. I mean, Microsoft is in there, Google's in there. And what I really found was that they were, the special thing about these companies were that they continued, they were restless about the impact they could make and the level of continual improvement they could make in the lives of customers. Now we throw that word around a lot. It's a different thing keeping that front and center, scaling it, rewarding it, never stop asking those questions. And the stories that came out of the book about how different companies and leaders do that, it typically found, most of them had a sense of a simple and memorable way to talk about who they were as a company and what their purpose was. They were consistent with it. You know, we both worked on Pampers years ago at P and G, I mean, they've been massively consistent for decades around, we're not in the diaper business, we're in the baby development business, and we're here to help babies develop physically, socially, mentally. And they're helpers to parents. In doing that, a lot of it's consistency, and the great brands of the world are consistent. And many of the great brands of the world are based in a purposeful idea that came out of a yearning to make a deeper impact with people. So my book was helpful because it codified a lot of things that I had learned at P and G on a bigger level because the book studied brands around the world. It gave a lot of people a framework or a model for it, how to tackle it, how to start. And I still get the question, what, you know, if I believe in the stuff you believe in, Jim, where do I start? I said, get a bunch of employees together, buy them a coffee or lunch, sit around the table, just ask 'em a simple question: Are we doing everything we possibly can to make life better for you and for the customers we serve? That always goes to good places. And you can never stop asking that question.

Scott: That's a great question.

Jim: So it's simple. It gets down to simple things. And I'm a big simplifier. I believe, you know, maybe this is part of my P and G background, but I believe in, you should be able to talk about your brand in a sentence or two. You should have your, the direction that you want to take your brand in some sort of framework to guide people and then let them innovate within that framework.

Scott: If you're writing the book today, would you change anything? Anything you would add anything new?

Jim: I think the data that's available to us now that was not available 10 years ago is way better

and would make the general points in the book even more soundly. I mean, I used the best data and technology I could at the time in my research. It's way better now. It's way better now. So the amount of information we have that can be analyzed, look for co correlations and causality is just way better than that was 10 years ago. So anyway, I've done some work in that space. I've invested in a company that's doing interesting work in that space. And I believe with even more conviction that a purpose that is consistently acted upon, that is in service of the business

and the customers is a major growth driver. And the companies that do that have way better

financial performance. Way better.

Scott: Fascinating.

Jim: By the way, Warren Buffett believes that too, he talks about that a lot.

Scott: Some companies took a step towards that and some have kind of seemed to be taking it, like BlackRock seems to be backing off a little bit from that. Is that a concern?

Jim: I think ESG has been confusing for everyone. I stay away from that. I've always stayed away from that. It means everything and nothing to people. And I think as long as you come back to we wanna do the right thing for our organization, our communities, and our customers,

you'll make the right call and you'll build brands that stay around a long time.

Scott: It seems like from a very basic level, if you don't poison your customer they'll buy more stuff over time right?

Jim: Well, you should do a little more than that.

Scott: No, but you know what I mean, on a basic level.

Jim: But you also want to project, people, this is what I learned from more recent research, when people feel like they'd like to work at a company, they generally buy more of their stuff. So actually what you do for the employee experience has an impact outside your company. So there's, people would look at whatever, Tide, Google, Ford, say you know what, that's a company that be, I think I could see myself there. That actually has a very strong correlation

with consideration and purchase

Scott: In a way. Isn't that part of the American culture? Like when industry became Americanized there was this sense of growing and succeeding in a capitalist way. But there were examples of people that were doing good. They were adding value towards communities. I mean, there were the robber barons of course, but then you had other industries where people genuinely came in and they, I mean, Kellogg started as some form of a health benefit for mental health patients. But, I dunno if that's a good example, but there are examples of where organizations were trying to solve bigger issues. So marketers are looking watching us today,

but there are a lot of creatives, marketing creatives out there. How should creative people think about it? Cause I've read some creatives that get highly inspired by purpose cause they can, they can develop big ideas that aren't necessarily just product focused. Also other creatives develop ideas that they feel can just be funny and that purpose can be a little bit of an anchor, too much to carry. What's your advice? Like if you're a creative listening here, what,

should be their focus?

Jim: Their clients need help. Clients need help. I think what creative people bring into a company is a different way of thinking. I mean, one reason I think the great consumer companies of all time have a pretty strong relationship with their agencies, because they realize they bring in diversity and thinking and they bring, I think purity in thinking. So these CMOs and CEOs have hard jobs these days, right? The CEO job has continually increased in scope. Many are now chief growth officers, some have communications under their remit, some even have innovation and, and technology under the remit. They need a partner and they need someone who will help them think this through. And I'm not talking about writing a slogan or writing an ad.

I'm thinking about, you know, how can we make our company, our organization more vital, more important, more uplifting? And I think creative people will do great work when they have that as a goal. And I think you can help your clients at whatever level by asking them the kind of questions we're talking about. I mean, you know, if you have a brief that is tactical, you don't have the context, you don't have what really the company's really trying to achieve, don't work on it until you really understand, where is this company going? What is their place in the world? And then, and sometimes you'd be surprised, asking those questions will take you to a different level of conversation, relationships, and ultimately creative work. You know, the creative work that we all celebrate, it begins with a huge ambition to make something massively better. You know, all the great ads we think about all get back to that. The think differently ad that everyone talks about, I mean, one of the greatest ads ever made in the history of the world, that was when Steve Jobs was coming back to Apple. There wasn't a big pipeline of innovation. And he basically said to Chiat/Day, could you do something to keep us, help us be relevant until we get to the products that I envisioned. That came out of it.

Scott: No, that's amazing. The guy who was the creative, the strategy lead there is, at the time,

Richard Montero, actually ended up coming to StrawberryFrog and talked often about that process. And he actually, I worked with him on developing this movement approach. But he very much believed in the power of big ambitious ideas that serve a much bigger purpose than just simply selling or moving, you know, computers, thinking outside the categories. I think the other thing you're saying is there was a book written probably, I don't know, maybe 20 years ago by a guy named Kjell Nordstrom, who was a professor at the Handelshus school in his Stockholm, which is one of the most prestigious business schools in Sweden, probably in Northern Europe, and actually probably internationally. And he wrote a book called Funky Business, and he talked about the role of creative people to help solve bigger problems. So I think in a way, what you're saying is, as a creative person, you shouldn't limit yourself just to come up with tagline. How do you use creativity to solve real problems that are perhaps not just about market share.

And in doing so, you come up with bigger ideas that can help you inspire to write the best ad in the world. Something like that.

Jim: Yeah, and which broadens your reach to people. And people wanna be part of an idea. So I think that's what you bring. Obviously you bring storytelling. Which is critical for people and companies are usually not terribly good at that. And you know, purpose doesn't work if it's not owned by everyone. Right. So it can't start it, it can't just be a leadership thing, It can't be a CEO thing. It has to, everyone in the organization, ideally, and some have realized this, everyone in the organization feels like it's theirs, they can talk about it in their own words, they can talk about it with their families, and they know its role in their daily work. And that has to happen through stories. And so you can help them do that. You can help companies do that.

And that's priceless really. Cause change doesn't happen without stories.

Scott: So you've interviewed five years of CMOs. Can you talk a little bit, what are some of their fears? Like what are their nightmares? What are they, cause if we understand that, can we be better at doing what we do?

Jim: They, most of them have some level of imposter syndrome. Right. They're insecure and they feel like it's impossible to keep up. And so I think because of your outside partners, you're looking at a lot of things, your remit is to stay ahead. In culture and technology. And I think just helping them break that down, feel like it's okay, we can help you understand what's around the corner, we can help you with the things you're wrestling with. But, they are, just emotionally understand when you have a meeting with them, there's some level of I'm behind going on.

So that's one. That's one. I think another one is that they have become almost HR leaders. You know, the good ones understand that I'm not doing the work anymore. I'm leading the work. And my, I have to build a great team, I have to inspire that team, I have to get around, talk to other functions in the company. So one of my guests said, you know, the job is 90% chief, 10% marketing. So I think understanding that and the fact that they are, they're trying so much

to understand what's going on in finance and R and D, and HR trying to recruit the right people, and get them on the same page. So what you can help them do is just really help them with the communication of their ambition and their brand with their customers in a way that is relevant, current and focused on their current customers and customers in the future. Cause a lot of them are giving precious little time to that. So I think those are the areas, but imposter syndrome and, an understanding it's a multifunctional job. And many of them say, I spend less than 10% of my time on marketing, which is, you know. So you can help them, I think with…

Scott: They're probably in the crisis management room.

Jim: Yeah. No. Right. Right. Exactly.

Scott: Can you think of examples of creative work you've seen recently or in the near past that you think exemplify great work for, you know, our audience to look at?

Jim: I think that Google does a really good job on their communication. And I've stayed, I think they've stayed pretty pure to their original purpose. And obviously they've gotten way bigger, way more complicated than they were back in the early days when we both knew them. But I think so much of what they put out in the world makes me think, it's centered on basic human things like relationships, family, children, and their role in that world. And everything from what they've been doing with their latest work I think was about people with visual impairments.

Google Ad

Jim: It's just shown how their technology can make a difference in people's lives in a way that moves me. I often watch their stuff and I get choked up. And you know, I use Google a lot. It's our platform for my little company. And I think their creative work has been amazing.

I think it's a combination of inside and outside as well.

Scott: What about like, any fast moving consumer brands? Anything you've seen lately or?

Jim: A CPG brand who's advertising I love these days, I mean, there's a lot of great work happening out there. But I love what British Airways, BA, did, it won a Grand Prix in Cannes last year. They did sort of an outdoor campaign, but it's much more than that. It's conversational. It's about why we travel. It's very dynamic. They're on screens, in subways, on billboards. It's location and weather specific. But it made me think deeply about, because we travel for a lot of reasons. We travel because we lost someone. We travel because we wanna recreate a memory, we wanna rekindle a romance, we wanna bring our families together, we wanna explore our curiosity about a culture.

British Airways Ad Plays

Jim: I saw that and again, and it touched my heart. And after Cannes this year, I am taking some of the most important people in my life, friends that I've had for decades that I grew up with, six couples we're going on a boat after Cannes in the Adriatic Sea on the Croatian coast. We're spending a week together.

Scott: Wow.

Jim: With no agenda but to be with each other. But I have to say that…

Scott: Inspired by that work.

Jim: That campaign from last year that won a Grand Prix at Cannes. But it's a fantastic consumer effort. It's done by the Uncommon Agency. And it's one of the greatest, I think, campaign ideas of all time. And I hope they stay with it cause I think it's a powerful place to be for an airline brand. Brands are coming into our lives in ways that are not interrupting us and ways that are useful for us.

Scott: So utility.

Jim: Yeah. And I think it's, so when a brand appears for me at a time when I need them.

And it could be in a lot of different ways.

Scott: So you're not offended, for example, that Amazon is sending you a lot of direct advertising cause it's helpful.

Jim: Yeah that's Right.

Scott: You smile when you get, oh, you're reminded to buy your toothpaste.

Jim: Yeah. I'm okay with the trade off. If I, they have my information, if they use it the right way. And that's obviously a huge issue these days. But I get a lot of benefit because I allow myself to be tracked, I guess. But the benefit they offer me, whether it's maps, whether it's products that I might need at a certain time, is very, very useful for me.

Scott: What about like, when you see, I don't know the, or you hear messages about privacy from Apple or Mother Nature ad or I don't know if you remember that recently.

Apple Mother Nature Ad Plays

Scott: What do you think about that type of work?

Jim: I'm suspicious if I don't trust the company. If I trust the company, I'm good with it.

Scott: But does the advertising help reduce your suspicions? Or what are you looking for when you see something like that? Are you expecting them to do something?

Jim: I'm trying to, what's their intention in sharing? You know, what's their motivation? What's their intent? And so obviously like everyone else, I delete most things that come to me. AndI set up things. I set up safeguards so a lot of stuff doesn't come to me. But the stuff that I let through, it's the companies and the services and the products that I trust and that help me live the life I wanna live.

Scott: Do you think that's gonna be more difficult now with AI, generative AI? Where a lot

of fake information out there…

Jim: Of course it will.

Scott: Or will it actually become a safe harbor for consumers. They're going to lean into brands they trust more because they're, everything else will be on…

Jim: I think brands are gonna get more and more important because trust is gonna be more important. And it's always been important, but especially now, because there are so many things that make us suspicious. As they should.

Scott: What about startups? Let's say you're a starting up, your friends that started this vertical farming, what's your advice to someone like that? They have a purpose. How do you earn the trust? Do you have to do something?

Jim: You have to meet your commitments.

Scott: Meet your commitments. So people are waiting for brands to not deliver what they say?

Jim: You know, we did some research during the early days of Covid and everyone was saying, well, you know, people need to be understood, you have to be empathetic, the brands that project empathy are the ones that maybe build some affinity or appeal to some new customers. The research came back and said, yeah, empathy's important. Of course it's important for any brand, any company to have empathy. But people want you to do what you say you're going to do. Competency. So I think meeting commitments as a brand, it's everything. Right? Why do I like Delta? Why do I like American Express? They meet commitments. They show up when I need them. I trust them. And when things go wrong, they're honest about it. And I think Delta's really good at that. If a flight is delayed or having an issue, I feel informed. And I don't feel like they're blowing smoke, I don't feel they're holding things back from me. I think they're trying to do all they can. And so any, I'll forgive them when something happens because they communicate. You know, you're asking questions about the role of advertising. I think that's so interesting these days. Because I think that we have so many ways to communicate, to connect. We have to be always in touch with customers cause that's shifting. But I think the great brands of the world, I think these days are finding lots of ways to communicate who they are. But they're not the ways that many of us grew up on. I think a good ad is still important,but a good ad goes different places now.

Scott: So you mean even the greatest, most, the coolest marketers and advertisers need to have humility?

Jim: I think a little bit of that.

Scott: Yeah. You've always had that, I think, which is one of your greatest character traits.

Jim: Well, I think the company that was formative for me, P and G, has a great sense of humility. And that comes from the founders. I think it comes from the city they were born in. And I think it's the continual curiosity.

Scott: You mean New York City, they were born there? Kidding.

Jim: Well, no…

Scott: I'm teasing. No, I get it.

Jim: But I think it's curiosity. It's continual. And that's one huge theme I hear on my podcast. I ask a lot of people, what's the one characteristic that makes for a successful CMO? And I've gotten this from everyone from Ted Sarandos at Netflix to Antonio Lucio at HP. Curiosity. I keep hearing it. So it transcends the latest technological breakthrough like AI. It's like, if you're not curious, then you won't seek to learn about people, or your organization, or something interesting in culture, or technology that may have an impact on you. So I think that for your listeners and the viewers out there, you know, think about curiosity and the role it plays in your life. Cause I think it's a skill. I mean, some people have it more innately than others. But we can all work on being more curious.

Scott: So when you think about purpose, the question as a leader shouldn't be, well wait a minute, no, it should be, I wanna know more. I wanna dig in on it.

Jim: What is it, what have you learned about it?

Scott: How has it changed?

Jim: Has it changed? What companies do you admire? Who are thought leaders in that? What have you learned that I might benefit from? I think, you know, Raja Rajamannar at MasterCard's been very, has written a book about basically curiosity. And I think it's something we can all do more of. I mean, I consciously think about what do I wanna learn about this year, this month? Why do I go to the places I go to? Because I'm always gonna learn something from someone. I'm experimenting a lot with chat GPT now. I'm finding it has a place in my daily life, and not because someone told me to use it. I'm just thinking of how it can help me do my work better. So I think we just need to be curious about all sorts of things, right? And travel helps that, doing things like this helps it. I'm a big person on benchmarking. Just because when you say, okay, I mean, the first book I wrote about purpose was who does it best? And let's go visit them and figure out what they're doing and see if there's some principles that come out of it. Some common practices. You never, ever can stop doing that. And so I anyway, I think as, as an active working CMO you should carve out some percentage of time to get out of the building and obviously be with your customers, but also be with companies you admire. You will bring something back that will help you be a better CMO

Scott: In the spirit of curiosity, are you reading any interesting books right now that you think would be interesting in this area? Inspiration.

Jim: I just finished a, this is kind of way out in the field. I just finished a very long biography of Jim Thorpe.

Scott: Oh, interesting.

Jim: Some think is still the greatest athlete that ever lived.

Scott: Native American. Stockholm Olympic Games.

Jim: Correct. Exactly. It made me think about a lot of things about our country, about the plight of the Native Americans, about what we learned from that, and just about a human being who was really good at something. And I think never could sort of move beyond that. So in the end it's sort of a sad story. But I, you know, I like history. I like biographies. So that was good. And I'm reading Kara Swisher's new book now. The Burn Book. She's so funny. I love her. I watch, I listen to her shows. I'm a huge fan. That book is really good. I'm reading, I have a book about the Glory Days at UCLA, John Wooden, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton. And that whole scene, the country was kind of coming apart in the sixties. They were this interesting phenomenon. These were very different kinds of people who are all working together. It's a brand new book. I just bought that and I started that. So I keep a couple things going on at once.

Scott: Thank you. I will definitely read the Kara Swisher book.I had that sort of over here, but I haven't bought it yet. Well this has been a fantastic conversation. Jim Stengel, who by the way, is the founder of the Jim Stengel Company, which advises chief marketing officers, CEOs, and other leaders, as well as inspires creative minds around the world. In fact, I visited you at your session in Cannes last summer. And there were marketers from the United States, from Europe, from Japan, all over the world. It was quite remarkable. Anyway, thank you so much for joining us.

Jim: Can I have a last word? But thank you for that, it's been a great discussion.

Scott: Please

Jim: You know, I left P and G 15 years ago and I thought, well, I wanna study purpose and I want to help others sort of figure out what role purpose has and their growth strategies. At the end of the day, I think, you're in this business, I'm in this business, at the end of the day it's about helping other leaders and other people realize their potential. And I think purpose is part of that. But at the end of the day, I think what I've done since I left P and G, it's a leadership development movement. And purpose is a way leaders can, I think, elevate their impact, have a greater sense of satisfaction and fulfillment in their work, and be more successful, and happier. And when you have, when leaders are in that zone, you know, and they're feeling, I'm doing something important, my organization's charged up, I'm making an impact on customers' lives, I'm building something here that's gonna last beyond me, there's nothing better. And I think purpose is a how to that why. And you're in the same business.

Scott: I really appreciate you joining us today. Wonderful insights and experience. I mean, you've spent a career in this area, so it's so rich, and for me, very inspired. Thank you so much for being here.

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