PART 1: Your Most Important Career Strategy

As promised, I'm excited to send you the first of a weekly 10-part series on Achieving the CX Career of Your Dreams.
This is for CX professional in Customer Marketing, Customer Success, Customer Community, Customer Advocacy, Customer Advisory Boards and related customer professions.
It’s especially for Cathedral Builders who aspire to a career in senior leadership—including CEO—like our November webinar guest, Christina Kosmowski. She is a career CX professional who parlayed that experience to reach CEO of LogicMonitor last year. It will also help those in the mid-ranks concerned about job security in these turbulent times.
Let's get started!
PART 1: Your Most Important Career Strategy
For building the career of your dreams—and for that matter, for protecting your job in turbulent times like these—the most important thing is:
(1) Be perceived by your senior leaders and board as indispensable to the growth of the business. Not just important. Not just a contributor to growth. Indispensable.
This will take some time. By following these 10 parts, you’ll be well on your way. 
A crucial stepping stone to this is:
(2) The customers you engage and work with should be perceived by senior leadership as the firm's most powerful growth resource.
You can start establishing this right now.
So what does “most powerful growth resource” actually mean? It means that skillfully connecting your best customers–the advocates, evangelists, MVPs, champions, co-creators, etc.–with prospects and other customers at risk, can achieve more business growth objectives, and do so more efficiently than marketing, or sales, or product people or any other resource in your firm. Often, your customers can CRUSH such objectives. We call this Customer-led Growth.
So how do you persuade leadership and other stakeholders of this? It’s not easy. This question occupied considerable discussion and even research for the Roundtable Founders, a dream team of leaders with business savvy and customer savvy formed by me and Jeff Ernst, CEO of SlapFive (for more about the Roundtable project, please see below). The explanation Jeff and I developed was then tested with our Roundtable Founders, various other senior leaders and thought leaders, and beta Roundtable for exceptional CEOs.
The formula that worked was to show the CEOs "the immense potential" of customers to grow the business. We did this with examples from widely known and successful companies that engaged their customers in ways that had huge impact on high-stakes growth objectives—often crushing them in ways unexpected by the executives.
And I could eventually explain this in 2 minutes or less. With a single slide. Now I want to pass along this knowledge to you. Here’s a clip.
The CEOs were seriously digging it–I include reactions from two of them (I had never talked or met them until this Zoom call).
Learning how to excite your leadership about the immense potential of your customers to grow the business is a good week's work:) Here's what's next:
PREVIEW of Part 2. Dealing With the Barriers That Stifle Customer-led Growth. There are a host of forces that prevent Customer X pros from reaching the immense potential of their customers to achieve outsize impacts on growth. We'll see how to neutralize them, and the timing for doing so couldn't be better....
APPENDIX. Where does our information come from?
Bill Lee created the categories of Customer Advocacy, Customer Engagement and the metric, Return on Relationship™—the foundations of Customer Marketing and Customer-Led Growth. His Center for Customer Engagement built a global community of leading B2B firms around these concepts. He built the longest-running, most respected CX conference in the world. Bill is widely published including 20+ publications in HBR–including his seminal book The Hidden Wealth of Customers.
Jeff Ernst is co-founder of the Customer-Led Movement, a cohort of marketing and sales leaders who drive this mindset and behavior change into their organizations. His company, SlapFive, is the first Customer Marketing Software platform to drive Customer-Led Growth. A former executive at Forrester, he's appeared widely in media like Forbes CMO Network, Financial Times,, Mashable, Huffington Post, NPR and others.
Since 2020Bill and Jeff have been building the Roundtable for a Customer Revolution–an expanding consortium of titans in tech leadership. It includes CEOs, CXOs, Heads of CX, CX pros who aspire to senior leadership, and innovative vendors and thought leaders. Names include Christina, Nick Mehta, Fred Reichheld, Carol Meyers, Teresa Anania, Brent Adamson, Jake Sorofman, and more. It provides CX pros with matchless experience, advice, mentoring and more. Many of you, for example, know them from our Webinar Series.
Bill Lee Founder, Center for Customer Engagement
Lori Landers VP, Marketing, Center for Customer Engagement
Kaily Baskett Director, Revenue Growth, SlapFive
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