Sales consultant and recruiter Jim Keenan wrote a blog post a few weeks ago about the individual who influenced him the most in 2016. Beyond that, he challenged his readers to write about “the person (who) had the greatest effect on your personal or professional life in 2016 and thank them publicly.”
A week later, I was stunned, humbled and honored to see that two of the business professionals I had the opportunity to help with optimizing their online presence last year had written one of those posts about me. Deb Calvert and Babette Ten Haken are both amazing, brilliant experts on leadership and collaboration. Asked in the abstract who had the greatest professional impact on me in 2016, both of them would have been at the top of list.
But the nature of Jim’s challenge is such that reciprocation isn’t permitted. I need to pay it forward. So I’ll focus my friendly fire on another individual unquestionably right up at the top of the list as well, Shelly Kramer.
Shelly Kramer Expanded My Professional Horizons
Shelly has a preposterous amount of energy. She is CEO and founder of V3 Broadsuite [V3B], President of Broadsuite Media Group [BMG],and holds leadership/ownership roles in several other enterprises.
It’s clear to anyone who reads her posts at V3B or contributions to various online publications and other influential blogs that her knowledge, insights, intellectual curiosity range far beyond digital marketing into a broad swath of technology realms, from IoT to big data to HR tech.
What’s not quite as obvious (though it does occasionally show through on her Facebook postings) is that she is incorrigibly irreverent and wickedly funny. She saves her best stuff for company Slack updates (now Cisco Spark?); sometimes including NSFW language but always with a big heart beneath.
Shelly introduced me to a phenomenal group of social media and marketing professionals as part of the V3 Broadsuite group, including first and foremost Dan Newman as well as people like Ross Quintana, Misty McPadden, and Michelle Mangen. She gave me the opportunity to work with some fantastic companies and technology brands.
But most importantly, she challenged me to articulate what I do and why. She helped me develop professional clarity, as I’ve in turn done for clients.
Shelly Values Practice Over Theory
When I first met Shelly, at an Integrated Marketing Association event in Minneapolis, a group of us sat around for a bit after the final session having beers and talking about the state of digital marketing. A distinction that came up in discussing digital marketing “gurus” were those who spent most of their time pontificating based on third-party research vs. those who based their writing and speaking on actual practice for clients.
B2B companies benefit from the use of theories and models, but those work best when the consultant or agency working with the company is using frameworks grounded in a combination of research and hands-on application.
Shelly is Inspiring
It’s obvious from her LinkedIn profile that Shelly knows how to build a business. But it’s one thing to build one’s own business, quite another to help others do the same. Shelly is adept at communicating, coaching, and modeling leadership and entrepreneurial behavior. She inspires those around her to see what’s possible, and take accountability for achieving it.
She also models resilience. Like (pretty much) all of us, she’s had setbacks in her life. But Shelly is the last person you could imaging dwelling on disappointments. Whatever happens, she acknowledges it, learns what she can from the event, and then moves on. And she helps others around her to do the same.
It’s not always easy, but it is always best. And besides, looking forward with optimism is flat out much more enjoyable than looking back with resentment or regret.
In 2016, Shelly Kramer impacted my approach to digital marketing consulting. I’m fortunate to have learned from and been inspired by her. And, in the spirit of Keenan’s original post, I’m challenging Shelly to consider this same question and share who had the greatest impact on her last year.
How about you?