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Marketer Q+A: Gray Fleming of Elite Hearing Network

During these unprecedented times, we're focused on bringing you thoughtful advice from fellow marketing leaders across a variety of industries — all of whom are also navigating these uncertain waters.

Gray Fleming, Senior Vice President at Elite Hearing Network, outlines his challenges and triumphs in leading his team amidst the pandemic. Read more below.

To start, describe where you’re answering these questions from. What’s your home office setup like?

My home office is in my basement and has two options. HQ is a large open table. My operation moves from left to right...laptop on the far left with highest in priority closest and lowest in priority to the far right. My second position is a chair with an acceptable background for Zoom calls.

What has been your biggest challenge leading a team through so many unknowns?

Finding people obsessing with process when the strategy is unclear. It is extremely important to remember that you cannot reason with a virus. This is a term to which I was introduced by a favorite author of mine, Edwin Friedman. While it was written as a metaphor, it has never been more applicable.

The key to surviving this will likely not be found in spreadsheets, process and expertise. However, we can survive — and possibly thrive — if we lead through clear self-definition. What are the non-negotiables and/or absolutes for our teams and companies at this time? Those will help the most during any time of unknown.

What opportunities have surfaced for you and/or your team in the past several weeks?

Getting to know each other better.

What advice do you have for other marketing leaders working through a time like this?

During a time like this, communication inundation is not the solution. Ask yourself: Does any of this provide real value that is a derivative of what your proposition provides? If not, we just end up producing quantity to say we did something as opposed to quality that actually speaks to those with whom we partner.

How do you think what’s happening now will impact the future of work?

"Community" will have a different definition that will have less requirement on physical presence - while we have been driven further apart physically, we are closer than we have ever been.

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Founded in 2006, Antenna is a leader in bringing top marketing professionals to corporations and non-profits for project-based consulting, interim leadership, staff augmentation, and direct placement needs. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Antenna draws from its private community of experienced marketers to provide clients with on-demand resources – both individuals and teams. Our vision is to fundamentally change the way marketing teams get work done by helping clients balance the flexibility and expertise required by today’s modern marketing organization.