Dr. K. Shelette Stewart Speaks at Titus Center
Dr. K. Shelette Stewart wasn’t a fan of the squirmy, slimy worms she used to catch fish from Lake Erie with her family, but she took the lessons she learned — creating a target area and audience, having a line, reeling in the catches — and built a 20-plus year career with global brands.
Stewart shared those lessons, centered on the topic Driving Business Results by Leveraging the 5th “P” of Marketing: Your PLATFORM with a room full of marketplace leaders and business students Wednesday at the Titus Center for Franchising Advisory Board meeting. She challenged everyone in the room to identify their mission, vision and purpose in life.
“It’s important to have a God-given vision for your platform and what it means for you as an individual and organization,” Stewart said.
Stewart commended Titus Center Executive Director John P. Hayes for his passion to make sure the students were exposed to her talk. Often, senior business leaders are the only ones in the room, she said. Stewart has been a consultant for Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola, Texas Instruments (TI) and Harvard Business School, among many other organizations.
Whether Stewart is sharing with leaders from explicitly Christian or secular organizations, “The principles are still the same. That’s a testament to the God we serve,” she said.
Stewart asked her audience to pair up and describe a brand they admire to teach them about the importance of having a positive platform.In an interactive part of her talk, Stewart had the audience pair up. The partners were to name a brand they admire and a word they associate with that brand. When the crowd came back together and called out their brands and adjectives, Stewart probed them to observe what all the words have in common — they’re all positive.
“Your platform should be positive at a very foundational level,” Stewart said.
For students or those working outside the corporate suite, Stewart observed that it’s not only the chief marketing officer’s job to brand the company.
“If you are an ambassador for Christ, you are a leader,” she said.
She encouraged leaders to ask “What does our team do well that no one else does?” The answer is what will get them through the “VUCA” years, Stewart said, using an acronym to describe volatile, uncertain, complex or ambiguous conditions.
“Your platform helps you survive in the VUCA environment,” Stewart said. “It’s a part of who you are authentically as a leader. This will distinguish you from your competitors.”
Stewart shared several principles for taking a platform to a higher level of excellence. Those principles included:
- Begin from within: Pray and ask God to reveal the platform He has ordained.
- Stir up the gifts that are within. Ask God “What is it that we’re really passionate about? For what question is my team the answer? What question is my life to answer?”
- Pay attention to where you excel. Leverage diverse gifts to improve a client or customer experience.
Photo 1: Dr. K. Shelette Stewart speaks at the Titus Center for Franchising Advisory Board meeting. She spoke to a room full of marketplace leaders and business students.
Photo 2: Stewart asked her audience to pair up and describe a brand they admire to teach them about the importance of having a positive platform.