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Human Resources

CMO Files: Brad Bush, CMO, GENBAND

Get inside the mind of the world's top marketing professionals. In 20 questions we find out what they love most about their job, what their biggest achievements are... and what keeps them awake at night. Read 'The CMO Files'...

Name:  Brad Bush

Organisation: GENBAND

Job title: CMO

Location: Frisco, Texas, USA

 

 

(1) Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Lubbock, Texas, raised in Waco, Texas and I have lived nowhere but Texas my whole life.  I guess you could say I am a Texan born and bred.

(2) What was your first job?  
My first job was starting my own computer consulting business when I was 13 – fixing Apple 2+ computer installations for people.  I made a pretty good $5 per hour doing it. I still have the first dollar I made.

(3) What was the first product you got really excited about?   
The Apple 2+ was the first product that changed my life.  I begged my parents to get the 16K, $3,000 machine for my 13th birthday. It was an amazing birthday present and I didn’t let it go to waste.  I stayed up many nights (even school nights) programming that machine for fun, school projects, and just to show off!

(4) Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
Charlie Vogt was the CEO of GENBAND for many years.  He had a lot of confidence in me and taught me many things about business and most importantly sales and marketing and how to think about the customer. He was a great mentor to me.

(5) What has been your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement has been the integration of Nortel in GENBAND.  I was responsible for the entire integration – IT, sales, marketing, legal, HR.  It was a great way to learn a lot about business and was a huge challenge.  Integrations are notoriously hard to make successful. This one was no different. I learned so much about culture, business, and the art of the deal.

(6) What has been your biggest mistake?
Not building my personal network early in my career.  Business is about people – not just who you know, but the relationships you build.  There are so many times you can be successful just by being able to reach out to a deep relationship that you built earlier in your career.

(7) What is your greatest strength?
My biggest strength is the ability to be able to understand technology and explain it in real world terms.  I have always just “felt” technology and technology trends and as a CMO of a tech software company that is a great asset.

(8) What is your biggest weakness?
My biggest weakness is that I try to do too much and don’t say no enough.  I have learned over time to do better, but still I want to do too much.

(9) What do you think is the aspect of your role most neglected by peers?  
I believe that CMO is becoming a more technical discipline and the marketing managers that ignore this do so at their own peril.  It is a data driven world now and the payback of marketing is something that is quantifiable.  The data can now drive the business.  My move from CIO to CMO (through a few different roles) has immensely helped me.  I even blog about it at www.cio2cmo.com

(10) Which word or phrase is your mantra and which word or phrase makes you squirm?
My favourite phrase is “Life is a Daring Adventure or Nothing” – it is by Hellen Keller.  I put it as my main screen when I enter a browser session to keep me focused on it.  I don’t like the word synergistic. I think marketers need to try and talk in more real terms.

(11) What makes you stressed?
Workload and family/work balance.  It is always difficult.  I try to manage it but sometimes it is overwhelming.

(12) What do you do to relax?
I play and write music to relax.  I play guitar, bass, piano, sax and a little drums.  I have a studio in my house that is my “safe haven”.

(13) What is your favourite song?
I love all music, but my favourite song is “Gravity” by John Mayer.

(14) Which book taught you most?
I love “Good to Great” – it has served as my business bible.

(15) Do you have a team or sport that you follow?
I like the Texas Rangers and was at the “Heartbreak Game” number 6 in St Louis when they failed to win the World Series. So sad.

(16) Which country would you like to work in?
France or Italy.  I love them both.

(17) Which company do you think has the best marketing?
Apple - they live their brand.

(18) What do you love most about your job?
The diversity of getting to do so much every day. 

(19) What is your favourite book?
I read so much that my favourite changes weekly.

(20) What keeps you awake at night?
Nothing.  I work so hard that when my head hits the pillow I am out like a light.  

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