From sales and commercial acumen to strategic vision and a commitment to empowering their teams, marketers must possess a diverse range of skills to succeed as a leader in 2017.

To decipher the essential skills and attributes needed by today’s marketing leaders Marketing Week has carried out an in-depth qualitative and quantitive study, mapping out the ‘Anatomy of a Leader‘.

Here top marketers from Microsoft, Burger King, Diageo and Facebook share their thoughts on the core attributes that make up the anatomy of a modern marketing leader. Click on the aspects of leadership – left and right brained, bravery, humanity, the ability to inspire – to find out more.

Left and right brained

Fernando Machado, head of brand marketing, Burger King: “It helps to have a balance of the rational and emotional side, so the left and the right side of the brain. This goes back to the question around data. If you’re in the marketing business, you need to know your numbers. At the same time, marketing is creative. Marketers that manage to balance the two things tend to succeed.”

Kathleen Hall, corporate vice-president, global advertising and media, Microsoft: “One of the amazing things about being a marketer is the balance between the right brain and the left brain. You have to be analytical and business-driven, and understand business and data, but you also have to be a good ideas person and communicator. It’s a rare combination of skills that I love and that are still absolutely necessary to be a marketer today.”

Alison Lewis, global CMO, Johnson & Johnson: “Ambidexterity is a really important part of being a CMO today. In the early 2000s a lot of people went dotcom and they said, ‘Alison, if you don’t go dotcom then you’re going to be a dinosaur staying in packaged goods’.

“I didn’t become a dinosaur because I embraced that ambidexterity in terms of the old world is here and the new world is going digital. I immersed myself in that digital world and joined the two together.”

Simon Jones, founder, Marketing Return: “Modern marketing leaders also need to have a great grasp of the numbers, both analytically and commercially, as well as having an inquisitive nature to use that information to get better at what they do.”

Carolyn Everson, vice-president of global marketing solutions, Facebook: “Marketers need to be brave, agile and have a philosophy of test, iterate, and learn as opposed to getting it perfect and hoping it works. Marketers should be constantly intellectually curious, because the market is changing so quickly. We are learning every single day.”

Burger King’s Machado: “Having a brand positioning requires courage – you need to have opinions on issues and you can’t be everything to everyone. You also can’t be the…