Forbes CMO Leadership Talk: Paul Gottsegen, Mindtree

Paul Gottsegen
By Thomas Barta
Last updated: April 10, 2017

In this interview with Paul Gottsegen, Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer of Mindtree and former top marketer at Infosys, HP, and Dell, several key insights on successful CMO leadership emerge:

Leadership in Marketing: Paul Gottsegen finds the greatest satisfaction in marketing leadership from driving large-scale turnarounds, emphasizing the importance of self-imposed limitations and the opportunity for significant transformation.

Marketing’s Reputation: In his role at Mindtree, the C-suite places a strong emphasis on marketing’s role in building leads, creating alliances, enhancing the sales team, and strengthening the brand. The success of these efforts is measured by metrics related to sales funnel growth and win rates.

Defining Leadership Experience: A defining leadership experience for Gottsegen occurred during his tenure at a Silicon Valley startup, where he expanded his skill set beyond product marketing and demand generation to encompass brand development, board presentations, public relations, and crisis management.

Getting Things Done: Gottsegen’s approach to getting things done involves acting as if the company is his own, instilling a “skin-in-the-game” mentality. He believes this mindset empowers leaders to break organizational boundaries and inspire their teams.

Breaking Internal Rules: While not advocating breaking moral, ethical, or legal rules, Gottsegen believes in challenging corporate red tape and old processes that inhibit innovation and progress. He emphasizes the importance of adaptability and overcoming obstacles.

Balancing Customer and Company Objectives: Creating a great customer experience often aligns with the company’s success. Gottsegen highlights the tradeoff between features, schedule, and price and the role of marketing leaders in finding the right balance.

Evolution of Leadership: Over time, Gottsegen has evolved in managing dispersed teams effectively, especially in a global context. He starts his workday early to accommodate team members from different time zones, fostering a sense of respect.

Team Coaching and Performance Management: In assessing marketing teams, Gottsegen emphasizes looking beyond quantitative KPIs and considers demonstrated skills. Coaching and rating based on skills are essential for ensuring marketing professionals understand the big picture.

Future Leadership Challenge: The future leadership challenge for Gottsegen lies in harnessing the right mix of marketing channels, technology, and content to drive a potentially dramatic shift in marketing-generated leads within the sales pipeline.

Role Model: Gottsegen sees himself as a role model by striving to excel in communication, conflict resolution, strategy development, and creating value propositions. He takes pride in team members citing his messages or emails as helpful in their journey to becoming CMOs.

Paul Gottsegen’s leadership philosophy centers on self-imposed limitations, adaptability, and empowering teams to overcome challenges and drive transformation in marketing.