Marketing Mambo

Launching a New Brand During COVID with Marketing EVP Christina Downey

March 14, 2022 Terry McDougall Season 2 Episode 11
Marketing Mambo
Launching a New Brand During COVID with Marketing EVP Christina Downey
Show Notes Transcript

Christina Downey is a marketing executive with extensive experience in building brands people love while having a measurable impact on revenue. She currently works for EVP Marketing at Carbone Fine Food. An alum from Michigan State University, Downey is a dedicated leader who celebrates talent, empowers teams and inspires others to embrace challenge. Perceptive and nimble, keeps a hand on the pulse of industry trends and social movements that shape demand.


If you'd like to talk to Terry McDougall about coaching or being a guest on Marketing Mambo, here's how you can reach her:


Her book Winning the Game of Work: Career Happiness and Success on Your Own Terms is available at Amazon

Here's how you can reach host Terry McDougall:

Her book Winning the Game of Work is available at Amazon

Hey everybody. It's Terry McDougall, your host at Marketing Mambo, and I am so happy to bring you our guests today. Her name is Christina Downey, and she describes herself as an ambivert. But I would also say that she's somebody who's been very ambidextrous when it comes to navigating her path through both the agency, world and working very successfully on the client side of things. 

She's had deep experience working with some of the world's best known brands, such as Frito-Lay McDonald's and Similac. And she's made the transition recently to be the EVP of marketing for a startup CPG company that's associated with the Michelin star restaurants. So she's got a wealth of knowledge to share with us. And on top of that, I believe that she has some of the best marketing leadership chops.  Of anybody that I've interviewed on marketing Mambo. 

So I think you're really going to enjoy the insights that she brings to this week's episode. And speaking of success and leadership in the marketing world. Part of the reason why I do marketing Mambo is because I had a 30 year career in marketing. And I love marketers. I love people who work in the advertising world. Trying to influence people to take action. It's just part of who I am. 

And I  really  love what I'm doing now as an executive coach and leadership consultant. I work with a lot of people in marketing and advertising one-on-one to help them not only be more successful at work, but have the time and energy to actually enjoy their success. 

I'm also working with marketing and advertising organizations to help them build out a culture where everybody feels safe to show up and give their best. Most teams are only operating at about 58% of their potential. So when you think about how overworked people are in marketing and advertising, How wonderful it would be if we could just get even a small increase in productivity. What might that mean?  If you'd like to learn more about how you as an individual can be happier and more successful. Reach out to me. And likewise, if you are an agency leader, if you're a marketing leader, And you want to figure out how you can build a culture where people will show up and give a hundred percent  I'd love to offer you a complimentary growth plan so that your team is more productive and happier. Please reach out to me at Terry beam, to set up a time on my calendar. And now without further ado let the mambo begin. 

Hey everybody, it's Terry McDougall with Marketing Mambo, and I am so excited to bring you today. My guest, Christina Downey, Christina is EDP of marketing at Carbone find food, which

is one of the businesses under major food group, which is. An organization that was founded by Mario Carbone, and his partners,  Mario  is a Michelin star chef at Carbone New York city,   as well as,  founder of a number of other restaurants across the United States.  Christina also has worked as the chief marketing officer at Milka Damia and she had a long career in.

advertising and also some other marketing roles before she came to Carbone. Christina, welcome to marketing. Malvo. How are you today? 

I'm wonderful. Thanks for having.

Well, so I just scratched the surface of your background. So I'd love it. If you , give us a little more insight into how you got started in the world marketing and advertising. 

Sure. Like most teenagers I started, due to Tom Hanks, and his amazing, wonderful role on bosom buddies. I saw that and said, I gotta do that. So I actually went to school for advertising at Michigan. And then I wound up working in New York city. few different agencies started at a mid-sized agency called, Jordan, the graft case and Taylor, and like a lot of places.

Now you get to a certain age. They no longer exist. But,  I started at Durham McGrath and then moved to foot cone in New York and then put, come to Chicago. I got to work on iconic brands like feedlot, Gatorade, Snapple, and then moved over to more of the consumer promotional world and get through it.

Donald's and Frito-Lay,  just some amazing brands. And then at some point I moved into a role at Abbott nutrition on Similac, which was my first foray on the client side, kind of went back to agency. And then yes, before this role, I was the CMO at macadamia. And now I get to be a part of the amazing journey that is Carbone as the AVP of marketing.

 Actually I want to step back for a second and share with you that I loved bosom buddies. I used to watch that and,  it's really sad this past year that Peter Scolari died.  I wanted to work in advertising, but actually worked in marketing instead, but.

that dream was spurred on by Bewitched. It was actually not 

another great show.

Darren worked at an advertising agency and it's funny cause they never really showed that. But for whatever reason, that just stuck in my brain. And also, I never really remember too much about Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari working at the ad agency.

I just remember them  trying to come into the women's, apartment building in drag, 

Yeah. Holland Taylor, the incredible holidays or was their boss back then? Yeah.

I remember that. Yeah.

And I think just like you're talking about Darren,  they were copywriters. And I actually thought I was going to be the next big copywriter. Copywriting.

Yeah. Yeah. So funny. 

So tell us more about Carbone find food and how it got started, maybe how you went from macadamia milk to. The milk of Italy,  

I love that 

it's definitely a staple, right? Sure. So, Rich Mario and Jeff, approached, Eric's gay RC. Oh in July of 20, 20, somewhere around there. And with the notion of taking their sauce and bottling it,  in the middle of a pandemic, one of the things is, you know, obviously people aren't going to the restaurant as much, but they still want in the restaurant and they still want that experience.

And more and more people were cooking at home, but not like to give up some of that,  amazing tastes that you get from restaurant and just settling for. liquid tomato sauce. And so they approached our CEO, with the notion of bottling the sauce and taking it to grocery retail. Our CEO, Eric was previously the CEO at rails.

So definitely very well versed in the world of pasta sauce.  Yeah, so that was in July of 2020. Fast forward. They worked on the sauce with how the chef's tasting, tasting, tasting, making sure it fit every bit of the sauce at the restaurant launched it in first quarter 2021. And yeah,  the demand  is incredible.

Well, when we had  our pre podcast chat, you were telling me how this brand has just really taken off and even in the face of the pandemic, lockdown and shortages. Logistical issues that you guys had just persevered. And it sounds like there's a real demand out there 

I've never seen anything like that. In my career, like I've said, I've worked on some very big brands and just, yeah, it's not to say it's flying off shelves, but it's kind of flying off shelves. You know, one of our favorite retailers  partner to work with they're very innovative.

We work with a lot of amazing retail partners, but one out west Erewhon, quickly overtook rails and became the number one sauce there. So it is something that I really haven't seen much  in my career, but it's amazing to be a part of.

Wow. That is so cool. And so how did you end up, going from working at milk Damia to landing at Carbone? 

Sure. You know, one of the things early in my career, someone said to me is it's a very small marketing world. Everyone knows someone and, relationships are everything. So my old manager, he was the SVP on the field of business in New York, knew Eric, who is. The CEO here. And so he introduced me to Eric.

 I keep in touch with Peter. I've kept in touch with him throughout my career, kind of a mentor, you know, a sounding board. And I think those are amazingly important to anyone who's starting out is to find, I don't have just one. I have a few, but people that I can go to and, spit ball things and get advice with and help out.

But yeah, so he connected me with Eric.

That's so great. Well, I,  A huge proponent of networking. And, if anybody listens to even more than one podcast, episode of mine, you're going to hear me singing the praises of networking and you and I met through a mutual connection Dalia. So, I'm a huge fan of then obviously it's worked out well for you to be working on such an exciting brand and being able to be there for the launch and all of that.

When you and I were chatting earlier, you were saying that you have had to persevere in the face of a lot of challenges brought on by the pandemic. Is that something you feel comfortable talking about?

I think almost everyone knows you has because they're shoppers that there is a supply chain issue. Right. You know, and while you might not think translates into marketing, obviously we're a small company. There's I think maybe 10 of us now. And we all help out with everything, but supply chains.

one of the things that we continually have to work on,  and spend some time on,  whether it's, we can't get the lids to our sauce,  to, making sure we have enough sauce at the right retailers, because this demands peaking, but we need to figure out, where we're moving inventory because  of supply issues.

So, then just the demand for the sauce, right? Like, so you have the supply and then. Sometimes like, whoa, we didn't expect it. Have it turned that fast at the shell. So those are some of the things with, the pandemic that just keep you on your toes.


for sure. Well, I think that you had mentioned to me before that there was some issues with  not being able to get the printed, and I'm thinking about this from a brand standpoint and how, when we're going into the grocery store and, we sort of get tuned into looking for a particular color.

Right. Or a particular label. And it always can kind of throw you for a loop if your favorite cereal redesigns the box or something. Right. You know where you're going in and you're like, wait a minute. Where's where's my Cheerio's. Oh, They've come up with a new picture and if people are looking for lids that say are blue and you're going in and I can't get the blue lids. Right. I mean, that's 

That's the true story. That is a very true story. We have a supply chain issues with our cats and you can't get our iconic blue lid. And so we've had two. Not with every production run, but use some black cats and sticker, the lids so that people know it's us. But yeah, those are the things that you quickly pivot, because it may not be ideal and it may not be exactly what you want for your brand and that's all important, but most important is making sure we have the sauce on the shelves.

Yeah, absolutely. And I think as consumers, we were adaptable. Right. We can learn to,   oh, it's either going to be blue or black. When you talked earlier about making the pivot from working in advertising for many years to working at Abbott on, Similac, is that 


What was that transition like going from working in an ad agency to working at a big pharmaceutical company?

Yeah. I will say. It was hard to make the jump from agency decline side. Mostly because I don't have an MBA and, mostly. Big, companies are only looking for people with an MBA and some particular schools. They're only hire someone at the end of the high school and, discounting a lot of experience.

So it was actually very difficult. I had talked about it quite a bit. There's a lot. I love about. The ad world, but,  I did want to try to, go to the other side of marketing and understand that,  I was very fortunate again, going back to the networking where my old client,  link cuisine that had moved to Abbott and he called me up one day and said, Hey, we're looking for someone for this role.

And it was a global position. Do you know anyone in the Chicago market? That might be interested. I know you're pretty connected here. I said, I'll give it some thought. And then I said, would you take anyone who doesn't have their MBA? And he said, well, if it's you, I would. Well, sign me up. So, I mean, I had to obviously go through all the interviewing process and was about three, four months worth of interviewing process.

And it was really interesting cause  I started on Tuesday on Thursday. I was on a plane bound for Thailand. And on that Friday or Saturday and there was, it was all a blur. Leading the global Similac team on developing their brand essence. 

Wow. Nothing like throwing you in the deep end.

uh, but I think, yeah, and so one of the things was on the global team was that, we worked with all the affiliate countries, and developing their plans and making sure things were on Similac brand that it was almost like I was at the client, but in a interesting agency role in a lot 



But so I think all that experience, like, and to be able to just jump in, read about a brand quickly on a 17 hour flight or whatever it was, and get up to speed and be able to run that all that experience I was able to use. And so it made the transition for me pretty easy. I will say,  at Abbott, when people said things move fast, Yeah, they didn't move agency fast.


It's, a much different world than the agency. And I think one of the things that is really positive about agencies, it's such a great place to learn the craft because you're working on different clients.  And they have different ways of doing things, but on different projects that get you up to speed on whatever's going on.

So whether it's e-commerce or digital, you're doing it in a crash course and seeing it, how it works across multiple clients, multiple touch points than just being on one piece of business. And it's a little bit slow and methodical that way.

 Yeah. I mean,  the word that was coming to mind as you were describing, that was agility,  and when you're in agency, world, and you're working on, different client accounts, you have to get up to speed quickly. And, as somebody who was on the client side, you really do look at.

Your agency as a true partner and, so it's really necessary for them know as much about your brand as you do.  If you're going to have that credibility and trust  to work with them, and obviously from an agency standpoint, you want to retain the client for as long as possible.

And so having that deep knowledge, so I'm sure that, you probably were able to,  over the years  learn how to. Spot the patterns or understand the types of teams you are working with and be able to have that, strong communication. So.

Yeah,  that is true. In fact, in some places that agency was there longer than many of the people who worked on the client side. Right. Cause people would rotate in and out. And so the agency may be there 5, 10, 15 years more, depending on it. And they, so they actually know more about the business than the client that they're working with.


 I found that that was true about our  brand, that sometimes my agency partner with Tommy military, that's really not, that's really kind of against the brand standards. We can't do that. I was like, oh, okay. That's a little bit embarrassing, I was thankful, you know? Cause then I can rely on them to know the brand standards at a very intimate and deep level.


Yeah.  I just always loved  the name of your last company. Milka Damia. I think that's so cool.  Just curious, was there any connection, or parallels between working on the Similac brand and working at Milka Damia. 

No, not really. I mean, I guess, both milk-based in a way. But  Milka Damien, so inherent into the, vegan. World, where obviously Similac is milk-based and,  talking to moms and it was a global position. The only connection, again, going back to the networking is, I got the interview for the role of CMO because the previous CMO who had left, I worked together at Abbott.

Oh, my gosh. Wow. Well, so Yeah. there was a connection. Just not the one I was thinking there

might be. Yeah. Yeah.  I like super impressed because I feel like as you're talking about this, I'm just imagining that you've got like little webs going out in every direction, Christina.   

I am the Spider-Man of marketing.

Yeah. So,  I want to switch gears a little bit here. I mean, I don't know what your team looks like. Do you have a team right now at, Carbone since it's so new?

I do. I have a marketing coordinator they work with and we're actually hiring. So I just posted a job last week for another marketing coordinator to come on board and help us as well.

Okay. Good. Well, and I know you just made the switch, like what over the summer to Carbone, is that 

Yeah. I started in September.

Okay. Well I wanna, I wanna switch and just ask you some questions about. What it's been like being a marketing leader during the pandemic. And, maybe, you can think back to your time at Milken Damia, what have been some of the challenges and what have you done to, make it safe and make it okay.

So that your team feels like they can come in every day and do a great job or maybe go to their desk at home and do a great 

Yeah, right. Well, at Carbone we're all remote. So it is,  the environment you choose,  to work in. I would say the hardest part is I had never been fully a hundred percent Mo even at Milka Damia, we remote for a bit. And then we went back into the office. So this role where we're a hundred percent remote and working to build that feeling of team.

It is a challenge, right? Cause you're trying to  figured out how you have those spontaneous conversations that aren't just always planned conversations. Cause I think some of the best work comes from either spontaneous conversations or. Downtime, what other people would consider unproductive time to me can be the most productive time because  you're chatting about something you're going back and forth.

You're bantering about kicking things around and ideas and programs and ways forward just naturally come out that it's hard to do in a very planned environment. So trying to figure out. How we use that and then how technology can help with that and who is better at technology than others? You know, with macadamia when the pandemic first hit, that was one of the big challenges.

Some people were very familiar with,  like a slack or whatever, and other people. Nope. I don't like that tuned out right away. Some people were really good at some calls. Some people like I don't like some calls not gonna to happen. People are good at, , texting other people.

Weren't so trying to figure that out has been,  I think the hardest part in building. That sense of teamwork, but I think we've done a pretty good job at Carbone of doing that and, trying to figure out those moments when we can get together and in person and have some good just BS sessions.

 Yeah. So you guys have been able to get together. I mean, I guess we had that time after being Bakst in 2021 and before Delta came around, but, 

Yes. Yes. So we have been able to get together and we'll be together  at fancy foods in Las Vegas. So that'll be another good time to get together and just have some of those conversations. I think  it just helps to build  that teamwork. And, again, I'm just a big proponent of non productive conversations that turn.


agree. A hundred percent with that. And  I've had my own business since 2017, so I haven't been in the corporate environment for a while, but I've coached a lot of people during  this time, during the pandemic where, sometimes they had people that were almost like little lost sheep  that they weren't sure if they were okay or not.

Because people were dealing with so many stresses  or, it can be difficult sometimes to keep everybody in the loop. Right. Because. When everyone is in the office, a lot of times you can just have those conversations in the hallway, or when you're standing in line to get your coffee, you run into someone or in the ladies room, I've had so many productive conversations in the ladies room, right.

You know, back when we were all in the  same office and, it can be just an additional challenge To figure out, how do you keep everybody looped in and how do you make sure everyone is engaged? When maybe you're on a zoom call and people don't have their camera on. Right.

 You don't really know. So glad that it sounds like you guys have it, figured out and it must

I want, wouldn't go that far. 

Okay. You're on your 

way. You're on your way. 

Some are better at slack. Some it goes up and down like.

Yeah, I work part-time for an organization that uses slack. And I mean, I worked for a big bank, right. So we didn't use slack. We were using email, or, you know, tons of meetings. 


And so  I sometimes am finding out about stuff where, oh, that was on slack.

Didn't you see it on slack? And it's hard to get in that habit if you've never, had to do it before. I think for a lot of people, it's like, they've never emailed, seems so archaic. You know, a lot of agency and startup people that I coach like slack is.

Just like the air that you breathe, but 

Yes, it is. It is another verb by Google. I slapped you 

yeah, yeah, 



yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, it is helpful. like, when I go out there, it's helpful. Cause you can search and everything and the whole chain is there for anybody to see, but,  it can be hard to get used to. Well, so,  Our mutual friend, Dalia introduced us.

One of the things that she told me about you was that she really respected you as a leader. And so I'd love to get into what your philosophy is from a leadership standpoint. You know, do you have any sort of basic tenants  that you rely on to make sure that, you tap into the  full potential of. 

 That's a really good question. That used to be a big interview question. I used to have it all prepared of what that answer was. Here's my three per months. But honestly, the best leaders. To me are the people that seek to grow the people underneath them.  I was told early on in my career, you can learn as much from a good leader as a bad leader and not all your managers are going to be great leaders, but what don't you like about the bat, like will inform how you become  a leader and a manager.

And,  I hated being micromanaged. I hated someone who I felt like policing me versus trying to grow me. So I've always felt like my role is to grow people. And whether that means they're going to stay where they are or they're going to move, it doesn't matter. My job is to make them the best that they are supposed to be.

You know, I think in this day and age, or even when I started very few people are going to stay the company for 25, 30 years, so that that's unrealistic, you know? So growing people to where they want to go, well, reap more benefits than trying to keep them where they are and not letting them shine, you know?

I remember I've worked with one amazing woman. Her name is,  if I could shout out Colleen Kelly, she was a junior account person who reported to me when I was at Ryan and immediate immediately was like, oh yeah, you're going to do better than me and your career. Like, you're amazing, and super smart, super strategic.

Just got it. And I was like, okay. So my job is to help you, just go farther. You know, that, that is my role, and you'll do amazing things while you're here. But you know, it was clear like where her path would be taking her and. Again, going back to that networking. So many times people just come back into your life in different ways.

So that's my philosophy and, not developing people for just the agency, but for, where they want to be.

Well, I think that. Fantastic.  I agree with you   the interesting thing about the philosophy that you have is, recognizing that, people are going to be with you forever. I mean, you're a mom, I'm a mom. Like our kids, aren't going to be with us forever. Right. Like the idea is that if we'd done a good job, they're going to move on. Right.

And, and go out and do bigger and better things. And I also think. If you create an environment where people feel like they're trusted and they're valued and they're listened to, and there is an opportunity to grow. They're actually going to want to stay longer, probably right. If they feel like they can grow there.

But when there's that feeling of being micromanaged    , I think that we can take this back to the example of,  parenting too, right. That. If kids feel like they can't be themselves at home, they're going to leave as soon as they possibly can. Versus if, Hey, you know, mom and dad, you don't make it too comfortable, right.

That they're like 35 and they're still living in the basement. But you know  that,  if it's fun to be around mom and dad and mom and dad. Except you for who you are, you're going to come back home. Right. But if it's like, Hey, you're not living up to expectations or I'm gonna,  dictate what you should wear or how you should be or what you should do for a living.

And then of course, that's not very respectful of the individual. And so I kind of think of it the same way. Not that , we're parental in the 

Leadership roles. Making it safe for people to show up and be who they are and be respected and give them a safe place to share their ideas. I mean, in a creative field, like advertising, that is just critical.

agree. And. Go, even to the analogy a little bit more, there's one real way that humans learn. And that is through our mistakes. Whether you're learning to walk and you stumble and you try like, oh, Nope. And we learn through our mistakes. And so if you're in an organization that punishes for any mistakes and one.

Obviously, what you're really doing is you're putting people in a really small box, cause afraid to try something new, something different,  to extend themselves and,   we all make mistakes. And  that has always worked me through my career when I've seen people  Just go after people for making mistake.

I've made a few in my career and early on when I was, a young account coordinator and I was very lucky that I had, someone who had my back and was like, all right. Yup, let's correct. It let's figure it out. We're going to do it together. I got you.

Let's move forward. And I think, that's really important. And I acknowledge, I've been doing this 30 some years.  I know I'm going to make mistakes. going to do  some marketing programs that are going to work and some that aren't going to work. But if I don't try something new, will never push past the expected.

Right. can't go for greatness, just doing the same old, same old, but if you're getting reviewed only. The successes then that's bad. And when I worked with Nestle, that was one of the big ah-has I had, whoever was running the department that's working with at the time, they rewarded people for their.

Because that meant they were trying something, they were pushing. I mean, obviously not negligence or things, but, you know, from a marketing standpoint, like you should have part of your budget allocated to trying something. And  if you're not going for a failure, that means you're not pushing for a success.

And that was a big learning moment. And I think it applies not just to programs, but to people.

agree with that.   It's at the heart of marketing, right? Like AB testing, right? And  obviously there were  great advertising campaigns in the 1950s, right?

Like we're not still doing, , the Marlboro man I know I'm dating myself. That's 

Yeah, well, I'm right there with.

 Yeah. That's, so great. One of the things that I've observed as a coach is that, when you're dealing with leaders who are high performing, sometimes they've lost touch with what it was like to be a beginner.

And they don't really remember all the steps in much like, here we are, we don't remember what it was like when we were toddlers learning to walk. But we fell down a lot. Everybody does, we didn't get up and like, just start. Running, we got up and fell down and then learned a little bit.

And went a little further the next time. And I think one of the problems often is that leader. When they're blaming their subordinates for mistakes. I kind of look at that and say, that's the leader's fault because they actually should not. It's sort of like, you don't let your, ten-year-old go out and drive to California.

Right? I mean, you might let them ride their bike around the block. And then, when they're 15 years old, you let them drive with their learner's permit and, you stage things so that.  The risk of failure is small. Right? If they do get lost going around the block, don't have to go far to find them, right.

Or if they're 15 and they're driving the car with you in the car and they, run over the trashcan or something, you're right there with.

them.  But I think a lot of times what happens in the workplace is that. Leaders will say, well, I know how to do this. So I'm just going to dump all of this on my subordinate and say, go do this it's easy.

And they don't break it down into bite sized pieces to actually train that person. And then the leader is upset because they didn't do it as perfectly as the leader could have done it. I mean, what do you think about that? 

Yeah, I think  there is a lot of truth in that. I think, some of it, admittedly I don't remember,   it's been a long, long time and. So it does make it challenging. I will say I remember being a junior person. I was reporting to an SVP and is like, yeah, I'm so cool. Like I don't report to this.

They brought someone  in between us and the SVP sat me down and said, I know you like that. You're reporting to me. I'm not good for you. Like, you will learn more.  A person that's just about one to two levels in between us, because they will remember, they will push, they will know what you can do, then we'll know where you can grow.

I'm not good at that. And I'm too busy. I'm not training you. This is a good thing. And I was still pretty stung at the time, , I think it's natural, but completely right. Like completely. Right. Because you do forget, at the same time I will. When I went from advertising, which was pretty set process, like I had never even heard the term process.

So it's just how it was done, you know? All ad agencies had pretty much the same thing. And I went to a promotional agency. They'd love process. One of the things I really enjoyed about being in the promotional business was it's very entrepreneurial and they looked for people with more entrepreneurial mindsets because a lot of times they were creating things that had never been done before.

Like at one point I was having to try to figure out. They sold it senior up, sold an idea of you lift up a Pepsi. Can you lift up a bag of Lay's during the super bowl and somehow a satellite's going to spot it and just  project the winner at halftime.

Huh. Wow. 

I'm curious.

And so they came to me like they like it. Figuring out how to do it.  And they had never done it before, so they couldn't give me the tools and way to do it. And I just had to,  say they're calling like satellite companies, government agencies, like trying to  but there is that mindset of,  just try to figure it out,  but within I've got you and supporting you.

So if it doesn't work, And so I think you kind of need a little bit of both in marketing, right?  But yeah, that notion of a good leader.

A good leader. Doesn't let. Failed to fail and point blame, but to fail, to help move them forward. You know,  I hate to fail on something that means you tried, and it's not really a failure. It's a learning opportunity. And those things are different.

  I think most of us who've had a career from a bit, have been in bad work environments and where people were promoted or moved just so they could fail and get pushed out, which is a horrible way of doing things. And that's not a good leader.

Yeah. Yeah. When you were talking about that, what came to mind for me is that as the leader, the leader.

needs to set the guard rails, if you will. And it's a matter of like, okay, how, why do you set the guard rails? And then within the guard rails, just let the people go, right? Like if there are no guard rails, people might 

drive off the cliff. Right? You hear about these people that are in trading firms and they lose, $8 billion or something like that. Like, you don't want that.


happen, obviously. Right.  But you also don't want to  set the guardrails so narrow that it's like they're in a straight jacket that there's no room for improvisation or, innovation or exploration.

so if you set them at a place, like if they fail within these guard rails, the whole company is not going to fail and we're not going to lose the client and that kind of thing. 

Yeah. I mean,  there's also that notion of. People do things different ways and it is frustrating. Like, when you're junior and someone gives you a task and you go about it one way and they would have done it differently. And they're like, Nope, that's not right. Well, is it not right? Or is it not how you would do it?

And I have to catch myself like going like, all right, that's not how I would go about it. But if the end result's the same, or I might have worded something a little bit differently or, approached it differently. But does it matter? And that. Actually, sometimes you learn from the junior and that's the reciprocal   relationship.

, I mean, there's a reason you're senior and that you've learned a lot, but there's always more to learn. And people with fresh perspectives can bring fresh perspectives and they want to be heard and they want to be listened to, and they do have something to contribute.

It can be hard  it's the age old, like you don't respect me because I'm an elder and I've been doing this. Oh, you don't respect me because I'm young, but I got new ideas. You need to have both. And think it's really important on both ends to lose.

  agree. think that's beauty of teamwork and also, great ideas can come from anywhere. And  I've definitely had that experience that you're describing that, sometimes maybe if you've done something for a long time and you're like, oh, I know I need to delegate this, but 

maybe there's some risks associated with it. And so you're kind of holding, but you finally delegated and the person that you delegate it to does it so much better than know I've had that? And I'm like, oh my gosh, why did I not do this earlier? Because , they came up with a brand new, great way of approaching this.

That's just better. 


 Which is nice. And,  if we have the courage , to trust,  that can happen. And that's a beautiful thing for the team overall. 

Yeah, humility. There's some humility for sure.

Yeah. Yeah. Well, so I'm going to start wrapping up here. And one of the things that I always ask people at the end of the podcast is what words of wisdom do you have to share with our marketing Mambo list? 

 I don't know. That's a big one. Well, for those who are listening that are just trying to get their first job, just get the first job, like the first job. Like, it's hard to get. And then you can maneuver from there, back to networking, that has been so important in my career. Not only from.

Getting new positions, but just learning and growing.  I love when I get stuck on something and I do get stuck on things,  to be able to bounce things off other people and just pick up the phone and say, Hey, I can't figure this out. Or I think this, but what's your thought or your take? I think that  has been a big benefit to my career and I. Really recommend and then vice versa, being a mentor to people like making sure in your career that you're helping out other people, with their career and it could be their business. it could be anything, but, giving back to that, cause it's.

Yeah.  I think that,  reciprocity is  the first rule  of networking,  just being willing  to give back. Because of what you said, I have a part two to my question and it does have to do with networking. There's so many people out there  the word networking.

It's kind of  a charged topic. I think a lot of people don't feel comfortable with networking. What would you say to somebody who's like, ah, I don't know. That just feels weird. I don't know how to get started. What advice would you have for somebody? Okay. 

Well as someone who's an ambivert. I hate networking events. One sitting by myself, with a cup of coffee, and not knowing what to say. So I get that it can feel awkward,  but networking doesn't have to just be meeting new people and building that it is very much,  keeping your existing friendships and coworker relationships alive.

Obviously there's much easier ways than when I first started. But don't let those drop. And then when someone says, Hey, you should just meet this person. Just be open to meeting. Cause that's an easier way than doing anything from a cold call perspective or being at an event, , to have someone introduce you to someone and then, vice versa, you doing that for other people.

Starts to use those skills and then you feel more comfortable with it.

Yeah. I think that, 

maybe if we think of it a little bit more like just relationships, right? It's developing relationships and not necessarily with any particular objective because you just never know where things are going to lead to. 

you just never know you just never know.

Well, Christina, thank you so much for being on marketing Mambo today. How can people reach you and learn more about Carbone, find food and where to get the delicious spaghetti sauce? 

Sure. You can go to Carbone, find We, have a Shopify site so we can deliver to anywhere. We also feature all the retailers you can go to buy the sauce, and we're also on Amazon 

or reach out. 

okay. reach out.

to you on LinkedIn, Christina Downey, right. 

Yes, Christina Downey.

Okay. Great. Well, thanks so much for being with us today. 

Thank you having me, Derek. This is awesome.