Since our childhood, every one of us must have heard the stories of great leaders. Their courage, passion, and devotion to the desired goal inspired each one of us. They motivate us to shoot for the stars and persevere through any challenges that life may throw our way.
Certain qualities that successful leaders demonstrate in their personal and professional journey include a focused approach, self-awareness, understanding the exact need of the hour, and much more.
So here it is important to note that these qualities can be adapted by anyone, whether it is a man or a woman. As a result, we see that the art of leadership is neither limited nor biased to any specific gender.
Today, women have emerged as very successful leaders in every field, whether it is cinema, politics, space, or industry. They are not just leading in their professional career but also inspiring others to act and set a course for future success.
This edition, titled ‘Top 10 Inspiring Women Leaders to Watch in 2022,’ places a spotlight on women leaders who have broken all the stereotypes and myths and have set new benchmarks of success.
We are honored to introduce one such legendary woman leader – Maria Papacosta. She is the Co-founder of M.S.C. Marketing Bureau Ltd.
In an exclusive interview with Insights Success, Maria sheds light on the company’s journey, the current industry scenario, and her vision for the future.
Below are the excerpts from the interview:
Maria, please brief our audience about yourself and your professional journey as well as your business endeavors so far. What inspired you to step into the field of presence and inspired leadership coaching?
My professional journey started in the marketing of services field, where I worked for leading international companies and held senior management roles. Each of the companies I’ve worked for taught me something different and helped me evolve and become the person I am today.
However, since the beginning of my career, my vision has been to create something of my own. I wanted to experience the thrill of starting something from scratch and the agony of making it work and grow.
This led me to start my first business in the event management sector in 2006 and co-founded M.S.C. Marketing Bureau in 2019. Since the beginning of my career, I have been working with professional speakers, authors, and consultants.
Initially, as a client inviting them at our company conferences, later as a speaker agent (my first company represented one of the top speaker bureaus in more than 20 countries), and eventually as a speaker manager and ‘presence and inspired leadership coach.’
I think that one thing led to another in a very natural flow.
Working with all these wonderful thought leaders and dynamic personalities, I realized that although they had tremendous knowledge, unique insights, and originality of thought, in most cases, they could not communicate these ideas effectively and make an impact.
This realization led me to study and research the areas of presence and inspired leadership. How can someone find his/her unique voice? What do people need to help them stand out from the crowd and make an impact while maintaining their authenticity, values, and integrity? What makes some people more inspirational than others? There were some of the questions that became my passion and transformed my career.
Kindly tell us about M.S.C. Marketing Bureau and what led you to incept it.
As soon as I realized that my interest was in helping others stand out, my mind started focusing on opportunities to work with individuals that needed such help.
You’d be surprised what the clarity of purpose can do to your life. If you know what you want, then it is as if you’re programming and reprogramming yourself to achieve that goal.
You start asking the right questions, such as “what do I need to do to get from here to there?” and your field of view broadens to help you spot more opportunities. So, I started working with a couple of professional speakers and senior executives, taking small steps at first.
My business partner soon realized that to help others stand out, it wasn’t just about their self-development. These people needed practical tools as well, such as social media presence, website development, and publicity, to name a few.
This led to the creation of the M.S.C. Marketing Bureau, where our mission is to help professionals stand out and make an impact by nurturing their authentic leadership and building their brand voice.
We help our clients achieve their goals by offering them the whole array of services and tools that they need in their journey.
What kind of services and specialized offerings do you facilitate to your clients? What are the U.S.P. (s) of your company?
We take pride in being different and doing things our way. If you’re trying to fit in, you’ll end up copying what others are already doing. We are curious, set on an ongoing journey of rediscovering ourselves, learning, and relearning to earn the title of trusted advisors by our clients.
But above all, we’re very selective with the clients we work with. The vast majority of people will never be willing to make the sacrifices required to reach their professional goals. We work with the ones that are committed to their goals and understand the hard work involved to eventually stand out and make an impact.
This approach has led us to become a leading boutique firm that has received numerous recognitions since our first year of existence.
Besides our core philosophy, I truly believe that it is the level of expertise that has helped us differentiate and grow in such a short amount of time.
We are very focused on our micro-niche, and this gives us tremendous know-how and competitive advantage. To give an example, there are numerous companies building websites in the world, but we’re the only company that builds websites only for professional speakers, consultants, and authors.
This is the area we’re experts in, and by focusing our expertise on such a niche market, we grow stronger and more experienced exponentially. We know what our clients’ audience wants, what works and what doesn’t, and as a result, we deliver on our promises.
Our services include speaker management, presence coaching, vision coaching and training, presentation skills coaching, inspired leadership coaching, personal branding, website development and SEO optimization, social media management and content creation, ghost-writing, publicity and exposure management, book editing, book launch strategy planning, storytelling coaching, and professional services branding.
Being an experienced leader, share with us your opinion on how the adoption of modern technologies like A.I., ML, and X.R. in the marketing and advertising industry has transformed the industry, and what more could be expected soon?
Technology has transformed marketing and advertising in numerous ways. Marketing campaigns are more personalized and immersive for people, and ecosystems are more integrated and targeted for marketers, to name a few.
But it’s not just the interaction between brands and people that are transforming. The adoption of new technologies is altering the companies’ infrastructure as a whole, making an integrated impact on the consumer. It’s not about marketing or advertising departments anymore.
The future will be about how each department becomes a well-oiled cog that functions in synchrony and about the other well-oiled company cogs to offer a holistic customer experience. This transformation will break down silos and will give room for further innovation and creativity, pro-active and reactive strategies, and even a redesign in work processes.
Enlighten us on how M.S.C. Marketing Bureau has made an impact in the brand awareness space through its stronghold in the industry.
Brand trust is everything. I am a firm believer that loyalty can be bought, but trust can only be built. Although brand awareness helps establish brand trust, it’s not enough on its own.
Therefore, our approach in communicating our brand is slightly different from the usual ones. Our focus since the beginning has been on building long-term relationships with our clients.
Our number one priority is to become their trusted advisors. Once this is achieved, then these clients become your company ambassadors and develop your brand’s awareness for you.
The interesting thing here is that customers will always trust other customers more than the service providers themselves. So, for anyone trying to build or increase their brand’s awareness, I would strongly advise them to first focus on their clients.
This approach has led us to receive numerous recognitions, such as ranking 7th in the World’s Best Brand Development Programs for 2021 by Global Gurus.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the marketing and advertising industries?
My advice would be to know themselves and have a clear vision – know their purpose. Self-awareness is critical, and very few people pay attention to discovering who they truly are. Most tend to either overestimate or underestimate themselves.
But if you truly know your strengths (and your team’s), then and only then can you capitalize on them. Similarly, if you’re honest about your weaknesses (and your team’s), then you can turn them into opportunities for development.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and how do you plan on scaling your company in the future?
In the long run, we would like to develop our people further and grow as a team in order to design more innovative solutions for our clients.
Personally, I would like to devote some of my time to empowering others, especially those who cannot afford or do not have access to education and development programs and, as a result (among other factors), face a major barrier to their economic development, inequality, and of course risking their well-being.