Head of Marketing

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These guys know a leader when they see one. And that’s who they’re looking for.

The sharing and “gig” economy has transformed entire industries, perhaps none more than the travel/transportation sector. Instead of booking a hotel room, you can get an AirB&B. Instead of renting a car or hunting down a taxi, you can ping Lyft or Uber.

And now, instead of trying to figure out which local tour companies are legit you can sign up with ToursByLocals.

This clever Vancouver, BC-based company has a network of 4,000 individuals in over 150 countries around the world, ready and able to give you the true local flavor of your next destination.

From Reykjavik to Rio, from Denver to Dakar, these guys are plugged in with savvy citizens who can help you bypass the crowds and tourist traps, and find the hidden gems that make a place special.

It’s a terrific business model, and the company has begun racking up numbers to match. Since its startup in 2008, it has served over a million travelers. Of the 85,000 tours ToursByLocals handled last year, a full 30 percent were repeat customers. ToursByLocals has grown 40 percent over the last year, and is currently at $50 million in revenue.

So what are these guys missing? Look in the mirror, My Precious Snowflake. What they’re missing … is you.

ToursByLocals is looking for a Head of Marketing to help make the world more aware of its awesome services. This is a very senior position, managing a team of six and reporting directly to the CEO. The person in this role would become a member of top leadership, and the company is assessing candidates with that capability very much in mind.

One of the things I find especially intriguing about this role is the fact that you’d be joining a leadership team that has such a fresh and insightful approach to what business leadership really means.

If they pick you for this position, they will insist that you read and sign a brief internal document titled, “What does it mean to be a leader at ToursByLocals?” (Emphasis in the original.) The header speaks for itself – the company spells out exactly what it expects from “leaders” at all levels.

I’ve read a lot of internal onboarding materials over the years, but this is among the most distinctive and refreshing I’ve ever seen. For example, in the section for new department heads, it states, “You are a bit of a ‘reluctant boss.’ You understand that people do not serve, obey or respect you because of your position, but rather by your example.”

That is so good. It sets a high standard and filters out … you know, the ones who rhyme with “brass poles.”

Seriously, the drama-cases are going to take one look at that “reluctant boss” reference as if it were written in Ancient Klingon. The keepers, the true leaders, are going to know exactly what this company is talking about. It’s just a brilliant self-selection mechanism.

And that’s exactly who this company is – smart, innovative, and real.

Here are some more details on what they’re looking for. While travel-industry experience is not a prerequisite, applicants should have a very strong background in brand-building and lead generation. Excellent leadership skills and a high-revving work ethic are must-have attributes.

Given how important this position is to the day-to-day management of the company, it can’t be handled remotely – ya gotta be in Vancouver, and they’re willing to re-lo you if necessary.

There’s a ton to like about this job: Wonderful management; strong revenue growth; fun industry; great benefits (potentially including equity in the business); and a world-class location.

In short, if you’re an experienced marketer who wants to get in at the management level on a company that’s, um, going places (sorry, couldn’t resist), give this one a very serious look.

PS From PSP: By the time you read this, you’ll know if our beloved Seahawks have advanced in the NFL playoffs. What you might not know is that the team’s head coach,)) Pete Carroll, has become quite the management guru.

The New York Times recently profiled his budding leadership-consultancy business, noting that Microsoft and other firms are paying more than a few shiny pennies for his insights (no, not on time management – look, nobody’s perfect). It’s hardly the first media notice of Carroll’s unusual depth – this Los Angeles Magazine profile from a dozen years back has become a sports-journalism classic.

As an HR maven, I find it fascinating when personnel-leadership wisdom from one sector is sought by organizations in totally unrelated fields. Good for you, Pete. 

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