I’m really excited about the program we’re producing with Integrate this spring, identifying and recognizing 40 of the B2B marketing industry’s most innovative, bold & successful Game Changers.

Response to the call for nominations has been phenomenal and will continue over the next several weeks.

We’ve generally let nominees and nominators define what a “game changer” is on their own up to this point, and though we will continue to do so, I wanted to highlight seven specific attributes or characteristics I find many of the most worthy candidates have in common:

Risk taker
Those who change the game, by definition, are taking risks by trying new things. They know their chances of success are lower but the rewards are higher. They’re comfortable and confident enough to fail more frequently knowing that game-changing success is just another mitigated risk away.

Great communicator
Game changers face constant adversity and friction with their new ideas. They’re often forcing new alliances, partnerships and collaboration within their organizations, as well as negotiating with and convincing upper management to give them budget and latitude to try their ideas. This means communication in a variety of formats (written, oral, reporting, etc.) are extremely important.

Curious & creative
These are really two separate characteristics, but I bunched them together because I believe the combination is incredibly powerful. When you can open yourself to new ideas and think differently about strategy, execution and outcomes, you create the conditions required to establish and play by new rules. Asking questions, questioning status quo, then creatively identifying new solutions. This is what game changers do.

Disciplined Uni-Tasker
Multi-tasking is a myth, neutering the productivity of otherwise well-meaning people. Game changers know this intuitively and act accordingly. They get tons done, but do it in an orderly, disciplined way throughout the day. This doesn’t mean they don’t slack off and get tempted by email and social alerts on a regular basis. But they know which work is important and worth doing first.

Full Funnel Mentality
Game changers in B2B marketing don’t stop when the leads are delivered. They embrace revenue responsibility, work closely with their sales counterparts, and do the otherwise hard work to truly integrate sales & marketing efforts to achieve maximum impact, sales yield and results. In the most collaborative sales & marketing environments this is difficult, but work well worth doing.

Calm and collaborative amidst the chaos, constructive with feedback and able to absorb adjustments (coming from multiple angle internally and externally) with new direction, new tactics, new risks worth taking.

Externally Focused
It’s not about internal politics or superficial titles or even who precisely gets the credit. It’s about delighting your customers, engaging prospective buyers on their terms, developing a sales process that doesn’t FEEL like a sales process. External impact is all that matters to the most successful game changers among us.

I am curious what your criteria of a game changer in B2B marketing would be. What’s missing from the above list?

And don’t forget to nominate the B2B Game Changers at your company here.