How cancer made Kate Massey a better CMO

Kate Massey is completing another challenge for Cure Cancer Australia

Being diagnosed with cancer aged just 26 would seem insurmountable to many people.

Not so for Kate Massey, who, eight years later is now cancer-free and using her experience to not only raise $100,000 for Cure Cancer Australia, but is also implementing her key learnings into her role as CMO of JCurve Solutions.

Following her diagnosis, Massey felt lost – until she came across a brochure from Cure Cancer Australia about the Kokoda Trail challenge. Massey, who freely admits to not being particularly fit at the time and was actively discouraged by family and friends, decided to take on the Kokoda Trail in 2012.

Since completing the Kokoda challenge, Kate has gone on to fundraise for Cure Cancer Australia by taking on numerous global adventures. She’s completed the Salcantay Trek to Machu Picchu and the Larapinta Trail, climbed the highest freestanding mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro, and (as a former non-runner) ran both the Sydney Half Marathon and New York Marathon. She is over $57,000 in to her aim to raise $100,000.

The latest challenge will see her summiting Australia’s tallest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, four times in just three days in November.

“The length of the climb is equivalent to the height of Mount Everest. On the day we summit twice we’ll be running low on sleep, but riding an adrenalin high! On the third day we’ll join the wider Cure Cancer Australia group with the support of Huma Charity Challenge that are doing the single summit, so that we can all finish the climb together,” Massey told CMO

While in training, she was invited to be the keynote speaker at JCurve Solutions’s recent end-of-financial year company day. The speech engaged the company so much, that nearly 20 per cent of them are doing the Kosciuszko Challenge with Massey, including the CEO.

“The speech set the tone for the rest of the day, everyone was super engaged and energised, and now 20 per cent of the Sydney office has signed up. The CEO is passionate about leading from the front," she said. "There’s been a focus on culture and values over the last couple of years at JCurve Solutions; and investing in people really shows.”

Getting results

Massey has been with the software company for nine years, starting as marketing manager, before becoming head of account management, then running a business unit, before heading back into marketing, and then as CMO. She said she's applied her learning in beating cancer to her role as CMO with great effect.

“When you take on a challenge, the bigger the challenge, the more rewarding it is to complete, and this is true in a work sense as well. I am always challenging my team to take on a bigger goal or target; we are highly results-focused," she explained. "As a result, I have a very engaged team, and have become a big champion of culture and engagement initiatives across whole company.

“It is also important we are working towards progress, rather than activity, and we’ve seen great results in last 12-18 months. You can always can push harder than you think you can, and from this transition into results, we have managed to achieve a very high output with our small team.

“We are now aligned behind a goal and end-result, and hold ourselves to account, rather than just being busy on the hamster wheel. The hardest part is getting started, so break goals down into achievable milestones, to get tangible progress towards them, and measure the progress then celebrate success." 

Massey agreed it's always easier to make excuses, and harder to keep yourself accountable.

"That’s a key value at JCurve Solutions - living above the line of choice, with accountability, and ownership, and responsibility, not excuses, blame, and denial. If you’re too busy, it means you’re not prioritising to get something done,” she added.

Massey's top 10 lessons learnt along the way:

  1. The BIGGER the challenge the more rewarding it is to complete.
  2. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right” – it’s in the mindset.
  3. You can always push yourself harder than you think you can.
  4. Goals become real once you commit to them.
  5. The hardest part is often getting started.
  6. It’s easier to achieve a goal if you break it down.
  7. It’s easy to make excuses, it’s harder to keep yourself accountable.
  8. Too busy means you are choosing not to prioritise doing it.
  9. You don’t need to be a runner to run a marathon – you just need to not quit.
  10. ALWAYS celebrate your successes.

Read more of CMO's interviews with leading Australian marketing chiefs:

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Building a human-curated brand

If the FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) sector and their measured worth are the final argument for the successful 21st Century model, then they are beyond reproach. Fine-tuning masses of algorithms to reduce human touchpoints and deliver wild returns to investors—all with workforces infinitesimally small compared to the giants of the 20th Century—has been proven out.

Will Smith

Co-founder and head of new markets, The Plum Guide

Sustainability trends brands can expect in 2020

​Marketers have made strides this year in sustainability with the number of brands rallying behind the Not Business As Usual alliance for action against climate change being a sign of the times. While sustainability efforts have gained momentum this year, 2020 is shaping up to be the year brands are really held accountable for their work in this area.

Ben King

CSR manager & sustainability expert, Finder

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing

As a Marketer, the ‘Scotty from Marketing’ meme troubles me.

Natalie Robinson

Director of marketing and communications, Melbourne Polytechnic

It's a pretty interesting article to read. I will learn more about this company later.

Dan Bullock

40 staff and 1000 contracts affected as foodora closes its Australian operations

Read more

If you think it can benefit both consumer and seller then it would be great

Simon Bird

Why Ford is counting on the Internet of Things to drive customer engagement

Read more

It's a good idea. Customers really should control their data. Now I understand why it's important.

Elvin Huntsberry

Salesforce CMO: Modern marketers have an obligation to give customers control of their data

Read more

Instagram changes algorithms every time you get used to them. It really pisses me off. What else pisses me off? The fact that Instagram d...

Nickwood

Instagram loses the like in Australia; industry reacts positively

Read more

I tried www.analisa.io to see my Instagram Insight

Dina Rahmawati

7 marketing technology predictions for 2016

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in