The Get To Attitude

Photo by Canva

A couple of years ago, I had the good fortune to experience a Dean Whellams’ leadership workshop. His energy was contagious and his impact long lasting. Throughout the workshop, Dean talked to the team about how to network (he makes it seem so easy), the importance of building relationships and reframing our thoughts. All useful material for those enthusiastic about leadership and becoming the best version of yourselves.

The biggest take away from his workshop was the power of reframing our thoughts. Dean pointed out that when there is something on our to-do list, we think about it as something we “have to do”. When you stop and think, we actually “get to do” those things. We are in control of our actions and our time.

Adopting this mindset takes time and practice, but it is well worth the effort. The best way to embrace the “get to” attitude is to be aware of your words and thoughts. When you utter the words, “have to”, force yourself to reframe your words and say, “get to”.

To fully adopt the “get to” mindset, you have to believe what you are saying. In true form, Dean provided further inspiration to help you not just say “get to”, but to actually believe in it. He has a powerful acronym he wrote that forces you stop and think and shift from the “have to” mentality to the “GET TO” mentality:

Give
Everything
To
The
Opportunity

Since we “get to” do things, we should give everything to the opportunity, big or small. After all, the little things in our lives often build into bigger things, and when new opportunities present themselves, we should be open to them, dive in and give it our all. You never know how a taking a chance, making a small tweak in action, or changing your thought could alter your life. Below are some examples of how to shift your mindset to the “get to” mentality:

Have To MindsetGet To Mindset
I have to do a boring task. I get to improve my skills at this task.
I have to have a difficult conversation
with an employee.
I get to help someone develop and
improve.
I have tolearn about a new trend in
the industry.
I get to something new that will help
me become better at my job.
Ihave to go to a networking event
and talk to people I don’t know.
I get to grow my network.
I have to train a new employee. I get to train a new employee
and eventually empower them to take
ownership of projects, which will take work
off my plate.

Once you shift your mentality, you will not only see how to easy it is to train your mind to see the positive, but you will also naturally start practicing gratitude. Once you reframe a statement, you can’t help but feel grateful for the opportunity. Soon it will become second nature to see things through the “get to” lens.

As leaders, we have the opportunity to not only reframe our personal thoughts, but to help inspire those around us to adopt the “GET TO” mentality as well. We should be vested in trying to help them see things as an opportunity instead of an obligation or another task on their to-do list. Below is how leaders can help their team adopt the “get to” mentality:

  • Model the Way – your words matter, when presenting a task, frame it as something they “get to do”.
  • Flip the Script – when you hear an employee utter, “have to”, kindly flip the script for them by explaining how they “get to” do the task at hand and how it will help them learn and grow.
  • Practice the Mentality – during team meetings ask each member to share something they are excited about “getting to do”

The other benefit of adopting the “get to” mentality is that it allows you to elevate how you spend your time. If there is something that you find yourself saying “you have to do”, but struggle to identify its value, it may be time to cut it out of your life or eliminate it from the team’s workload. It’s worth repeating that you only you control your time and how you spend it, so make the most of it. Take the power of “get to” and use it to your advantage.

How do you give everything to the opportunity? Leave a comment.

If you are looking for a leadership coach to train your team, contact Dean at Team Elite Performance.

The Staying Power of Integrated Marketing Communications

Photo by JJ Ying on Unsplash

In the early 2000s, the buzz phrase in marketing was integrated marketing communications (IMC). Industry professionals were continually talking about how marketing efforts needed to be “integrated,” similar to how marketers talk about digital marketing today. As each industry evolves, new disciplines emerge within the field and all the focus goes to what is new and exciting. Constant innovation is necessary, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about the principles and tactics that lead us to the latest trend.

There are several aspects of marketing and communications. Each element provides a specific purpose and drive value in different ways. When all of the elements are linked, powerful results follow. As marketing leaders, it is critical we build teams that represent various types of marketing and communications, and that helps each team member integrate their efforts to ensure seamless execution of the marketing strategy. After all, we need to meet our customers where they are, and they are generally spread out over many different channels. Therefore, our messaging and branding needs to be consistent.

How do marcomm departments create integrated campaigns? The answer to this question may vary depending on budget and talent. However, marketers are used to wearing many hats and can likely handle juggling several elements of marcomm. Below is an outline of the various types of marcomm tactics you should consider including in your strategic marketing plan and then you can build your team around your plan.

Strategic Planning
Everything should start with a strategy. You need to have a well thought out plan to accomplish a comprehensive plan that is integrated. Strategic planning is likely done by a more senior level person that has a deep understanding of the target audiences, marketing tactics, channels, public relations, and is knowledgeable about the inner workings of the business.

Social Media
The power of social media, when done well, is undeniable. Therefore, it needs to play a significant role in your marketing strategy. Being successful at social media requires time both in the term of longevity, but also in terms of resources. Creating engaging, useful, meaningful, and consistent content takes time and should include a budget to execute it effectively. The team member that manages your social channels should be creative, analytical, and be willing to stay up on the ever changing landscape.

Email
While email has lost its buzz, it is still extremely effective channel when done well. The key is to understand your customers and what they want and be able to convey that in a concise and catchy way. Email marketing should be about quality over quantity. Just think about the numerous emails you get every day, the companies you hear from daily, likely don’t get your attention because you constantly feel like you are being sold something. Whereas, great email marketing is purposeful, keeps the subject lines short and grabs your attention. Furthermore, email marketing requires someone with a strategic mind that understands can plan well into the future, how to drive people to take action, determine when to clean up the list, know about privacy laws, how to segment customers, and dive into the analytics.

Paid Advertising
Many companies allocate funds to paid advertising, some still engage in traditional media, while others are all in on social, and then there are some that do both. Executing paid media campaigns requires a great deal of planning, budgeting, analytics, and the ability to stay up-to-date on the latest offers.

Public Relations
Utilizing public relations (PR) to help tell your story is a great way to build credibility with consumers since they are hear the news from a third party. Additionally, if you have done the other aspects listed above well, this will be another way the consumer hears the message, but likely in a different way. PR people need to be strong writers, fact finders, creative, relationship builders and tenacious as they work to come up with new angles as they pitch story ideas to various news outlets.  

Website
Likely everything you do will point back to your website. It is your storefront and it needs to run efficiently and convert. The site should be well designed, load quickly, easy to navigate, able to capture data, and much more. People that manage the website need to be in tune with emerging trends, have a good eye for design, analytical, and patient as they work through a/b testing. Further, they must be knowledgeable about SEO and proficient in technical development.

Content
All websites need content since content is king. It is critical that new content is created regularly and that it is useful to the consumer. Much like PR content specialists need to be creative storytellers that find new perspectives, but that also have an understanding about SEO and how to weave identified keywords into the copy to help with Google’s performance, but also drive conversions.

Cause
Corporate social responsibility is no longer just a nice thing to do. Customers are demanding that companies give back in meaningful, authentic ways. Selecting the right organizations to partner with requires strategic thought to ensure alignment. Additionally, it is a balancing act to do things for non-profits and work to ensure your consumers understand your efforts without it coming off as though you only did it for the recognition. Therefore, you need a savvy person that can navigate how to position your mission to help others, while sharing your efforts.  

Internal Communications
Marketers work so hard to get everything out to the public, that sometimes they inadvertently forget to tell the employees of the organization about their efforts, which is a big miss. The employees can act as ambassadors and help amplify your efforts within their network. Additionally, they will likely have a sense of pride when they know about the promotions, which increases morale.  Must like PR and content your internal communications specialist should be strong writers that have a knack for storytelling.

Once you have determined the types of marketing efforts you want to include in your plan, it becomes critical that you find a way to create synergy between each aspect. Below are some tips for creating and executing an integrated marketing plan.

  • Create an overarching strategy
  • Assign tasks based on strengths and interest
  • Create a marcomm calendar filled with tactics to help you plan, integrate efforts, and determine deadlines.
  • Weekly meetings to discuss projects
    • Discuss goals and common interests in projects
    • Identify overlap
    • Encourage sharing
    • Encourage collaboration
    • Encourage teamwork  
    • Share results
  • Have a point person to view the work product to ensure synergy, consistency and brand standards are followed.

There are additional resources you could consider adding to your team to help support your efforts, such as graphic design, videography/editing, website development and copywriting. Great design, effective storytelling through video, compelling copy, and strong website development support your desire to produce quality work that builds and maintains the brand. If you don’t have the budget, consider outsourcing these tasks.

Overall, IMC is here to stay. Your efforts are best served when they are strategic and all facets work together to reach your customers in a compelling and consistent manner.

How do you ensure you have an integrated marketing communications approach? Leave a comment below.

Wait Before You React

By dolgachov

You get a panic call, email or meeting request about a problem, as a leader, you spring to action ready to find a solution. Problem, solution, move on as quickly as possible. That is the most common path that is taken when dealing with an issue. The good news is that you are taking care of business and keeping things moving. There are times when things work out, but often, we realize that hindsight is 20/20 and if we could go back, we would do things differently.

Despite your best intentions, reacting to problems too quickly is counterproductive. Some leaders like to act quickly as they think it shows those around them that they can think on their feet and that they are the “fixer”. However, when we rush to solve an issue, we likely aren’t taking the time to figure out the root cause, think through several possible solutions, and select the best resolution. In today’s complex world, there are likely three or more sides to every story. As leaders, it is our responsibility to take the time to listen to every story in order to understand the entire picture.

The truth is, most problems aren’t life or death; we have a bit of time on our hands to figure out how to best handle the situation. Use this time to your advantage so you don’t have backtrack on a decision you rushed into. When the people you lead see you being thoughtful it will increase their trust in you as someone who is objective and concerned with the truth. They will also see you as someone who is calm and cares about finding the best solution versus the quickest or easiest solution.

Below are some tips to deploy the next time a problem lands on your desk:

Take a Deep Breath
Dealing with problems often causes our fight or flight responses to kick in. Resist the urge by taking a deep breath. Use this time to gather your thoughts, actively listen, and remind yourself to be open minded. Stress can often cause us to make bad decisions. However, when we take a deep breath or take a walk, we can clear our heads and allow for our rational mind to take the lead. 

Figure Out the Key Players
Determine who is involved in the issue and who might be able to give you useful information to understand the issue. In order to get the full story, you need to know the key players and the role they played in the issue and who might be part of the solution.

Ask Questions from Those Involved 
After you have determined who is involved, take time to meet with each individual. We’ve all heard the saying that there are two sides to every story, but in reality, there are often many sides. It will show you care about each person’s side and perspective. Additionally, you will be able to gain the complete story and therefore, be able to come up with the best solution. Be sure to ask them for their recommendations on the solution and how to make improvements for the future.

Check Your Biases and Emotions
It is easy to let our biases and emotions take over. Practice self-awareness by recognizing what might be causing you to lean a certain way and challenge yourself to see things from every perspective.

Sleep On It
Once you’ve completed your fact-finding mission, sleep on it. Taking time to process the information. Time allows us to see things clearly and to think through possible solutions. It also gives us time to think about how we want to address the issue with our stakeholders. While you may feel pressure to act immediately, your people will respect the fact that you didn’t jump to conclusions and took time to develop a smart solution to the issue.

Consider Your Options 
Now that you have a clear head after taking time to process and reflect, determine various solutions to the problem. Take the time to weigh your options to ensure you select the best path forward.

Work with Others to Find a Solution 
Once you’ve gathered the facts and have an idea about how to move forward, bring the team together (if the solution isn’t an HR issue or a sensitive personal issue) to brainstorm a solution. This will empower the team to be a part of the solution. If you have a clear idea of how you want to resolve the issue, present it to the team and allow them to enhance your idea. Be open-minded to their alternative recommendations as they may have a better idea than yours.

Follow Up with the Parties Involved 
When a problem arises, especially if it is a people problem, be sure to follow up with those involved. Discussing the issue and the solution is a great way to provide constructive feedback for development and will give those involved peace of mind that a solution has been reached. It will signal to each individual that it is time to move on from the problem. Additionally, you may receive feedback about how you could have handled the situation better or what you did well. Willingly accept this feedback and use it in the future.

Of course, there will be instances when you don’t have the luxury of time. You can condense the timeframe of the tips above. The key is to practice patience when dealing with a problem. Once you learn how to slow down, even in the most intense situations, your experience with thoughtful deliberation will assist you in coming up with a solution quickly.

Another way to avoid acting too quickly regarding a problem is to be proactive by thinking about potential issues that may come up in the future and thinking about how you will handle them. Next, in the world of outrage, your company should consider having a crisis communication plan in place in case of negative publicity. By being proactive, you are taking the time to think through the potential issue and preparing yourself for when the time comes to deal with worst-case scenarios that will require quick action.

What are other tips you use to create thoughtful decisions when presented with a problem? Leave a comment below.