A hammer is just a paperweight until it’s put into the hands of a person who intends to build something of value. Millions of people belong to LinkedIn. Millions have gone through the process of creating a profile and posting some information about their careers. Millions have sent out LinkedIn invites to their co-workers, clients, friends, family members, and college friends. But the reality is, through my informal polling, many of those LinkedIn profiles lay dormant. Until…that moment comes when all of a sudden you realize that you hate your current job, or you need to move across the country, or your company has announced a round of layoffs to “right-size” the company.
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“After the war itself, we have no higher priority than caring properly for our wounded.” — Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.
Last November, Secretary Gates designated the month as “Warrior Care Month” to communicate the Department of Defense’s commitment to quality care to our service members and their families. In my former position as community relations manager for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, we assisted in the communication of the program and messages through various media including social media channels. Now in a different position outside of government service, it was neat to revisit this campaign and learn from the source how the plan was executed and how the program continues to grow.
We all know that paying attention to the old adage, “Ready, aim, fire,” makes a whole lot more sense than “Fire, fire, fire.” Yet, day-to-day, in this environment of instant message delivery, a seeming need for instant message response and, yes, instant decision making, we seem to often “fire” with little consideration for “ready” or “aim.”
And, too often, working in this “fire, fire, fire” environment is frustrating, inefficient and less than effective.
The answer to this “fire” environment is strategic thinking and strategic planning, the “ready” and “aim” that should precede “fire.”
Strategic planning, according to George Steiner in his book, “Strategic Planning,” provides “guidance, direction and boundaries for operational management (tactics).”
One of the reasons public relations communicators and other staff functions are left out of strategic meetings, especially when the most important decisions are made, is because we have great difficulty being strategic. The strategic mindset requires a different approach and a different kind of thinking. To me, strategy is a unique mixture of mental energy verbally injected into an organization through communication, which results in behavior that achieves organizational objectives. All strategists have specific behaviors and attitudes that attract management attention. When it comes to achieving a strategic mindset, we are responding to those behaviors management finds extremely useful and that build on our intuition, creativeness and ability to deal with highly emotional situations. In this program, I identify and share the seven attributes of trusted strategic advisors using dramatic examples, dilemmas and corporate problems as vehicles for discussion, interactive learning and instruction.The Seven Disciplines are trustworthiness, verbal vision, management perspective, strategic thinking, pattern recognition, constructive advice, and teaching the boss to take your advice. A discipline is a highly focused behavior centered on an important concept, principle or intent.Other topics I cover in my session include: what strategy is, why strategies fail, what management wants and expects from us, providing constructive feedback, making recommendations, overcoming resistance to your advice, getting the boss’ attention, and understanding the management perspective.Learn what management wants and how to provide options for resolving management trouble. Learn how to help the boss take next steps by providing information they don’t already have.
Why should your boss listen to you? This talk will help you affirmatively answer this question because you can be heard much earlier, more often, and at higher levels. Learn the disciplines to get there. You’ll come away with the know-how to provide a well-timed, truly significant insight every time.
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