A Manifesto for Life Success

September 15, 2010

Whenever I hear Louis Armstrong sing What a Wonderful World I feel warm all over. I am reminded that I live in a full, abundant world.

Together we all share the joys and sorrows of life’s journey, though we we may be at different places along the path. In the distance I’ve traveled, I’ve learned a few things along the way. I share the following observations for the benefit of my fellow travelers:

With a commitment to living my life according to God’s plan, I believe that:

  1. Everything happens for a reason.
  2. Meaning and purpose can always be found in the midst of chaos.
  3. Knowing some of the questions is better than having all of the answers.
  4. Every thought, every choice and every action has consequences.
  5. What one focuses upon in life expands.
  6. We live in a world of abundance where there is enough for everyone.
  7. In a win-lose situation, there are usually no winners.
  8. Diversity divides when we focus only on our differences, but it enriches when we build on things we share in common.
  9. Life only makes sense when viewed from an eternal perspective.
  10. No matter how good the “good old days” may seem, our best days are yet to come.
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A Manifesto for Team Performance

September 8, 2010

To achieve success, members of any marketing team must be united by a compelling vision and a shared set of beliefs.

With a commitment to teamwork, I invite you to join me in believing and internalizing the following affirmations:

  1. We are inspired by the mission of our team.
  2. As we visualize the role of marketing within the organization, we are proud to be a part of an exceptional consulting team working on projects that really matter.
  3. We value diversity within our group, knowing that each of us makes a unique contribution.
  4. We build synergy whereby the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In so doing, we recognize the interdependence of every member of the team.
  5. When the spotlight is on one of us individually, we appreciate and acknowledge the contributions made by our teammates, knowing that success is usually a team effort.
  6. We celebrate when another member of the team excels. After all, we know that one teammate’s success reflects positively on the entire group.
  7. When something goes wrong, we avoid pointing fingers and assigning blame. Instead, we join hands to seek solutions and to look for the learning embedded within the situation.
  8. We assume positive intentions on the part of others. In circumstances where there is a potential for misunderstanding, we proactively seek clarification.
  9. We are loyal to other members of the team, especially in their absence. We focus on the positive, affirming attributes of co-workers and teammates.
  10. We always operate from an abundance mentality that seeks win-win solutions. We refuse to believe that our win implies a loss for someone else, knowing that a scarcity mentality spawns fear, competitiveness and retaliation.

 

 


A Manifesto for Individual Responsibility

September 1, 2010

Every member of a team must make a unique, individual contribution to the team’s success. I want to be surrounded by people who don’t make excuses, assume individual responsibility and work towards the greater good of the team.

With a commitment to individual responsibility, empowerment and performance, I invite you to join me in believing and internalizing the following affirmations:

  1. I see the big picture.
  2. I see how the individual pieces fit together, and I understand the importance of my unique role.
  3. I prioritize my work and spend considerable time working on projects that are important but not urgent. Because of this, I am proactive and in control of my projects, my career and my life.
  4. I think strategically before acting tactically.
  5. Functioning as a marketing consultant, I ask affirming, empowering questions of myself and others.
  6. I approach consulting projects in a collaborative manner, finding ways to say “yes” and thereby facilitating the success of others.
  7. I own and manage important projects where I assume the entire responsibility for the planning, production and evaluation of my projects.
  8. I am a collaborative team player, contributing my energy and expertise to those projects managed by others.
  9. Knowing that the status quo often leads to obsolescence, I have a deep desire to learn, to create and to explore. I seek innovation and welcome change.
  10. I do work that really matters. I make a difference.

 

 


A Manifesto for Being Visionary and Strategic

August 25, 2010

Helen Keller was right when she said, “The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.”

Everyone, it seems, talks about the importance of having a vision, but very few people have a vivid picture of what they hope their future will look like.

With a commitment to being visionary and strategic, I invite you to join me in believing  that:

  1. The effectiveness of a vision statement can be measured by its ability to inspire us to rally around a shared picture of what can be—and must be—our new reality.
  2. A compelling vision is future-focused and usually threatens those deeply vested in the status quo.
  3. Progress always requires change, but not all change is progress.
  4. Where there is no vision, people perish.
  5. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
  6. Tactics not tied to strategy are nothing more than busywork.
  7. When you and I are not pursuing the same goal, then we are not on the same team.
  8. When you and I focus on the same goal from different vantage points, we have stereoscopic vision that gives us better depth perception.
  9. Every project can be improved by periodically asking, “Why are we doing this?”
  10. We must, as Stephen Covey says, begin with the end in mind.

 


A Manifesto for Marketing Success

August 18, 2010

Marketing is not as complicated as some want you to think. Good marketing is based upon common sense, though such sense is uncommon.

With a commitment to successful marketing, I invite you to join me in believing  that:

  1. Marketing will flounder when not in pursuit of a measurable goal.
  2. If a product, service or even a person cannot be differentiated, it cannot be marketed.
  3. Marketing will fail unless strategy drives tactics, not vice versa.
  4. Marketing must be based upon the concept of exchanges. Without a quid-pro-quo exchange, we will never have a solid marketing program.
  5. Value can be defined only by the customer, not by the company producing the product or service. (Nonprofit organizations especially have trouble with this.)
  6. The social media revolution is the best thing to happen to marketing in a long, long time, even though the tools for achieving marketing success have forever changed.
  7. Old-school marketers who try to control the message will become increasingly frustrated, disoriented and ultimately obsolete.
  8. You are still functioning in a 1.0 world—even if you’re using 2.0 tools—when you are not creating community and engaging people in conversations.
  9. If we aim our message at no one in particular, we shouldn’t be surprised if no one in particular responds.
  10. Communications comes at the end of the marketing process, not at the beginning.

 


Marketing Manifesto II – Team Performance

October 1, 2009

Shortly after I stepped into my leadership role at the American Red Cross, a member of my marketing group chose not to be part of the new team.

Her departure gave me the opportunity to recruit someone new, so I spent considerable time thinking about how to forge a strong partnership between 1) the individuals I inherited and 2) those I would select myself.

In consultation with team members that remained, I developed this list of 10 characteristics to describe the commitment, the loyalty and the engagement of every contributing member of my marketing group:

  1. We are inspired by the mission of the marketing department, knowing that our special group exists to ensure the success of the American Red Cross.
  2. As we visualize the role of marketing within the organization, we are proud to be a part of an exceptional consulting team working on projects that really matter.
  3. We value diversity within our team, knowing that each of us makes a unique contribution to the department, to the organization and ultimately to the community.
  4. We build synergy whereby the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. In so doing, we recognize the interdependence of every member of the team.
  5. When one of us succeeds, that person appreciates and acknowledges the contributions of teammates, knowing that success is often a team effort.
  6. We celebrate when another member of the team excels. After all, we know that one teammate’s success reflects positively on our entire group.
  7. When something goes wrong, we avoid pointing fingers and assigning blame. Instead, we join hands with others to seek solutions and to look for the learning embedded within the situation.
  8. We assume positive intentions on the part of others. In circumstances where there is a potential for misunderstanding, we proactively seek clarification.
  9. We are loyal to other members of the team, especially in their absence. We focus on the positive, affirming attributes of our co-workers and teammates.
  10. We always operate from an abundance mentality that seeks win-win solutions. We refuse to believe that our win implies a loss for someone else, knowing that a scarcity mentality spawns fear, competitiveness and retaliation.

Marketing Manifesto I – Individual Performance

September 29, 2009

When I was chosen to lead the marketing program at the American Red Cross of Greater Kansas City, I wanted to make sure each person on the team was pulling in the same direction.

Within my first 90 days, I led my group through a two-day planning session to 1) discuss organizational priorities, 2) plan marketing projects and 3) enlist the commitment of each individual to the team effort. By the end of the retreat we had defined the following 10 characteristics that every contributing member of the marketing department should be able use in describing his or her dedication, passion and internal beliefs:

  1. I see the big picture.
  2. I see how the individual pieces fit together, and I understand the importance of my unique role.
  3. I prioritize my work and spend considerable time working in Quadrant II on projects that are important but not urgent. Because of this, I am proactive and in control of my job, my career and my life.
  4. I think strategically before acting tactically.
  5. As an internal marketing consultant, I ask affirming, empowering questions of myself and others.
  6. I approach consulting projects in a collaborative manner, finding ways to say “yes” and facilitate the success of others.
  7. I own and manage important projects where I assume responsibility for the entire planning, production and evaluation of my projects.
  8. I am a collaborative team player, contributing my energy and expertise to those projects managed by others.
  9. I have a deep desire to learn, to create and to explore. Knowing that the status quo often leads to obsolescence, I seek innovation and welcome change.
  10. I make a difference. I do work that really matters.

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