If there’s one thing that’s true; it’s that marketers need to stay tuned in to needs and desires of their target audience to be masters of high performance. In fact, leading companies are savvy and have learned the art of outsmarting their competitors, the market and are always planning the next step as well as strategizing ways to achieve better and better results.
Marketers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from these strategies. Leaders can learn from these performance boosting techniques too. Here are seven ways leaders can benefit from applying marketing principles:
Step One: Learn Fast, Adapt Quicker
The market is full of constant yet rapid changes. A marketer realizes that what you learn today may be quickly outdated tomorrow which is why building in agility strategies is critical to success. Leadership tactics, meeting trends, or new strategies might be obsolete by the time you get around to implement them. This means need to be listening, ready to adapt and do so before it’s too late.
Step Two: Plan Ahead
Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Whether it’s a personal goal or company-wide project, it won’t get done without planning. Start by putting your goal into writing and mapping out some measurable ways to ensure this goal is accomplished. Then set concrete dates and establish smaller goals along the way.
Step Three: Practice New Behaviors
Every day you are reinforcing behaviors that will either strengthen or harm you. Just like an athlete, the way you “train” will either better equip you or lead to long-term damage. Marketers often review data looking for success stories as well as programs that need improvement. This is because they are always looking for ways to make things better in the long run. As a leader, apply these same principles. Treat every day like an opportunity to become a better leader and implement new behaviors into everyday tasks like communication, feedback, and meetings. Remember leadership is never fully mastered; it is a process of constant refinement!
Step Four: Monitor Goals
You won’t be able to fully measure the success of your goals without the perspective of others. Ask for feedback outside of surveys. Schedule a few one-on-one meetings with trusted peers, superiors, and subordinates. Write out specific questions that welcome honest reviews. Be clear about what you want their opinion on and why you want it. For example, if you find that you’re struggling as a leader to keep your workers delivering on time and on budget, ask pointed questions that may help you identify where you could improve. Some questions that could be asked might be:
- Do you believe I establish realistic timelines or goals, etc.?
- Are you subordinates clear about what is needed and why? (e.g. are they paying too much attention to details they don’t need to, are they having to research to find answers because they don’t understand, etc.)
- Does my team have adequate resources/support? (e.g. Is their workload too much? Are some hindering the work of others, even if that’s coming from another department, etc.)
- Am I aware of what’s going on around me and why/why not? (e.g. could I be contributing in some way such as not getting involved with conflicts when I should, out of the office too much, not addressing customer issues, etc.)
Step Five: Look for Ways to Improve
Many leaders plateau because they think they’ve learned everything they need to know. Create an atmosphere for yourself where you will be surrounded by leaders who inspire you. Do this by watching videos, reading books, or attending conferences. Don’t neglect the more personal interactions as well. Observe your mentor or set up meetings with a leadership coach. Always be on the lookout for ways to improve.
Step Six: Measure Your Progress
Many well-meaning plans for improvement are abandoned halfway through. Fight against this temptation by setting a review date for yourself. Based on your strategy, did you achieve your goal? If not, take some time to consider why and strategize how this can be avoided. If your plan was a success, what did you learn? How can you build upon this knowledge?
Step Seven: Repeat – With a New Plan
After assessing the outcome of your previous goal, establish a new plan for your next objectives. How can you improve and set your sights even higher? Repeat steps 3-7.
Making this process a part of your rhythm will not only heighten awareness of your employees’ needs, but it will also help you sharpen your company’s vision. The result is a more efficient, healthy company. After all, when you are enthusiastic and productive that will trickle down to your subordinates.
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