Now’s the time when many of us review our annual marketing plans and wonder how we’ve only accomplished one-third of what we set out to achieve.
It’s not that we don’t have a solid, strategic plan. We do. It’s not that we haven’t set well-aligned tactics and a deliberate timeline. We have. It’s also not because we don’t have the infrastructure to support our implementation. We do.
In fact, we’re busier than ever and yet didn’t accomplish all of our key initiatives. So, what happened? If you can relate, it might be that you’re a leader stuck in a “whirlwind,” coaching your team to “not lose” rather than to win.
I read the book “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, and Jim Huling. It changed the way I lead. And the way we work at my credit union.
The marketing and business development teams I have the privilege of leading have always been cohesive units that set their sights high and soar. But even this high achieving group has stepped up its game since reading the book.
We prioritize, communicate, and execute with a renewed focus, greater engagement, stronger commitment, and an enhanced sense of purpose. The real enemy of executing our priorities, the authors say, is our day jobs—the “whirlwind” of activities we do to keep things running day-to-day.
Oft en this “whirlwind” zaps our energies and devours our time, making it difficult to execute anything new or focus on our most important strategic priorities.
One senior executive interviewed in the book described the “whirlwind” like this: “We don’t have dragons swooping down and knocking us off our priorities. What we have are gnats. Every day we have gnats getting in our eyes and when we look back over the last six months, we haven’t accomplished any of the things we said we were going to do.”
So, how did we break free from the “whirlwind” and rid ourselves of the “pesky gnats,” at least for a portion of our day?
We had to change our game plan from doing what was needed to “not lose,” to doing what was needed to win.
We practiced four disciplines:
What will you achieve in 2013? Will you lead your marketing and business development teams to a banner year? Ordinary coaches think merely of how not to lose. Extraordinary coaches plan and play to win. Which are you?
MICHELLE HUNTER is senior vice president, marketing & development for Credit Union of Southern California, Brea, and chair of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council. For more information on the Councils, visit cunacouncils.org.