Monday, November 8, 2010

Leading and Influencing: Takeaways from @FortWorthPRSA October 2010

LeadershipImage by pedrosimoes7 via FlickrFrom the good grief, was this post ever going to get written? files, I'm finally getting to the write-up from the October Ft. Worth PRSA luncheon presentation.

The luncheon was part of a morning and lunch time workshop entitled "Leadership: How to Get a Seat at the C-suite Table," led by Dan Novak from TCU's Tandy Center on Executive Leadership. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend the lunch portion. (Judging by the interactive discussion and topics from the morning, it was pretty solid.)

As for the lunch, the leadership-oriented session was to learn how to have an authentic voice and a strong organizational/business culture that stands strong in the face of disaster or attack.

The best takeaways on leading and influencing (according to my scribbled notes):
  1. Be better at what you do.
  2. Success: You need to want to be a part of it.
  3. Client/Organization interaction via social media - You don't own your reputation.
  4. We need to have a voice that matters.
  5. Breakthrough organizations are more likely to anticipate and determine root causes of problems and not just reacting.
  6. Social network analysis can make networks visible thus make it actionable.
  7. The Org Chart is not the way organizations really function.
  8. We need to have the awareness within the org to understand the person(s) with knowledge and skills right for specific times of communication need.
  9. Successful organizations practice constant self-reflection and has a willingness to improve and learn.
  10. If I can think differently, I may be able to add more value and diagnose problems.
That last point about problem diagnosis came with a fascinating diagram that I've attempted to recreate

The reason I thought this concept diagram was so compelling was because it illustrated how we often deal with the symptomatic issues (i.e. perceived break-downs in communication) and not ever go back to check the causes to adapt and change.

There were a few other gems worth noting:

  1. "Closed" approach is no longer sustainable.
  2. Information flows in and out...with or without you.
  3. Establishing your voice.
  4. Listen to your employees
    - They have a voice
    - They want to be heard to tell their story
    - They want action/results
  5. Lead by collaborative influence across functional, social, demographic, and organizational boundaries [silos].
Leaders influence change through one of three ways: Power, Reason, or Re-education of beliefs, values, attitudes. As leaders in our organizations, PR people need to develop a different language and think in terms what truly matters to internal and external audiences. This will help our focus in being reputation defenders.

Everything you do [or not] sends a message. What gets your attention? Are you anticipating or reacting? As always, the comments are yours.
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