Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Taking it to the Next Level by Lori Wigler

A topic Beth and I have discussed is motivating a team and leading key people to the next level in their careers. While some things are easy to measure (e.g. understanding media and using tools), it’s difficult to teach someone how to think “big picture”, to be “strategic”, and to think from a “holistic brand perspective”. I've been struggling with this task as I prepare my Account Executive for the next level. Beth gave me great suggestions and I recently put one to immediate use with a twist!

If a team member's work is not up to par or has errors, rather than fixing it for them or pointing out the issues, inform the employee that it isn't client ready. Direct the employee to spend more time with the project to find the mistakes. For example, I recently set up time with my Account Executive for something I call “Supervisor School”. I gathered a few recently completed emails or projects which I had revised. We spent about an hour going through four examples and talked about why I made revisions from a bigger picture perspective. Some of my key rules:
  • Always ask why: we often are working at such a fast pace that we become task oriented vs. thinking about the big picture. You should attain the objective and end goal for each project. This will ensure the employee is always thinking about the next steps and will ask the right questions.

  • 5 W’s (who, what, where, when, why & how): think back to elementary school--does the final project address all of these key points clearly? For example, who is the consumer/demo? What is the objective? How will we achieve it? These are basics, but are imperative for discussions.

  • Get back to the clients' initial requests: have we answered it in the simplest terms? For example, we were asked for cancellation dollars and the AE provided a very detailed spreadsheet that highlighted by quarter, media type, etc. However, it failed to include a bottom line. While all the details were pertinent, we could have provided this as back-up and simply provided the bottom line amount to most efficiently answer the initial question.

This process helped set the precedence for my Account Executive of what the next level entails. I also made her aware that in the future, she should expect that I wouldn’t fix her work and instead have her spend more time with it. This process allowed me to set up my expectations upfront. My AE’s reaction to “Supervisor School” was incredibly positive. It was clear that I was invested in her growth and wanted to see her succeed. I have seen immediate positive changes in her work.

No comments: