Some people look to their own managers to mentor them: there are two downsides to this. First, some managers are not good mentors: they’re interested more in results or getting things done than they are in coaching or giving advice. Second, by finding a mentor who is not your boss, you can get advice on your boss’ behavior. If you find the term mentor goofy, fine. Pick someone who you respect who has experience as a manager, and say “Hey – if I buy you lunch once a month, will you give me some advice on how to manage people?” That’s it. Friends can work, but again, the further removed your mentor is from your current inner circle, the better perspective they’ll be able to give you on what you’re doing.
This is a great list to start with. I have also found that there are significant events in organizational life that cause change to become less academic and much more urgent. One of these is the need to replace older IT applications programs or packages with integrated business applications. This transition requires a business to understand the internal business logic at a much more detailed level and therefore presents problems for change managers and leaders. My own leadership journey started with John Kotter’s first leadership book – A Force for Change – and has informed my life and leadership for the past two decades. It all has resulted in a new book, “Maximizing Return on Investment Using ERP Applications” (John Wiley & Sons, September 2012) that takes these change leadership principles and applies them to organizational transformation that is necessitated by the large investments in these programs.
The answers to all of these, but critically #2 and #3, are crucial to devising an effective marketing program for your products and services. They are also at the heart of what our Discovery Process is designed to help you clarify. Without them, your marketing dollars will likely be spent on tactical experimentation. Tactical experiments can work, but they are not the smartest use of a limited pool of marketing money. They are, in fact, much better when conducted in the context of a strong strategic hypotheses about who your core consumer really is and what he or she REALLY values, and exactly how your offer meets them there.