I haven’t posted in a while, but I’m back and very excited to announce a new job – as Director of Communications for the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. My last job left me with a great deal of satisfaction with respect to the staff I got to manage each day and the work we turned out at such an extraordinarily high level in spite of extremely limited resources.
My new job isn’t without its limitations – we don’t have endless resources, there is a small team and there is an enormous volume of work to do. The list is long, starting with the development of a brand strategy, then an entirely new visual identity, a social media strategy, new website, media relations plan all bundled into a rather ambitious communications plan to support our new Executive Director (CEO).
So all this and I’m still enthusiastic about my new role – must be the ‘honeymoon period’ right? Not in the least. I’m very excited to work with an organization that embraces strong leadership, hire’s great people (more than just me of course!) and empowers individuals. So far, things are taking shape to create realistic goals and support execution. Previous stops along the way in my career have not had the same determined approach to success.
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~Gandhi
My experience shows me that in absence of a clear and focused set of goals, anything and everything becomes the goal. This is an exhausting approach to running an organization and it will burn out staff and burn through resources faster than goals can actually be achieved. As a leader, unless you’re a complete sociopath, the best resolution is throwing on the breaks and evaluating what must be done in relation to what we ‘want to be done’.
It takes a lot of courage, and frankly a leader in the situation is more likely than not at a psychological disadvantage if the strategy isn’t producing results. A recent Fast Company article detailed this perfectly suggesting that “…the great economic psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky summarized the behavior in their classic analysis of the psychology of risk: “A person who has not made peace with his losses is likely to accept gambles that would be unacceptable to him otherwise.”
No question, leadership isn’t easy and not everyone can perform well at the most senior levels of an organization however, an easy first step is creating an actionable, executable game plan that wont over tax staff and stretch resources too thin.