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  • LEDE 2011: Day 2 of fall leadership training starts with strategic planning

  • Canton Repository Executive Editor Jeff Gauger takes LEDE 2011 participants through the less-than-glamorous sounding "Strategic Planning." Really, leadership is "performance art."

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  • Canton Repository Executive Editor Jeff Gauger takes LEDE 2011 participants through the less-than-glamorous sounding "Strategic Planning." Really, leadership is "performance art," Gauger said.
    Step 1: Thinking
    Strategic planning starts with thinking. As you grow in leadership and management responsibilities, you rely less on craft skills -- your ability to write, take photos, etc. -- and more on your mind, Gauger said. New managers need to give themselves the license to think, and not think of time thinking as wasted time or unproductive time.
    Then again, grand ideas never go anywhere if you can't figure out how to move a team, Gauger said. And that's where performance art kicks in.
    "When you explain a goal to a group, you need to exhibit or fake confidence," Gauger said. "If the team is nervous, it helps them hear your message."
    Before you go before the group, you need to discipline yourself to define your goal clearly, and make sure your goals align with broader organizational goals.
    Step 2: The People Part
    Once you've developed a rough draft/timeline of what you want to accomplish, you need to determine who will help you achieve the goals. These are your champions. This group will include editors, but it needs to include the natural leaders who will do the work, too. Those people will be your models.
    You might speak privately with these champions before you take your message to the group to work out the logistics.
    When you're ready to speak to the group about a goal, practice delivering your opening remarks first. Then, take your presentation -- performance art -- and deliver it with confidence and passion. Give the group a chance to brainstorm, which respects people's need to get their heads around a subject. Then, you'll assign responsibilities, describe accountability and set the metrics. How will you measure success?
    Next step: Get the team moving quickly toward the goal to keep that momentum.
    Depending on the project, you might set interim deadlines and use communication tools, such as touchstone meetings, which occur at a specified time each week, to offer feedback and make adjustments.
    Once the project launches, you'll want situational follow-through. Step in when you need to.
    Step 3: Launch
    When a new project launches, you'll want to plan like crazy and expect the unexpected.
    Step 4: The Fun Part
    Be sure to celebrate success.
     
     
     
     

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