The Effective Nonprofit Marketer – Part 3 – Strengths

“To succeed in this new world, we will have to learn, first, who we are. Few people, even highly successful people, can answer the questions, Do you know what you’re good at? Do you know what you need to learn so that you get the full benefit of your strengths? Few have even asked themselves these questions.”  ~ Peter Drucker

Peter Drucker, one of the most influential writers on the subject of effective leadership and management, once discussed what he referred to as the 5 principles of the effective executive.  The book, “The Effective Executive”, was first published in 1967 but 45 years later the principal ideas of his writings are still relevant.  During the next week, I’ll touch upon these principles as they apply to today’s marketing, PR and communications professionals.

Effective executives build on strengths

In Part 2, we discussed the principle of focusing upon contribution and results.  So it goes without saying, that achieving the greatest results for your organization, requires the ability to focus upon your strengths and recognize your weaknesses.  Effective executives build organizational structures that focus upon the strengths of their employees with clear roles designed for each.

To often, we worry about a department or  persons weaknesses, but unless they are negatively impacting results, weaknesses do not matter.   Effective nonprofit marketers leverage the strengths of each team member to render weakness irrelevant.  Everyone has weaknesses, but the ability to acknowledge and manage those weaknesses is what sets successful marketers apart.

“Effective executives build on strengths – their own strengths, the strengths of their superiors, colleagues, and subordinates; and on the strengths in the situation, that on what they can do. They do not build on weaknesses. They  do not start out with the things they cannot do.” – Peter Drucker

Effective executives know how to identify and match the strengths of people to the appropriate job.  They hire and manage based upon great strengths, never striving to be everything to everyone.  Effective executives understand that we all have a few things that we excel at and leverages those abilities to maximize the benefit to the organization.  Decisions are based upon the strength of ability not the desire to be all to everybody.

For nonprofit marketing executives, departmental structure is not a luxury, but rather a necessity for effective communications.  Structuring departments to operate efficiently requires planning and structured roles.  Establishing those roles starts with hiring and carries through to organizational policies and procedures that support those roles.  Rather than hiring under the assumption that a candidate should know a little bit about everything, an organization is better served by hiring the best candidate based upon each job description.  Just as you wouldn’t want your accountant performing surgery, you would not hire a public relations professional to produce organizational videos.  By hiring the best candidate based upon a job function, you are subsequently establishing a role that plays on an individuals strengths.

After the hire, the effective nonprofit marketer focuses on their particular strengths. By focusing on strengths and eliminating or delegating weaknesses, you reduce stress and increase productivity.

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