The Effective Nonprofit Marketer – Part 2 – Contribution and Results

“All one has to do is to learn to say “no” if an activity contributes nothing.” ~ 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.


Focus on contribution and results

Yesterday I started a brief examination of the 5 principles or habits that effective executives share, and how a lack of self-awareness may be holding you, your department and organization back. During the next few days, my hope is that you recognize how each of these 5 principles are interrelated and how each cannot function efficiently without the others.  In yesterday’s post on time consciousness, I touched briefly upon elimination, delegation and prioritization.  Each of these time management tips, directly relate to Peter Drucker’s 2nd habit in which “effective executives focus on contribution and results”.

If there is one commonality among today’s marketers, it is the persistent drumbeat of a lack of time.  Yet, too often the greatest strain on our time is not the volume of requests for support that we receive, but rather a fruitless focus upon activity and effort.  Effective executives focus on results; results that are driven by evaluating each activities contribution to the mission of the organization.  Rather than aimlessly moving from request-to-request, effective marketers evaluate each request against the mission and objectives of the organization.

“All one has to do is to learn to say “no” if an activity contributes nothing.” ~ Peter Drucker

As a communicator, or marketer, the worst position that you can put your organization in, is too creative an environment in which your work flow is reactive.  Effective marketers set priorities based upon the strategic plan of the organization, adopt a “first things first” mentality, and adhere to this principal.  At the heart of every project they evaluate is the question of whether the activity contributes to the mission of the organization. If a project contributes little or nothing to the organization, then it moves to the back of the line.

Establishing priorities based upon the strategic objectives of the organization is a step in the right direction, but as important is the need to measure results.  Through measuring the contribution of each activity, the effective marketer can focus on the activities that provide the greatest contribution to the organization; achieving higher levels of production while better managing workflow and increasing productivity.

Whereas evaluating time allows you to better manage yourself, focusing on contribution and results allows you to manage requests for support while maintaining a focus on what’s best for the organization.  So remember, just because someone else feels you are best-suited to handle a project, does not mean that you should blindly take it on.

“Productive work in today’s society and economy is work that applies vision, knowledge and concepts — work that is based on the mind rather than the hand.” – Peter Drucker


Jarid Brown is the owner of HCM Brown, a digital marketing & consulting firm in Springfield, IL, and the Director of Online Interactions for The Hope Institute for Children and Families. Connect with Jarid Brown on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

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