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Proactive Management For Personal And Team Development

The last few months have been hard for everyone, many managers have had the hardest time, supporting their teams and supporting themselves through the crisis. 

There has been no guide on how to handle this situation or be great for everyone. 

The last couple of months have been difficult, there have been reduced team sizes, furloughing and redundancies alongside having to be scrappy, survive and drive the company forward and no doubt you have had to cut your marketing and growth spend with budget cuts.

You could be one of the lucky ones and saw your company and teams performance actually thrive. 

The near future is going to be another challenge but one which should be clearer and offers the chance to step up and help develop those around you.

It is imperative to use your EQ and IQ with this exercise!

Be Proactive 

In the coming weeks, it is essential for Marketing and Growth leads to step up and drive personal and professional development of their team members.

Q4 is often the most important period for businesses, ending the year hitting or succeeding the annual goals, seeing your plan and all the hard work pay off is one of the treats towards Christmas.
Something that is important towards the end of Q4 is boosting the team’s confidence into a new year, this provides a the right foundation to develop the individual and team skills and start the new year in high spirits and confidence to develop again.

Mentor and Coaching

As previously mentioned in mentor or coach it will be essential to arrange either an internal mentor or coach or bring in the right external coach or mentor.

Professional development should be something that is automatically thought of and prioritised, unfortunately speaking to a number of Marketers and Growth practitioners recently this has not been the case.  

I challenge you to set up 2021 for success, work with your team members and help them decide what they require. 

The new year is often when staff members question their role within organisations and look to move on, ‘new year, new start’, if you would like to keep your team together and make your team members feel valued, get ahead and use the following method. 

Question Yourself Before The Team

Before you look to ask a series of questions, take a step back and run a SWOT analysis on the team, the team members and the supporting agencies.

Here are a list of important questions to ask yourself about you and the team:

  • Are there core skill gaps? 
  • Are there obvious steps you can take to develop out your team?
  • Are there easy lunch and learns you can set up?
  • Do we have the right staff and agency mix? 
  • Could we retender our agency work?
  • If we were to shuffle the pack what role would benefit us most? 
  • Who is the internal influencer we need to keep motivated? 
  • Can we arrange guest speakers or remote sessions to benefit the team? 
  • Would an internal conference be beneficial? 
  • Which teams aren’t working closely together? 
  • How can I bring the teams closer together as a department? 
  • Could you arrange a captain and champion system? 
  • If we were to lose one team member, who would it be and what would be the impact? 

These are important questions to answer honestly, I would recommend that you run through twice on your own and then run through with someone on a similar level to you to get honest and direct feedback.

Remember these questions are for the benefit of the team and the team’s performance, this, in turn, will help to develop the team, while you are helping individuals to develop and where possible share knowledge and round out specialists, and help to improve important generalists.

Questions To Ask Your Team Members

  • What skills do you feel you can work on?
  • What marketing or growth skills do you feel our team could develop on? 
  • Where do you see yourself in: 
    • Six months? 
    • One year? 
    • Three years? 
  • Do you see yourself as a generalist or specialist? 
    • Would you like to change this? 
  • If there was one change you wanted to make about your role what would it be and why?
  • Where do you see your future laying within Marketing or Growth?
  • Is there a specific Marketing discipline you would love to learn more about?
  • Are you self learning currently?
    • Is there a development area we can support you on?  

Once you have collated these answers and understand the direction you would like to take the team and develop out your team members, action these, start with smart internal steps to help build momentum, create milestones so you understand how far you and the team have come, revisit your budget and where possible or relevant reassign these to external coaches.

Personal Development As A Marketing Leader 

Question: How would I benefit from these questions and where can I improve and develop?

This process will help you develop as a people manager and coach but also as a leader.

Developing out your team and team members do take time but it is invaluable for the team’s cohesion, for team members development and for the company’s performance. 

You will see bumps, however, you will see improvements short, mid and long term and celebrate wins, micro wins all roll up to huge change. 

Take the challenge. I dare you. 

Blog Note: This article was written for Heads of, Director and VP / C Suite members but importantly many senior managers and upcoming stars can use this framework too and should openly and proactively go and speak to the bosses about rolling this out.

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