For four weeks, I have the pleasure of being in Rochelle Moulton’s inaugural Instant Authority program with a group of talented professionals from firms big and small. The goal of the group is to parlay our talents, experiences and point of view into a one-of-a-kind platform that delivers “instant authority.” Our first task is to articulate and share our “manifesto.”
If you are unfamiliar with a manifesto (outside of a communist worldview), this description from the ArtofManliness.com offers an excellent summary: “The word manifesto traces its roots to the Latin manifestum, which means clear or conspicuous. A manifesto is defined as a declaration of one’s beliefs, opinions, motives, and intentions. It is simply a document that an organization or person writes that declares what is important to them. A manifesto functions as both a statement of principles and a bold, sometimes rebellious, call to action. By causing people to evaluate the gap between those principles and their current reality, the manifesto challenges assumptions, fosters commitment, and provokes change.”
Moulton says, “You need to give it the light of day, talk about it, share it, use it to discover and connect with your people.” The manifesto starts by completing a (deceptively) simple statement: “I believe…
Here is what I believe:
- If the CEO or managing partner isn’t in, move on.
- Intelligent people prefer to agree rather than to obey.
- Professional firms are ideal organizations, but, like capitalism, they are far from perfect.
- Marketing is about strategic impact—not “making it pretty.”
- Market opportunities come and go. Brand relevance ebbs and flow. Competencies grow and die. Culture remains.
- Dysfunctional cultures, low expectations and ignorance kill Marketing’s potential.
- Integrity, trust, and quality are table stakes, not differentiators.
- Character drives trust. Virtue drives character.
- People don’t differentiate you, culture does.
- Invest in human capital not HR. The former is about potential, the latter about risk.
- Issue THEN Solution
- As Twain said, “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”
- Liking an Apple commercial does not make you a marketing expert.
- “Grow everything” is not a strategy.
- Align your market opportunity, core capabilities and brand relevance; otherwise you just squander time, money and resources. Yours probably aren’t aligned.
- Strategy > Operations > Delivery—not the other way around.
- Own the attribute that others are afraid to, like prudence.
- Brand the firm AND the people. They are symbiotic—not synergistic.
- Conflict between Sales and Marketing is not a problem to be solved. It is a tension to be managed.
- Don’t confuse a channel and a fad.
- One successful client engagement does not a product make.
- SOMETHING never changes EVERYTHING.
- Get the right people on the bus.
- If you think Marketing doesn’t understand your business, ask yourself, “Why?”
- At Marketing’s current contribution to growth, most firms would be better off just having one corporate communicator and one proposal writer.
- The tyranny of choice kills firms.
- Stop trying to be like Apple. Be like you.
- Metrics are for improvement, not blame.
- Don’t be a hierarchical asshole. It’s about contributions not titles.
- Take the prudent path, not the one of least resistance.
- The strategic wheel gets the grease, not the squeaky one.
- Don’t blame Marketing for partner shortcomings.
- It is about the buyer’s journey, not your sales process.
- If you don’t ask for feedback, you are a chicken shit. Grow up.
- Stop trying to figure out if you need to be more strategic or more tactical. The answer is: Yes.
- Know the difference between consensus and groupthink.
- Confront your fear and it loses its control over you.
- Read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It will make you a better spouse, parent and leader.
- The specialist wins.
- If you are coming ungrounded, listen to U2’s Stuck in a Moment.
- Rebrand at strategic inflection points, not because “It’s time.”
- The point at which you are getting sick of your marketing messages is the point your target audience is beginning to hear them.
- Using buzzwords doesn’t make you strategic.
- Know your market AND yourself. They are probably different.
- “Prudence has two eyes, one that foresees what one has to do, the other that examines afterword what one has done.” St. Ignatius
- Courage and comfort are mutually exclusive.
- Where you cannot be transformation lays.
- If you aren’t making people mad, you aren’t doing anything.
- Discipline, not rigidity.
- Keep showing up.
- It’s a culture, not a brand. Get that straight.
- It is not what you say; it is what you do.
- Mindfulness, always mindfulness.
- Higher expectations, higher impact.
Oh, I almost forgot, Be prudent.
Learn more about Rochelle Moulton at http://www.rochellemoulton.com or @consultingchick