Busy doesn’t even begin to describe how 2012 has started for me. And the busier I get, the more narrowly I focus on the tasks in front of me—and not the big picture.
My responsibilities as Interim Director of Communications at a large nonprofit are growing every day—and so is the number of meetings I attend. I usually come to meetings ready to dive in to the work. Take notes, identify and agree on tasks, organize the tasks into lists, get the tasks done. But in the rush I often forget that I’m not just paid to get tasks done; I’m also supposed to be a trusted adviser.
If I put my “strategist” hat on, instead of my “worker bee” hat (lame metaphor alert), then I remember that the most important thing to know is what impact a marketing effort needs to have. Sometimes the goal is very concrete: “Enroll 250 people in financial education classes.” Sometimes it is less specific: “Raise awareness of the need for more supportive housing services to help end homelessness.”
This seems so painfully obvious when I write it down. But in our do-everything-and-do-it-now work culture, I often put the cart before the horse. I automatically start talking about brochures, web pages, Facebook pages, media releases, and email campaigns.