Entering into a first time leadership position can be a challenging time. It’s important to have something to double down on, so that everything swirling around you doesn’t take you off your game.
You need a big idea.
Sometimes that will be laid out before you (ex. inheriting a key project from a predecessor), and in many cases you’ll need to identify what that big idea is. That’s the fun part!
Think of it this way – what one thing can you/your team do, such that by doing it, everything else becomes irrelevant? Talking to your boss, your staff, cross-functional stakeholders, industry news groups and others will help you generate insights and provide a good place to start.
Once you have the idea and there is initial positive feedback to move forward, how do you make it come alive? In other words, how do you make sure your big idea gains massive traction and becomes a living, breathing thing?
You link it to a bigger project.
The famous marketing consultant Jack Trout espoused the notion of swimming with the stream, not against it. For example, let’s say you are a first time sales manager. You have an idea to create a unique event that can attract a number of keys clients and potentially drive significant sales growth in an underperforming territory. Your boss likes it, but also knows it will require some additional funding to pull off. You can position it as a simple, one time event OR you can link it to something bigger. You also know that your company’s focus at the corporate level right now is innovation. That’s the theme this year and everyone is talking about it, including your president.
Boom! You sell your big idea as a way to further innovate and create value in an otherwise flat growth territory. It isn’t really about the event anymore, but rather as a way to innovate. Your big idea now has a significantly better chance of coming to life.
It often doesn’t take much money or effort to do this. It just requires paying attention and a little thinking time to determine how your project can tie into a bigger theme and ride that wave.
To your success,