Heading in the Right Direction

Heading in the Right Direction

In my role as CEO of Partnership Group – Sponsorship Specialists®, I have played a leadership role—not only with the company, but also with our clients. A great deal of the time I spend providing our consulting/mentoring and advisory services is around leadership. Sure, it is about sponsorship, but most often, it is with people in our industry who are ready to take the next step in their careers, or have already taken that step and need ongoing direction and support for a few months or up to a year.

Many clients (and others) approach me to ask what steps they need to take to grow and develop in the industry. Many are looking for direction and guidance. Also, many are looking at those same objectives, not necessarily for themselves, but for their organizations. They want to know what their property or brand should do to take their sponsorship programs to the next level. They are looking for direction and guidance to grow their organizations. I love doing this work, and watching people and organizations grow.

I try, though not always directly, to work with these clients in investigating two key areas for their personal growth success or that of their organizations.

1. What do you seek to achieve? This means: What is your goal as a person? Is it to move to a larger more dynamic organization in a more focused role, or perhaps shift from a focused role at a large organization to more of a leadership role encompassing several roles, such as a GM or ED in a smaller organization? For an organization, is it to increase sales? Is it to generate better ROI? One client’s goal was to be recognized as the leading property within their sector in sponsorship. What is your timeline to achieve these goals? For my clients and me, all of these fit into the question: “What are you trying to achieve?”

2. Where am I today? This is always important to assess before your start on a given direction. It allows you to set milestones and measure success. Too often, we head out in a direction to reach an objective, but fail to know where we were to begin with. We may already be 90% of the way there. If so, the path to success is different than if you are a long way from the objective. This means assessing existing relationships as well. Where do I stand with my clients? With my superiors or subordinates? How are my peer relationships? What about within the industry or sector—how are my relationships? This goes for both you and the organization. Are you focused on “you” (you the individual or you the organization) versus your partners and stakeholders? If so, that will need to change. Success comes to those who focus on the well-being of others and overall versus your specific goals and objectives.

I regard these areas as the basis for any personal or organizational development. Success, as I noted, lies in the ability of the person/organization to know where they want to go, where they are today, who can get them there, and what are they doing for those people/organizations to enhance them, which in turn, will allow you to grow. I remember having a boss at Red Lobster Canada, where I was general manager of a location, who once said that my job was to make my area supervisor look great. If I could do that, they would promote him, which would create an opening for me. But before I could take his job, I needed to work on my assistant manager to ensure someone could fill my position, because he would not promote me unless I had a replacement. That brought everything into perspective!

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