Achieving liftoff

It takes a lot of power to escape the gravitational pull of all the stuff that tries to hold us back.

It takes a lot to break free of the urgent issues that suck up our time and energy.

It takes a lot to push beyond traditional tactical roles in an effort to move into a position of strategic importance.

It takes velocity to escape the bonds of the urgent and travel to the lofty heights of the important.

It’s hard to help clients rethink their approaches to marketing — to think beyond brochures and websites and press releases, to think in terms of audience and message and outcomes.

It’s tough to say no to people who are used to getting their way.

It’s tough to be both a service provider and a strategic partner within an institution.

It’s hard to set priorities.

These are just a few realities that have set in this week as the newness of 2010 begins to fade into the past. These are lessons I thought I’d learned before. But I’m re-learning them. Some days, I re-learn them several times.

But if I’m going to move myself and the organization I lead from the tactical to the strategic, then I must learn to do the hard stuff and to reach that escape velocity needed to soar.

Postscript, Jan. 23, 2010: This morning I read a quote in John C. Maxwell’s book Make Today Count that succinctly captures everything I tried to express in this post. It comes from Mike Abrashoff, author of the book It’s Your Ship:

Up is not an easy direction. It defies gravity, both cultural and magnetic.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

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Author: andrewcareaga

Higher ed PR and marketing guy. Communications director for Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) in Rolla, Missouri, USA. Slow runner, mediocre guitarist, lover of music and puns, and an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. I blog and Tweet about #highered, #music, #gocards and #random stuff.

6 thoughts on “Achieving liftoff”

  1. Have you been eavesdropping on my office? Just yesterday I was stressing not to let the urgent overtake the important. I didn’t phrase it as poetically as this post, but you’re definitely reading my mind as of late.

  2. I soooo am there. Very hard indeed. I’m learning you either get discouraged, or play the game. A little give and a little take. Thats about all you can do. There is no sea change…..

  3. It is defiinitely a hard game to play, as we here this all of the time. It is a step many institutions have a hard time switching to too. So both the good and bad news is, your not alone. Keep on chugging down the strategic path and eventually more will get on board.

  4. Thanks for the commiseration, folks. It’s nice to know I’m not alone. And to know I’m in great company, for you guys are among the leading thinkers and bloggers in the higher ed sphere.

    We’ll make change happen. But as Jess says, it may not be a sea change. But it will come. Keep chipping away.

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