I’m very glad I was able to attend a portion of the Public Relations Society of America’s 2014 PRSA Midwest District Conference in Springfield, Missouri, on Thursday. I’m especially happy that I was able to hear kickoff keynote speaker Jim Lukaszewski’s terrific presentation on gaining influence. Jim is head of the Lucaszewski group and a big name in the PR and crisis communications fields. He shared a lot of knowledge and great ideas with us today. But the best takeaway of Jim’s talk, for me, was his five-step personal action plan. (And wouldn’t you know it? Those five steps fit perfectly with this blog’s Friday Five format.)
Since Jim so graciously shared his wisdom with us, I don’t think he’d mind my freely passing it along to all of you. It’s a pretty good template that I think would apply to fields outside of PR, marketing, branding and strategic communications. So even if you’re not in the PR, marketing or branding business, you might find Jim’s plan adaptable to your vocation — and/or your life outside of work.
Jim Lukaszewski’s five-step personal action plan
- Broaden your interests. In the context of the PRSA conference, Jim asked us to “Broaden your interest beyond the media.” Our organizations’ leaders have broader interests. So should we.
- Teach yourself to ask these five questions at the end of every day:
- What do I know now that I didn’t know at the start of this day?
- What is the most important thing I’ve learned or witnessed today?
- What is the most interesting thing I’ve learned or witnessed today?
- Who did I help today (and how)?
- What new questions came up today that I need to find the answers to?
- Teach others. Along those lines, Jim also suggests we find compliment those who learn from us. Beyond that, we should strive to find someone to compliment and write that person a personal, handwritten note. He strives to do this three times per month.
- Study leadership. Read biographies or books about leaders who interest you, regardless of their field or discipline. But don’t limit your study to books. Study the leaders around you, including those in your organizations and in organizations you’re affiliated with (as a volunteer, for example).
- Do and say things that matter. Jim suggests we learn to moderate the suggestions we make to those who seek our counsel. We should keep our advice “simple, sensible, positive and constructive,” and make sure it helps our leaders achieve their objectives as well as the objectives of our organizations.
A good plan — for work and for life.
Follow Jim Lukaszewski on Twitter at @JimLukaszewki.