Video: Step 3 Message
To begin Step 3, please watch the video above.
Before you start talking to any of your stakeholders, you’ll want to clarify your initial message. Crafting and deploying your message has to do with the words you use (and don’t) and the actions you take (and don’t). Your message is the keystone of your communication. It should be enough to satisfy your key stakeholders’ curiosity while optimizing your opportunities for learning.
If you’re not sure about your entry message at this point, stop and think it through. You don’t have to stick with it. Most likely you won’t because it will evolve to become more precise as you learn. But you must have a point of view going in if you’re going to lead.
Utilize New Job Prep Worksheet #3 in your work packet.
By working through this topic, you will craft your message- you’re starting point that is going to position you in others’ minds by what you say and do. You will also decide your platform for change, vision, and call to action.
Reference the guidelines below to help you complete the worksheet.
Additional Option: Download and “play” this PowerPoint (hit “play from the start” in the “slide show” tab at the top of PowerPoint) to help you fill in Worksheet #3 on the managing your message): Step3-Message.ppt
1. Platform for Change
Write down why the people you’re trying to influence can’t keep doing what they are doing; why people should want to follow your new way.
o Whenever possible, this should be a change in the outside world – a new regulation, a new competitor, a market or consumer change.
o Like melting ice underneath the feet of a polar bear family.
Write down a concrete picture of success for the people you’re trying to influence; what things will look like for your followers if they follow you.
o It’s not your vision. It’s them envisioning themselves in a better future.
o Like the polar bear family safely relocated and enjoying themselves on solid land.
3. Call to Action
Write down the steps all can take to move towards the vision; how you can make things happen together.
o Like the polar bears swimming over to the solid land.
Pull this all together into a headline or bumper sticker.
o “Stay ahead of the curve” was a good example for an organization that was in good shape but had strong competitors closing the gap.
o Look to your vision or call to action for ideas on this. This is worth spending time on to get vaguely right.
5. Communication Points
Write down the 3-5 main communication points you’re going to drive through the organization.
o This generally looks a lot like the call to action, though could echo the platform for change or vision.
6. Variations and Uses
Think through and write down how you’re going to use this message with different stakeholders over time.
This step is all about vision and preparation on how to handle the Fuzzy Front End.
Action 1: Make sure you got this right. Take another moment and make sure you have clarified what really matters and why to you and to your stakeholders. Your message feeds your story and all your communication. You must get this right to have a chance of getting the rest right. When we go over your plan together, this will be a major focus of our conversation.
- Read George’s New Leader’s Playbook Articles on Forbes.com. You may find The Five Most Important Questions For BRAVE Leaders helpful at this point and also how the Red Cross’s Charlie Shimanski drives communication at the heart of the message. or Why Organizations Get The Employee Engagement They Deserve.
- See second chapter of The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan on Leverage the Fuzzy Front End and the fourth chapter on Activate Ongoing Communication.