Practice What I Preach

MH3 —  April 19, 2012

Lately Reverend Harrison has been monopolizing the pulpit.

With religious fervor, I have been sharing lengthy sermons to whatever congregational victim is within earshot. In some cases the congregation has been made up of my staff, my kids, their friends, my neighbours, my clients, my suppliers, my peers, my twitterverse, my conference audiences and my volunteer charity council colleagues.

Oh, and you.

These collective discourses have covered a wide variety of topics. I like to jump on the bandwagon of various management, marketing and leadership trends. Want to preview my next leap? Clean out my recycling bin and see what magazine I just read. Scroll through my Firefox history and track the sites and discussion groups I have visited. Hijack my iPhone and see the tweets consumed.

Or you can just sit back and listen to the rabble babble that comes out of my mouth. I consider myself a great parrot. I read everything. Distill it into a few
short sounds. Then squawk like mad in a convincing enough manner that perhaps some people feel I’m an expert.

If you followed my flight pattern over the course of this week, you would have heard me encouraging my team to release their entrepreneurial talents on every project they tackle. Then you would have heard me urging a charity I volunteer for to push its brand revitalization project to the utmost limit to be able to play in today’s highly competitive world of cause marketing. You would have witnessed me telling another charity CEO who I support that social media can drive business results. In between, I was providing feedback to a team member about the value of keeping and reviewing a daily and weekly task list. Especially the magic of evaluating yourself and actually grading your own performance. Later with a blue chip client, my pontificating reached a high point as I talked about the need for us to make all program decisions based on the OGSM (email me if you don’t know what that stands for) priorities and strategies. Tomorrow, I will be sharing best practices in developing sponsorship proposals for sport tourism and sports event rights holders.

This is a pretty typical week for me. I’m a talking head.

But lately the shadow of doubt has crept into my head. In my mind, I’ve been tearing apart how our business works and ā€“ more importantly ā€“ how I work. Faced with a little adversity, I think this is a natural tendency for humans to follow.
I’m not too worried about our business. But I am not sure that I personally always earn a passing grade. For example, I used to be crazy anal about my daily priorities and following a TO DO list.

Then for about three months, I just spent all day reacting to email and phone calls. Candidly, I got nothing done! Nothing of real value anyway.

I’m constantly telling my clients to keep their digital assets up to date. Then I checked out my website. Hello 2009!

If I want you to keep score, I need to keep score.

If I want you to work more effectively, I need to eliminate the goop that gets in the way.

If I am preaching to you that the power of your brand is your highest equity, I better invest in my own brand.

The guilt is slipping away. Quietly replaced by the thrill of a challenge. This shoemaker’s kids are not going to wear worn shoes. I am going to turn my lens inward. Fix me and my brand. Then my work habits. Then my interpersonal habits.

Then, keep striving to improve our company. Our process. Our product. Our performance.

Then I can come see you.