Posts Tagged ‘buy-in’


PRSA Counselors Academy: Mark McClennan, Schwartz Communications, Interviewed By Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Transcript -

JOHNA BURKE: Hello, everyone, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and I’m at the PRSA Counselors Academy. And we’re here with Mark.

Mark, will you introduce yourself?

MARK McCLENNAN: Sure thing, Johna. It’s Mark McClennan. I’m a senior vice president at Schwartz Communications.

BURKE: Mark, now, you just gave a session on growing your talent from within. Can you give a couple of the takeaways, for those people that couldn’t be here, of how they can do that at home?

McCLENNAN: I’d be happy to. When you’re talking about growing the talent from within, there’s really three fundamental things you need to make sure you do. From point one, you need to make sure you establish buy-in to the company vision and the power of folklore from day one. Make sure people understand where your company is, where they fit within the company and how they can grow within the company.

Point two is you need to make sure you’re constantly giving them opportunities to fail. I mean, fundamentally, the only way to grow your supervisors, your vice presidents, is you encourage people to make mistakes and learn from them. You know, give them the maximum responsibility at the earliest possible moment. Eighty percent of the time it’s going to work well for you, 20 percent of the time it’s not necessarily going to work as well, and those are the learning experiences. And you need to make that commitment because short term there may be an impact, long term you’re going to get a significant ROI. And that’s how you’re going to grow the people that know your company, know what you need to succeed, and they can help drive things forward.

And finally, you need to make sure, when it comes to training, that you don’t do the work for your employees. You need to give them the opportunities to begin the discussion. You need to–when you get a horrible press release, you can’t rewrite it. What you need to fundamentally do is figure out ways to help them through an…(unintelligible)…process to fix it. Ask them during every team meeting, `What do you see as the trends? What do you think we should do?’ When they come to you with questions, don’t answer the question. The first thing you should say is, `What do you think? How do you think we shoot–we should do that?’ And by doing that, you’re going to have people aligned with the company vision, you’re going to give them the confidence they need to succeed, and you’re going to really help develop the future leaders that will help your agency grow.

BURKE: Mark, that’s great. Thank you so much.

McCLENNAN: Thanks so much.

BURKE: And where can people find you on the web and in social media?

McCLENNAN: Sure. Well, there’s a lot of places there, but basically schwartz-pr.com, and our blog is Crossroads, so schwartz-pr.com/crossroads. And you can find me at @mcclennan at Twitter.

BURKE: Great. Thank you so much, Mark.

McCLENNAN: Thanks. 

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