A long time ago in a galaxy that looks a lot like this one, I had an intern from Webster University ask me a question. “What does it take to be successful in this field?” It took me a minute, then the thought crystallized in my mind – and I had the answer. At least, the answer for me. “Curiosity,” I replied.
That was probably six years ago – and the answer still fits. And I’m still teaching with that example.
Strategy is core to everything we do in strategic communications. It is the only way to develop effective tactics. It is the only way to develop links to a client’s business goals. So where does it come from?
In classrooms everywhere, students are handed the books to read, the syllabus of expectations, the schedule – the rules of engagement so to speak. They then graduate and enter the professional world. Let’s say they choose an agency like the one where I work, and off they go.
Is it our job as senior practitioners to hand them the books to read, quiz them to verify they read it, guide them through their days? When do they leave the tactical “nest” and stretch to strategy?
My answer still fits – when they demonstrate curiosity. When their work on a client project takes them into having more questions than answers and they seek those answers. When they consider a new pitch opportunity and think through not only what our team needs – but what the potential client needs from the presentation – and they deliver.
So what do you think it takes to be successful in your field?
Are you curious?