Do Less, Then Obsess
Moving Beyond Bandwidth Constraints and Striving for Excellence
By Roxanne Leone, Director, Marketing & Communications
I’ve been a marketer for over 20 years…and in my opinion only a select few of former employers have managed headcount optimally. Therefore, I’d like to share one piece of advice that helped me along the way: align yourself with top performers across the entire organization. It’s the key to shortening campaign timelines and driving success.
As a marketer or communications professional, you may agree that your role becomes critical only after other departments such as engineering deliver first — like sharing new product benefits and specifications for you to develop promotional materials. Depending on others can mean days, weeks or months of waiting for assets, and by the time they arrive, you’re already expected to have results in hand. Whether you’re flying solo, or leading a small team, bandwidth is likely your greatest challenge… but it doesn’t have to be.
I overcame bandwidth constraints by building camaraderie with colleagues across the entire organization that most resembled my perfectionist-like working style. As Morten Hansen documented in his best-selling book, Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More the people that outperform their colleagues are those that Do Less, Then Obsess. Based on his research, these people are able to set a few key priorities and do them exceptionally well.
I agree with Hansen’s research and always kept my priorities in check. So, whether I was tasked to lead a new product launch or secure attendees for a special event, I knew that when I didn’t have my own staff, I would have to broaden my reach. Until I could build a case for new headcount, I nurtured long-lasting relationships with these individuals. I counted on my extended team to shorten my marketing timelines as they related to sales materials, advertising, website development, and media relations.
By working diligently through this process I realized that securing headcount was not as critical as I had thought. By building relationships with mission-driven colleagues I was able to push off the immediate need for staffing, secure budget to grow the business and work my way up the corporate ladder.