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The Business of Influence: Reframing Marketing and PR for the Digital Age by PHILIP SHELDRAKE

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Taking a Lead

The two most memorable quotes from probably the most famous leadership expert, Professor Warren Bennis, are96:

Leaders are people who do the right thing; managers are people who do things right. Both roles are crucial, but they differ profoundly. I often observe people in top positions doing the wrong things well.

And:

The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.

I see Influence Performance Management as a subset of Business Performance Management, but before we get to the management aspects let’s explore some of the ways our influence framework presents real opportunities for leadership. Taking the time to look at influence processes afresh prompts many questions that begin with what and why, for example and in no particular order:

  • Why is there too often a tension between marketing and PR; or worse, silence?
  • What is the point of questioning who ‘owns’ social media / SEO / social commerce / content, etc. – a debate that has consumed considerable attention and energy?
  • Why is customer service so separate from marketing and PR?
  • What’s it like to be one of our stakeholders, being influenced by us, being influenced by our competitors? And do they think they influence us?
  • Why do most PR consultants invest considerably more time getting the message out than getting the message in (or are directed as such)?
  • Why are those people who talk most often to customers and prospects less involved in product innovation and development than those who talk to such stakeholders ...

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