There are many ways a marketing program can go wrong. Perhaps an email is sent to the wrong audience segment. Or perhaps a budget shortfall derails a campaign before it is finished. Maybe your audience doesn’t respond to your messaging the way you expected. Many work-related challenges involve factors beyond our control. But it’s more common that we sabotage our own efforts. You know you’re in trouble when one or more of the following conditions, mindsets, behaviors or events creep up.
1. You miss deadlines. Missing deadlines can be disastrous for your career but to you personally as well. If not handled properly, missed deadlines destroy trust and credibility. To avoid this scenario, calendar target completion dates and action steps along the way. If you run into a problem or anticipate being late, own it. Then, talk with people who will be affected by it and ask for help.
2. You don’t do your homework. Very often projects or other work activities require preparation, research, collaboration with others and independent “think” time. If you skip these steps, you won’t be ready to focus on the challenge, opportunity or issue at hand. The solution is to build preparation time into the work schedule, and make a list of questions or issues you want to address.
3. You do not communicate well or often. Communications is the name of the game in marketing. Whether this refers to you as an individual or you as a company, evaluate your ability and performance in this area. In addition, whether the issue is communicating internally or externally, frequency of communications, messaging and the mediums you use are all critical for success. If one or more falls short, it sabotages marketing success.
4. You do not have an approved project or overall marketing plan. This is a recipe for disaster. When companies operate in a vacuum, they find it more difficult to achieve and/or assess their success. They miss opportunities that enable the competition to gain market share. These companies lose the momentum that comes from complete team engagement and alignment. They lose sight of their vision and mission as well as the importance of providing total support to their business development teams. The resolution is clear cut. Create a plan that includes strategies, tactics, budget, schedule, assignment of responsibilities, and methods of tracking projects and the results they generate.
5. You are at risk to the perils of internal politics. In every organization, people vie for power, authority and influence. Sometimes this will put you at odds with your managers, peers or other associates. Since the impact can have significant repercussions, consider these actions to address spoken and unspoken conflict: identify the issue at hand; create a list of pros and cons for the positions that exist; assess attitudes, discuss without emotional involvement; acknowledge others and see what type of compromise you can find. Determine when to observe, when to act and when to speak truth to power.
Self-sabotage prevents you from performing at your full potential. It also can have a negative impact on the perceptions of colleagues and customers. With self-awareness, determination and practice, it is possible to minimize negative mindsets, behaviors and situations. When it comes to undermining yourself, you are both the cause and the solution. By successfully managing these situations, you allow yourself and your organization to maximize your greatest qualities.