Communication Leaders: 10 ‘Gut-Check’ Questions to Certify That You Need to Be Cloned

The new year is generally a creative and motivating time for communicators. In general, comms leaders get excited about setting new goals, reflecting on 12-month accomplishments, recognizing team achievements, and kicking off the new year with actionable ideas that result from freshly baked planning sessions.

At Trifecta Public Strategies, everyday we are meeting with current and potential clients, colleagues, partners and collaborators. We are listening to many of our corporate friends to find out what is new, where there is opportunity, and what issues need some ‘ICU-level’ attention.

Time and again these conversations lead down the same — familiar – path. Our clients need sophisticated, smart, action-oriented arms and legs. They want folks who have been in their shoes, who can hold their own in a meeting with a CEO and can get stuff done. They need strategists who can provide outside perspective, come to the table with a solid ‘yes’, and help them stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technology. 

Positioning programs and large product launches are a given, but at the end of the day, leaders want a clone. 

Clients want a partner they can trust, an advocate who won’t circumvent them or the team, and a confidant who will remain loyal to the strategy and committed to the partnership.

For many of you, we know that your plate is rich with solid strategy and creative ideas, but you need seasoned and responsive manpower to execute.

So how does a busy communications leader clone herself? Here are 10 ‘gut-check’ questions to demonstrate that you are ready for a clone ASAP.

  1. Have you realized that headcount isn’t going to get approved, but the work is piling up?
  2. If you asked for a time report from your current agency, would you recognize the name of every person on your account team?
  3. Do you have a reliable deputy who can take over anything, anytime, anywhere and who gives you regular peace-of-mind updates?
  4. Do you chuckle whenever anyone asks questions like, “Do you have a few minutes to meet? I’d like to pick your brain on something.”
  5. Are you worried that your smart, junior staff will leave because you do not have the time to invest in mentoring and supporting their professional development?
  6. Could your team sustain a temporary leave of absence? For a week? For a month?
  7. How many issues and crisis events do you handle every day? How frequently do ‘firedrills’ derail your work-day or work-week?
  8. Do find that the best way to hammer through to-do lists is to by blocking off your calendar and whispering to your admin that you will be working in a conference room on the third floor?
  9. Do you spend most of your time answering emails and sitting in meetings, or trying not to multitask on your phone?
  10. Do you plan to take one or two Fridays off each month to use your ‘use it or lose it’ vacation/PTO time?

Take a close look at your answers. If your responses show that you are single-handedly holding together your communications team and there are not enough pressure release valves in sight – you need a clone, or at the very least, plug-and-play support partners who can serve as a close replica of you.

Trifecta Public Strategies was designed to deliver simple, nimble, smart and cost conscientious support to highly regulated and deeply technical organizations. We’ve been in your shoes and have proven methods to help communications teams lighten the load, regain sanity and enhance performance. Want to learn more? Shoot us a note to schedule time to chat.

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