Steward Leadership: Three questions for clearly describing what you do

Posted by Matthew Thomas

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matthew-thomas-2One of the most basic marketing questions steward leaders ask is how we describe what we do to a potential client or customer. We have to be able to do this within the potential client's attention span - whether as an "elevator conversation" or as a more elaborated description.


I find that there are three basic questions steward leaders must ask to find the level of flexible clarity needed in a variety of settings:


  1. What problem(s) do I solve for a client / customer?
  2. How do I describe those solutions clearly?
  3. How do I describe the value I bring that will engage the client / customer?


Putting these three together will bring a lot of clarity and simplicity. Case in point: my own work of process consultation in organizational design is notoriously hard to describe to people outside the organizational design community. Part of this is because a lot of it seems so simple, yet hard to explain why expertise is needed. Moreover, there are a lot of stereotypes of management consultants that skew mindsets away from the reality of the work. For instance, the OfficeSpace question of "What do you actually DO here?" Steward leadership of time and clarity require cutting through these complexities to the basics.


Like what you're reading? Subscribe Now! Applying these three questions to myself, I was able to drill down to the following statement:


"I help leaders work through complex challenges so they can fulfill their mission with innovative excellence."


Working backwards from that statement, we can illustrate the questions:


Question 1: I help make complex situations simple and understandable for leaders of organizational systems so they can make sound decisions based on real and accurate information.


Question 2: I describe those solutions clearly not by mentioning the tools I use until the first statement has invited further elaboration: The tools are organizational design, financial strategy, and business planning, all within a needs-based, customized process, best suited to steward leaders who want to do good while doing well.


Question 3: The value I bring is innovative excellence - there will be something new, done well, within the values and priorities the leader and the leader's organization define.


How can we help?   Connect with Matt Thomas! The What statement, "I help leaders work through complex challenges so they can fulfill their mission with innovative excellence," is much clearer after answering the questions. It also leads to a How statement:


"We work with leaders to design processes to work through their specific challenges using the tools of organizational design, financial strategy, and business planning."


Where do the three questions lead you?


Wheel or Spiral? Which is your organization?

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Topics: business plan, Matthew Thomas, steward leadership, financial strategy