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To gain the strength and energy to become a better leader in life and work, seek out solitude. Yes, that means avoiding others, if only temporarily.

One thing we can all agree on is that COVID (or everything about 2020) has forced us to be leaders in the middle of chaos. Chaos within our jobs, our households, our economy, our society. Some might say that the best of us will emerge stronger than ever, or perhaps that’s just the pep talk (I) we have to give ourselves to make it through another day?

I also think/know leadership needs solitude, too. (It's a delicacy these days, for sure.) This speech from West Point identified the reason behind why I sequester myself in my office and shut the world (house) out so I can get some silence and concentrate. I sometimes feel selfish for doing this. But it’s because "thinking means concentrating on one thing long enough to develop an idea about it," and I pride myself on not only being a great doer but also a thinker; I enjoy getting "into it" and I also like (love) to think of ideas. It’s what I believe makes me valuable. I start with a thought that turns into a web of thoughts, and I end up creating something. And hopefully, that something is new, helpful, wonderful, and all.the.things. 

So, when I was told that I gather energy by being alone, I’ve tried to gain power from the concept. And being alone is what maximizes my thinking. So I have to be intentional about the time I carve out for myself to have quiet time. That means not only managing my environment but also my own workspace and schedule. 

The same goes when you’re in a marketing jumble. You’ve got campaigns to ideate. You have emails to be written. You have social posts to schedule. You have a marketing plan to submit or a POV on your 5-year strategic plan. You live in the chaos, but to unlock your leadership potential and the ideas that will propel you there, you need some solitude, too.

Promise me this - you will seek out pockets of true peace and calm in the next 30 days. You will close Instagram, turn off your computer, ask your partner (barter) for some time, whatever it takes. Insulate yourself and find your thoughts - that will turn into some good #marketing #motivation.

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"What type of social media engagement goals do you usually set for your organization? And how do you determine what specific goals to set? e.g., 5% increase? Also, how often do you report to management - weekly, monthly, quarterly?"

These are all great questions, but the answer begs another question, "WHY are you engaging on social media?" If you go back to your intentions for using social as a marketing channel, it will inform how you can identify specific goals. Let's use the goal of "creating awareness" as an example here. That objective could focus your goals on engagement metrics. When you pull your report from last year, pick out the highest-performing post (in terms of engagement) and make plans to replicate it each month this year. Set a goal around those metrics - maybe it's to have 2x the amount of similar posts per month and increase engagement by a reasonable amount (typically 5-15%)? Or to build your social following by paying for boosted posts, so your number of potential engagers grows? Last, I would highly recommend reporting to management quarterly so you can focus on high-level results and not get lost in post-to-post analysis.

Thanks, as always, to the Facebook group Nonprofit Communications Professionals for this question.
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