The Secret of Great Young Strategists

They rarely ask “what can I do to help?”

It’s the dreaded question to get when you’re a Strategy Director.

Your boss is most likely under a crunch with their own work and then they get someone asking to fill up their plate with work.

The best thing to do is come bearing gifts for your boss, with outputs you could create for them. This will make you loved.

This requires a mindset shift and being observant of what is going on in your bosses world.

Let me give you an example.

In my last job I worked on a alcohol brand and the client kept pulling us up for not being in touch with new communication channels that our younger consumers were using.

The ideal strategist would have asked in our first coffee meeting something like; “what are the biggest problems you are dealing with on this account?” or “what are the upcoming projects on this account and what do you foresee as being the biggest obstacles?” or you would have overheard me talking to someone else about these problems.

So when you have finished all your work, you would have spent an hour thinking about how you could help address this next problem. So when you approach my desk you would say;

“Heya, I’ve been thinking about the problem of not being connected to the younger consumer and I thought of three ways that I could help address this problem;

  1. Make an Instagram Story where I interview my friends (who are the target) asking them what channels they use to give a little more spice to the desk research we have?
  2. I could create a research paper which looks at 10 brands that are communicating with our consumer in a more innovative way
  3. Create a report on an emerging platform like Kik for the client and our creatives for what it is and how they might be able to use it

Alternatively, is there anything else I could do to help?”

‘HELL YES! I would love this is a great response!

At first your presents might be a little off the mark however, the more you learn what your boss likes, the better you’ll become at predicting what they will like to see from you!

Gifts over helping hands.

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