What’s the difference between a complacent team and an efficient one? Oftentimes, it’s a good leader. Whether you’ve recently become the manager of a content marketing team or just need to brush up on your skills, it’s good practice to be in the loop so you can keep your team running smoothly.
This is especially true as “few managers have actually received formal training in management,” observes Linda Pophal of B2B content marketing firm Strategic Communications in a recent interview with Ragan. “Many are promoted up through the ranks and simply don’t have the knowledge, skills, or ability to communicate effectively.”
Not only do managers often arrive at the steering wheel in unexpected ways, many are not equipped to carry out many of the tasks required of a great leader, or are uncomfortable providing guidance and feedback. In fact, nearly 70 percent of managers say this kind of dialogue makes them squeamish, according to a recent survey commissioned by Interact.
Fortunately, you can control your destiny. Don’t let fear or negativity hold you back from being a great leader and inspiring your team. We’ve put together a short syllabus so you can brush up on what it takes to lead an effective marketing team.
Author: Dave Ramsey
Why You Should Read It: Ramsey, a personal finance guru, explains how he cultivated a business culture of excellence while growing his company from a card table to a multimedia empire. Content managers should pay particular attention to his advice on taking time to hire and build the right team members, and instituting a no-gossip policy—two factors Ramsey suggests are critical to a healthy team. Also, check out the “EntreLeadership Podcast,” which includes interviews with executives, marketers, and small-business leaders that are chock full of good ideas and nuggets of advice.
Author: Shirzad Chamine
Why You Should Read It: If you want to arrive at work with a positive attitude every day, motivatesyour team, and drive productivity, then this book is for you. Chamine uses his research at Stanford University to make the case that you can triple your creativity and sales by overcoming the voices in your head that cast doubt on your abilities. He provides activities that can help you reprogram your brain to accentuate the positive and release the negative for maximum business success on your team.
A Year with Peter Drucker
Author: Joseph A. Maciariello
Why You Should Read It: This book synthesizes the writings and comments of the legendary business coach Peter Drucker. His writings help new managers embrace their critical role in implementing sound processes and procedures, understanding people, and setting team priorities. The book provides readers with a week-by-week guide including questions and action items to help you make the most of the material.
Author: Jon Acuff
Why You Should Read It: At some point as a content manager, you’ll need a reboot. Maybe it will be a project that needs a fresh take or a tumultuous relationship with a colleague that needs to be mended. Whatever the case, this book gives you permission to reassess your personal and professional goals, hit restart, and inspire your team to do the same.
Harvard Business Review
Category: Multimedia news website
Why You Should Read It: Dive into the latest research on business leadership, marketing, and internal communications with the outstanding long-form news articles at the Harvard Business Review (HBR). Most of the material is free, though paid subscriptions to the printed magazine and other research materials are available for those who want to dive deeper. We highly recommend HBR’s weekly newsletter subscription.
Category: Multimedia news website
Why You Should Read It: As with HBR, the goal of reading news from the Wharton School of Business isn’t to get you to commit to that MBA you’ve been putting off, but rather to inspire you. Wharton Magazine can help get you thinking creatively so you can lead effectively. We recommend following @WhartonMagazine on Twitter for your daily dose of business insights.
Category: Leadership consulting firm
Why You Should Read It: Coming off of the Final Four, you might be having basketball withdrawals. But even if you couldn’t care less about athletics, the CoachingU blog, podcast, and accompanying quotes on Twitter will inspire you to be a better business coach through the successes, failures, and challenges your team faces. It turns out taking advice from some of the top coaches in the sporting world is a really good idea, not to mention an inspiring one.
Entrepreneur and Fast Company
Why You Should Read It: Packed with insights from business leaders large and small, Entrepreneur and Fast Company are great reading material for teams that want to think outside the box and drive innovation.
Seth Godin’s Startup School
Why You Should Read It: We suggest subscribing to this marketing guru’s enormously popular blog newsletter for your daily dose of expert advice. Godin is an industry influencer and has great insight into how leaders can position themselves and their business to be the best they can be in the marketplace. Godin is also a master wordsmith, and you might find yourself turning to the dictionary from time to time. Do it and be better for it.
These are just a handful of the many leadership books, magazines and websites that can benefit content managers, but they represent some of the best resources around for working with people in a positive and nurturing environment—a skill that’s sadly absent from most professional training in the workplace. Read widely, learn new strategies, and put the best advice you find into practice with your content marketing team. Effective leadership yields incredible results.
Nate Birt is a multimedia journalist, social media enthusiast and copy editor with experience at a variety of print and digital publications, and a Certified Journalist at the Visually Marketplace. Follow him on Twitter at @natebirt.