Cedar Communications Group
Content marketing, direct-response copywriting, communications
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Content marketing strategy and execution. Direct-response copywriting. Marketing automation. Online and offline communications.
I co-founded The Global Society of Change Agents with Jim Lord to raise the status of organization development consultants, leadership and executive coaches, trainers and facilitators … all the people who teach us how to realize our potential, individually and collectively.
These change agents make businesses more humane, nonprofits more effective, government more nimble, leaders more inspiring, and all of us more fulfilled.
They’re the people who have the heart, the values, and the capabilities to take humanity to new heights.
And most of them work far too hard, for too little income and influence.
That’s why The GSCA focuses all of its effort on one simple goal: to give change agents step-by-step professional and business development training and mentoring, so they can step into the full power, influence, and prosperity they deserve.
If this is for you, find out more at thegsca.com.
Co-designed and co-facilitated workshops and coaching programs serving civic leaders, philanthropists, business leaders, and leaders in social sector ("nonprofit") organizations.
During our work with them, these already-accomplished leaders gained a new sense of expanded possibilities and grounded confidence -- built on the foundation of their strengths and past successes.
Working from that place of strength, they expanded their view of the greatest personal contribution they can make with their live and work ... the kind of world they want to live in and leave behind ... the personal legacy they want to create.
And they went on to take bold, effective action on that vision for themselves and others.
We also brought this work into their organizations, to energize their people with a greater sense of meaning, purpose, and possibility -- and foster personal initiative and leadership throughout the organization.
At last, the dream job. I'd wanted to work for The Nature Conservancy since the mid-1980s, when I was volunteering for them back in Hawaii.
Starting in an entry-level role, I quickly worked my way up to be Director of Communications for the Washington state chapter, in charge of the whole range of marketing communications duties -- from big-picture strategic thinking to planning and execution of tactics. I produced marketing collateral in all media, managed staff and vendors, and designed and delivered internal training and change initiatives.
Three big takeaways from this experience:
1) I got an intensive education in "selling" complex, intangible ideas ... translating scientific concepts related to biodiversity into terms that anyone can understand and support.
2) Much of the organization's success came from face-to-face, one-on-one communication with influential people (major donors, public officials, civic leaders). How our spokespeople showed up for those interactions was every bit as important as any "marketing collateral" my team produced in support of their efforts. Hence my growing attention to coaching, human development, leadership, and personal presence.
3) Marketing works only if it reflects the organization at its best -- and is backed up with action that makes good on the "brand promise." A confused or weak message is a sure sign of internal disarray. This led me to focus on organization development and strategic thinking as the foundation for sustained success. (Marketing is not a superficial add-on, it has to be central.)
After taking a year off to travel with my husband all over North America (highly recommended, btw), I landed a job in Seattle with this start-up environmental advocacy group devoted to protecting and restoring Puget Sound. Salt water runs in my veins (yes, when I was a kid I wanted to be a marine biologist) so this was a great fit and filled with personal meaning.
Given my legal background, I was a natural for policy research and analysis. And I did a lot of that. But I found myself increasingly drawn to marketing and communications -- spreading ideas and getting people to take action.
I had a wonderful run at Goodsill, one of the oldest and largest law firms in Honolulu.
The senior partner, Marshall Goodsill, tapped me to advise him on the complex tax issues of a trust with a half-billion or so in assets. (It makes me happy to see the firm still bears his name.)
I did a lot of work for tax-exempt organizations — hospitals, universities, one of the largest private foundations in the world — and advised on charitable gift planning.
More than anything, I got comfortable working with the rich and powerful … and learned how to hold my own and not be intimidated by anyone.
Despite my success, I had real trouble figuring out how to become a rainmaker. So I felt stuck with taking on whatever work the partners decided to give me. I saw myself becoming a technician, an also-ran, not a leader in charge of my destiny.
On top of that, tax law didn't feel meaningful enough to keep my interest and commitment for a lifetime. I was yearning for more significance, more contribution, more heart than I was finding in my work.
Feeling burned out, I negotiated an 80% time arrangement. That way I was bored and frustrated only four days a week. The firm offered me partnership anyway, right on schedule, but I couldn’t go through with it. So I turned them down, something I was told repeatedly “just isn’t done.” Well, I did it.
(If only I'd known then what I know now about how to shape one's professional direction and develop the business -- and life -- you want!)
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