CTA: Don't Let Them Leave Without It!
You’re a leader whose team is about to exit the meeting. A speaker wrapping up a high energy, content rich keynote to 500 people. A parent, whose kids have raced through dinner and are more than ready to get to the soccer game, or their homework, or Facebook.
Don’t let them leave quite yet. As the infomercials always say, “But wait. There’s more.” At What Matters, we call this a Call to Action (CTA).
Most of us may be familiar with the acronym CYA (Cover Your Assets), which suggests we should always protect ourselves first in the workplace. CTA is at the polar opposite end of the continuum. It’s based on wanting to seek buy-in and create results, dramatically different than the CYA hiding behind platitudes or shirking responsibility, in fear that someone won’t like it.
The CTA is really the reason “why” you opened your mouth or held the meeting in the first place. It’s the power message you want to convey, combining WIIFT (What’s In It For Them) with a clear, precise, direct statement that says— here’s what you should do and requests commitment.
- The weekly leadership is about to end. Everyone’s exhausted. As a leader who wants movement forward, my closing remarks would be something like: “Before we all get back at our dailies, let’s pause for a minute and share: What’s one thing you heard today that you want to bring back to your team to stimulate action, inspiration or celebration?”
- Assume you were listening to our program called Lead Yourself First. My closing words would be something like this: “We’ve talked a lot today about leading yourself. My challenge now is that we stop talking…and start doing just that.”
Take out your pen (or your i-Pad) and write down: WHEN— and HOW— will you:
b) Commit that you will FLEE your bad habits within the next six weeks. Here’s a simple idea: Ask the person sitting next to you (or behind you) to be your accountability partner, and, commit to weekly progress reviews via email.
- As a parent, you’ve made the commitment to have at least two family dinners every week. Before the kids get away, you want to reinforce what’s really behind that. “Hey, guys— before you leave the table, I want to tell you how much I appreciate the time we sit together. You told some great stories tonight, and, I really had a great time. Thanks for taking the time— and, sometime over the next couple of days, maybe you could tell me what it meant to you— or even tell each other.”
The words we speak— in the boardroom, from the podium, at the kitchen table— are a reflection of who we are, what we believe in and what we believe matters. Don’t let whomever you were sitting with off the hook. Take it one step further— call them, and, yourself, to action.
And, let us know the difference your CTA made.