I met Christy Lamagna through our mutual friend, Phil Gerbyshak. She is so much fun to talk to and really wants to help people. It is apparent as soon as you start talking with her. Below she was kind enough to answer some interview questions for our readers on her experience of using strategy to improve event outcomes and life outcomes.
You are currently working on a book on helping people be more strategic in their lives. What inspired that and what kinds of advice will be in it?
So much of what goes into a successful event applies to living a fulfilling life. The book gives readers an understanding of basic human psychology and behavior to position yourself for success when negotiating, job interviews, talking to a spouse or anyone for that matter. Once I made that connection I started sharing my theory and saw it help transform lives. When I realized what I’d stumbled upon, I couldn’t keep it to myself.
You have been a long time strategist for big events. Over time you have begun applying the same strategic thinking to your life. Give our readers some examples of this cross over.
Events are like life. You have people who show up and actively participate, people who show up and just take space, and some who blow it off. We all know people who fall into each of those categories when it comes to how they live their lives. From the planner’s perspective, an event can be planned focusing on just the logistics which are an endless list of “to-do” items that take up time and tend to the need directly in front of you.
Strategic events start with a well-defined, thought out goal in mind. A plan is created and every detail is specifically designed to support that goal. Most of us go through life crossing things off lists and are too busy to get any work done. Events, when planned without focus are much like life without a goal; lots of time and money are spent but there is nothing substantial or significant to show for it. Applying strategy to life results in goals being achieved, relationships strengthening, financial health improving and an overall sense of purpose and mission.
How do you suggest people stay motivated for continued growth and success?
Success fuels success. By creating a goal and achieving milestones along the way momentum builds and new habits are formed. Once a person realizes how much easier it is to exist in a life that has intention there’s no going back. Don’t let the word “strategic” fool you into thinking the process is difficult. The truth is, a strategic plan eliminating time wasting tasks, removes people who drain energy from your world, creates opportunities and makes it easier to exist. It’s so freeing!
Can you share an example of someone who got more strategic and has a good rags to riches story who you know.
A coaching client was living the epitome of a life mired in logistics. Her employer was content to pile on work beyond what was reasonable, and she kept taking it on. She was resentful and her unhappiness was obvious. Requests for additional staff were denied and she was passed over for promotions due to a bad attitude. She felt helpless. Her boss was tired of listening to her complain and her negative attitude made her unpopular. When we discussed approaching her boss with a way to help him more and offer ways to make his life easier, she balked.
Why take on more work and why reward him for treating her so poorly? We discussed one of the key pillars of strategic planning; knowing what your audience wants and delivering it. When you give people what they want they will give you what you want. Instead of complaining to her boss, she solicited projects. Instead of being unhappy she started dressing for the job she wanted and intentionally spread cheer. She is now being recommended for the promotion, has a new boss who appreciates her, has others commenting on her new attitude and she’s eliminated many of the time-wasting tasks she was burdened with. It took nothing but strategic thinking and a plan. Everything changed and all for the better. Anyone can do this!
What do you suggest is part of someone’s daily routine no matter what their goals are?
You have to remember that if you are not the answer to the question “what’s in it for me?” you aren’t going to get what you need. You also have to remember that people’s actions are not about you. If you internalize other people’s actions and opinions you’re forever their slave. Focus on your goals and how you can work with other people to achieve your goal.
Is there any technology you recommend to help people make meaningful changes?
It depends on the goal. For some having an app that tracks spend is invaluable. Sometimes an app that tallies calories consumed and burned is helpful. Most of the time it’s about declaring your goal, having an accountability partner and a calendar to mark milestone due dates. It doesn’t take a superior mind, huge bank account, fancy technology or a tremendous amount of time. If anything life lived strategically will give you more time, money, and happiness.
Tell our readers how to find out more about you.
Whether you’re an executive trying to create systems and infrastructure or shift corporate culture, someone returning to the professional world after a long hiatus, someone changing careers, vying for a promotion or who has any goals that feel too formidable to be possible, strategic thinking and planning will help. I offer webinars, coaching, corporate consulting and a host of other services to fit every budget. People can find me at [email protected]
About Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM
Christy is an award-winning Master Strategist, author, entrepreneur, speaker, coach, and intellectual philanthropist. For two decades, Christy’s strategic planning process has changed the business trajectory of corporations and the lives of people from all industries and walks of life.
Known for her approachability, teaching skills, sense of humor, vast expertise on achieving business and personal goals, expanding networks and marketing plans, Christy is one of the most sought after strategy experts in business, coaching and speaking circles.