Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

From passive to powerful… Why this skill is a must-have to propel your career to the next level! [Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy]

April 25, 2023

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson

Are you familiar with Return Driven Strategy (RDS)? 

This pyramid-shaped framework has 11 tenets and 3 foundations that help businesses effectively implement their branding and marketing strategies. Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo explain this in detail in the book, “Driven.” 

One of the things I like about RDS is it helps individual professionals think and act strategically about their career choices too. Just apply the framework’s tenets and foundations to the microlevel and you have Career Driven Strategy (CDS). 

Today, let’s focus on an important skill through the lens of CDS. 

Read on to know what self-advocacy is and how it can make a positive impact on your career. 

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Return Driven Strategy 

As a professional, it’s likely you have your own aspirations in your career and life in general. However, the journey towards achieving your goals is not always easy. You will experience challenges and setbacks, but that doesn’t mean you should easily give up. 

To fulfill your needs and meet the expectations you set for yourself, you have to develop self-advocacy in the workplace. 

Discovering effective methods for self-advocating and knowing its benefits will help you set healthy boundaries and gain clarity in your career. 

In this article, we’ll explain what it means to advocate for yourself, the benefits of self-advocacy, and some tips to properly apply it to your work. 

Photo from NCLD

The Role of Self-Advocacy in Achieving Your #CareerGoals 

Self-advocacy is an essential skill that will help you take control of your career and ensure your needs are met. This involves your ability to effectively communicate your strengths, needs, and preferences to others, especially to your colleagues and superiors. 

Here are some benefits of developing strong self-advocacy skills:

  • Increased job satisfaction
    When you advocate for yourself, you are more likely to get the support and resources you need to succeed in your job. This leads to increased satisfaction and a greater sense of fulfillment at work.

  • Improved communication skills
    Self-advocacy requires effective communication skills. As you learn to articulate your needs and preferences, you also become more skilled at communicating with others. This improves your relationships with your colleagues and superiors, leading to more positive interactions and a better work environment.

  • Enhanced problem-solving abilities
    When you advocate for yourself, you learn to find creative solutions to problems that arise. This helps you develop your problem-solving skills, think outside the box, take initiative, and identify areas where you can make a positive impact.

  • Greater confidence and self-esteem
    When you have the ability to advocate for yourself and get your needs met, you feel more empowered and capable in your career.

  • Career advancement
    Developing self-advocacy skills enables you to boost your career. When you effectively communicate your strengths and goals to your colleagues and superiors, they will likely offer you opportunities for growth and advancement in the workplace.

Now that you know the benefits of self-advocacy in your career, what can you do to actually develop this skill?

Below are a few tips to get you started:

  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
    Effectively advocating for yourself requires understanding your strengths and weaknesses. Take some time to reflect on your innate skills and abilities, as well as areas where you think you need to improve.

  • Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound) goals for yourself.
    Once you have a clear understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, set some goals for your career.

    What do you want to achieve?

    What do you need to do to get there?

    How can you make the entire process or journey as efficient as possible?

    Having clear goals will help you stay focused and motivated at work.

  • Communicate clearly.
    Effective communication is one of the keys to self-advocacy. Be clear and direct when you communicate with others, and make sure you are expressing your needs and preferences politely.

  • Build strong and healthy relationships with others.
    Building positive relationships with your colleagues and superiors will help you develop your self-advocacy skills more effectively. Take the time to get to know others in your workplace and establish connections based on mutual respect and trust.

  • Be persistent.
    Advocating for yourself can sometimes be challenging and uncomfortable. While it may take time and effort to get your needs met, be persistent and keep advocating for yourself even if you don’t get the response you were hoping for right away.

Self-Advocacy Skills As Seen In The Lens of Career Driven Strategy (CDS) 

Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo say every professional—from top corporate executives and entry-level employees to students considering their career paths—needs to think and act strategically about their choices. 

This will help them effectively navigate a constantly changing economic environment. 

That’s why self-advocacy is an important skill individuals need to develop! 

By knowing your strengths and weaknesses, learning to communicate effectively, setting goals, and building positive relationships with others, you’ll have the anchor that will enable you to make good career decisions and avoid bad ones. 

Keep these tips in mind in considering your career path! 

Whether you’re just starting out or you’re well into your career journey, it’s crucial to learn to advocate for yourself so you can amplify your accomplishments and get the help you need to turn your weaknesses into strengths. 

Start enhancing your self-advocacy skills now! Your career will thank you later on for that. 

Also, if you’re looking to gain a better understanding of Return Driven Strategy, we highly recommend checking out “Driven” by Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo. 

Click here to get your copy and learn how this framework can help you in your business strategies and ultimately, in ethically maximizing wealth for your firm.

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.) 

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy”

In the book, “Driven,” authors Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo said that the goal of every long-term successful business strategy should incorporate the combined necessity of “making the world a better place” and “getting wealthy.” 

That is why they created Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy―frameworks that were built to help leaders and professionals plan and evaluate businesses so they can also help others achieve their organizational goals and career goals. 

The frameworks describe the plans and actions that drive returns for anyone in an organization such as independent contractors, marketers, brand managers, communicators, and other people in any field. These actions lead to the creation of wealth and value for customers, employees, shareholders, and the society. 

Every Tuesday, we’ll highlight case studies, business strategies, tips, and insights related to Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy. 

In planning, building, or managing brands and businesses, these strategies, case studies, and guidelines will help you choose what specific actions to take and when to take them. 

Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Return Driven Strategy!”


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities 
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