If you’ve never seen NBC’s Parks and Recreation, let me break it down for you. Leslie Knope is the lovable and eccentric deputy director of the Parks Department in Pawnee, Indiana. She leads her team of misfits through the highs and lows of the small town bureaucratic system, encourages others to leave Pawnee better than they found it and manages to inspire others to become better versions of themselves.
If you’re thinking to yourself, ‘Wow. I really wish I could make that kind of difference in my PR agency. But how?’ This post is for you! Here are five ways to become the Leslie Knope of your office:
1. encourage others
Leslie Knope knows that a good leader is nothing without a great team. No matter your position in the company, showing appreciation to those who surround you creates a support system that can handle any overwhelming deadline or project. Whether it’s reminding someone that they are a “poetic and noble land-mermaid,” baking cookies for the office or lending a helping hand, making yourself available to others fosters an environment of respect that carries through the toughest days.
2. admit your mistakes
It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes even Leslie Knope makes a mistake. Honesty is always the best policy. Even if what you did was really bad, like throwing sacred Wamapoke artifacts into a pit so they won’t build a Paunch Burger, own it and fix it. Connect with the members of your team, divide and conquer to stay ahead of the message, and avoid a PR nightmare.
3. stay true to yourself
As Madeline Albright, one of the women honored on Leslie’s Wall of Inspirational Women, once said, “It took me quite a long time to develop a voice and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”
Taking this quote quite literally is a great reminder to always stay true to a brand’s voice when you’re writing editorial pieces or social media posts. But, it can also apply to you. Stand up for yourself and make your opinion known. Your ideas and thoughts are valuable and worthy of being shared! Stick to your guns and learn to make your communication style mesh with your coworkers.
4. work hard
Leslie Knope is always prepared and she always tries her best and works harder than anyone else. Working hard shows your clients that you value their business and you care about their success as much as your own. Make the most out of your day by prioritizing your to-do list. Never ever miss a deadline. Be open to criticism and try not to make the same mistake twice. Stay organized. Be proactive when you have down time. Showing commitment to your work will make you stand out and impress your client.
However, don’t work too hard. Stay flexible and always welcome creativity into your work. Enjoy your vacation days and weekends and make time for friends and family. But most importantly, always make time for waffles.
5. believe in YOURSELF
Always remember that a positive attitude takes you far. Leslie Knope is the queen of positive self-talk, and having a go-to pep talk in your back pocket is never a bad idea. You were hired because someone saw a light in you, so remember why you started and get to work!
These workplace tips may seem obvious, but an unapologetically positive attitude, persistent work-ethic and some home-made cookies are the differentiators between Leslie Knope and everyone else. Whether you’re working through your fifth internal account team meeting of the day or connecting face-to-face with a client, these tips will help you be the Leslie Knope of whatever you do!