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Being Right is Not Enough!

Kent Lineback in a recent Harvard Business post talks about the difficulty to convince his boss and colleagues about the need for fundamental changes the company needed to make. They essentially were comfortable with the way things were even it meant losing market share and profits.  They couldn’t see the problem or were in denial. So they did the normal thing – they hired a consultant.

After the consultant made his report, Kent approached him and said "What do you think is going on? Every time I make the same points you just did; people nod their head, yawn.  It’s a NATO organization; you know No Action – Talk Only kind of place.  The consultant said, “You made good and accurate points but you didn’t build any bridges.”

Upon reflection, Kent said he knew the consultant was right. “I didn't build bridges. I didn't reach out and connect with others on their terms. I talked at them. I had a solution, a beautiful vision. I knew the answer, and I spent my time telling everyone what it was and what the company had to do.”

Like Kent, I learned long ago that “being right is not enough. [see The Byrd Effect} SLers must bridge; WOO [win over others] if they want to move an agenda forward.  My research on the Artistry of Leadership identified several actions SLers can take to build alliances and develop partnerships and strengthen your position inside your organization

  1. Associate yourself with individuals who have influence over getting things done.

  2. Develop alliances with people from OUTSIDE of the organization.

  3. Develop alliances with people from INSIDE the organization.

  4. Use the influence from alliances to advance your organizational agenda.

  5. Allocate your resources to influence your organizational agenda.

What do you think?
Do you have a story to share?

John Pisapia 2010

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